The Big-Team Slow Down: How To Speed Up Anything Using Faster Feedback Loops

by Collin Flynn | at Minnebar spring 2020 (canceled)

Startups are fast and nimble, large companies are slow. This is a widely accepted axiom, and it’s completely wrong. Rather, startups must confront a set of constraints that encourage some common behaviors: lightweight experimentation, eager validation, and strong vision. Large teams often start small, so what is it about team size that changes these behaviors? Can the startup ideals be recovered, or even expanded?

In this session, we’ll use industry data to see how size and speed are not nearly as coupled as is commonly believed. We’ll explore how large companies have resources and capabilities to run experiments and validation on a scale that any startup would envy. Next, we’ll see why the size/speed illusion is based on an asymmetry that correlates with (but is not caused by) size. Finally, we’ll observe some common pathologies that arise when a growing team is slowing down, and why none of those problems are rooted in size.

This is a talk for product owners, managers, and engineers from any size organization that want to experience the benefits of faster feedback.

All levels

Collin Flynn

Collin is a software developer with Livefront