- You need to set up and organize so that you can do as many experiments per unit of time as possible. If doing an experiment costs $100 million and takes three years, well, you're not going to be able to do very much innovation. If, on the other hand, you can organize in small, lightweight teams that have certain tools so they can do a lot of experiments per week or per month or whatever the right unit of time is, then you'll get a lot more invention from that.
Jeff also defends the idea of two-pizza teams (a product group with 4-8 people), claiming they enhance productivity:
- Q: Amazon uses small teams, which you call "two-pizza teams." How do you organize projects so that such teams can work?
A: The idea of using small teams is a pretty well-accepted notion. What happens is, as the teams get bigger, they have to spend more time coordinating. This is sometimes very misunderstood, but if you want to have a good work environment where people can really build, you don't want them to have to spend a lot of time coordinating. To the degree that you can get people in a team small enough that they can be fed on two pizzas, you'll get a lot more productivity.
[Thanks, Innovation Weblog, for pointing out the article]