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Two Pizza Team 🍕🍕
Benefits of having a smaller team (initially).
The day we started Peerlist, Yogini and I had promised each other that we will never hire prematurely. To this date, we’re extremely cautious and conscious while adding a new team member to the team, even if it’s a consultant role.
We believe that a small, tightly-knit team can work wonders for an early-stage startup. While many organizations strive for growth and expansion, we have consciously chosen to maintain what we call a "Two Pizza Team." So here’s a small write-up, where I want to share the philosophy behind our decision and the benefits it has brought to Peerlist so far.
What is a Two Pizza Team?
The concept of a Two Pizza Team originated from Amazon1, which was famously pioneered by Jeff Bezos. The idea is simple: a team should be small enough that it can be fed with two pizzas. In practical terms, this means keeping the team size to a maximum of around eight to ten members.
Why Peerlist Embraces the Two Pizza Team Approach
Effective Collaboration and Communication
One of the key and crucial advantages which we are experiencing is the ease of collaboration and communication. When the team is small, everyone can have direct access to each other, fostering a culture of open dialogue. This close-knit environment promotes better information flow, minimizes communication overhead, and encourages quick decision-making. At Peerlist, we believe that effective communication is vital for rapid iteration and innovation.
Flexibility and Agility
As an early-stage startup, the ability to adapt quickly to changing circumstances is crucial. We’ve had first-hand experience with this so many times! We can pivot, iterate, and experiment with minimal to no friction. Without the burden of complex processes, decision-making becomes faster and more efficient. This agility allows Peerlist to respond rapidly to user feedback, market trends, and emerging opportunities (like AI).2
Ownership and Autonomy
A small team grants each member a sense of ownership, autonomy, and accountability. With a lean structure, everyone is deeply involved in the company's vision, mission, and goals. Each team member has a direct impact on the overall success of the startup. This ownership mentality fosters a strong commitment and a sense of shared responsibility. It also enables individuals to take ownership of their work, make independent decisions, and be accountable for outcomes.
By keeping our team small, we can maintain a laser-like focus on our core objectives. Each one of us can specialize in our area of expertise, ensuring that every task is executed with precision and excellence. We believe that a small team, composed of highly skilled individuals, is more efficient and productive than a larger team with diluted responsibilities. At Peerlist, we value the depth of knowledge and encourage everyone to become experts in their respective fields.
This doesn’t mean we don’t have common expertise and share responsibilities.
Managing resources effectively is paramount.
By keeping our team small, we can allocate our limited resources more efficiently. Hiring and retaining a smaller team helps us minimize overhead costs3 while maximizing productivity. This approach allows us to invest more in crucial areas such as product development, research, and customer acquisition.
We’re cautious and conscious
Even though we’re in favor of small teams and hiring only when there is a dire need, we’re very cautious about not burning out! Burnout can happen because of two reasons:
Too much work
Work without expertise
Every time we realize that someone is burning out or needs someone with better expertise, we hire! And this is why I used a cover image with three pizzas 😉.
While growth and expansion are often seen as the hallmarks of success for startups, Peerlist believes in the power of a small, tightly-knit team. Our Two Pizza Team approach has proven to work really well so far, enabling us to foster collaboration, adaptability, ownership, focus, and cost efficiency. As we continue to navigate the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, we are confident that our small but mighty team will help us achieve our vision of revolutionizing professional networking!
We recently built a small AI-generated TL;DR for article and GitHub repo links shared on Peerlist scroll.
When you hire, apart from salary there are other costs like laptops, accessories, operations, licenses, etc.