Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Paul Graham On Group Size

I just came across a new Paul Graham essay (maybe a bit late; it's dated March 2008) called You Weren't Meant To Have A Boss. The main thrust of the piece is that working as a cog in a large company is suboptimal (for you) and a bit unnatural, based on what studies have shown to be roughly ideal upper limits on human group sizes. Above a group size tipping point, there is a big fall off in cohesion; there are too many nodes to keep everyone in sync.

The piece is worth reading (as are pretty much all of his essays), although it does have a bit of a "I'm a badass OG, and so are my friends, and today's smart guys are going for the safe and easy" feel to it. It feels related to condescension, but not quite the same thing. Still, the commentary and advice are worthwhile and interesting.

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