Follow Jeff Bezos' Two-Pizza Rule To Avoid The Dangers Of 'Groupthink'

You may have heard the joke that a camel is a horse designed by a committee. Group efforts often suffer from "groupthink", where individuals lose the benefit of independent thought and just agree with each other. Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos solves that problem with a two-pizza rule.

Photo by Fanfo (Shutterstock)

According to productivity and ideas blog the 99u, Bezos uses pizza as a metric for choosing the size of his teams. Basically, if a team can't be fed by two pizzas, that team is too large. The brain can't handle a lot of people, so it's not a surprise that smaller teams tend to work better.

If you find independent ideas are suffering in your organisation, it might be time to suggest instituting the two-pizza rule. At the very least, you might get a free meal out of it.

The Jeff Bezos School of Long-Term Thinking [The 99u]


Comments

    Depends how much people eat. Personally, I'd eat a large pizza just for myself.

      You'd better be a good thinker! :)

      The amount of work you are expected to put in is directly proportional to the amount of pizza you eat.

      easy, fatty, what about your hungry colleagues?

        I'm far from fat, if anything, I'm a little on the skinny side. But large pizzas just aren't actually that large. I'm talking about the usual Dominos/Pizza Hut pizzas here though.

          i wouldn't know. life's too short for franchise pizza.

      You can be a part of a one-man team who pays for his own pizza then.

    Are these pizzas from one of the big chains like Domino's or Pizza Hut, with their ridiculously small pizzas? Or pizzas from a proper Italian restaurant or pizzaria? Because that could easily double or even triple the team size.

      Depends how pretentious the team is.

        Today I learned that not wanting to eat nasty franchise pizza, (waves fingers in pretentious quote-un-quote gesture) is "pretentious".

        Last edited 07/12/12 12:19 pm

    what's the point of even putting olives on the first pizza? they're barely even decoration :/

    So what you're really saying here is the optimal group size is dependent on how hungry its members are...

    Or, you could just pick a number like 3 or 5. Small groups and hard to deadlock due to the odd number.

    I'm with @Dman. I'm not a huge guy and i could easily put away a large pizza and possibly more

    I'm pretty sure what he's saying, is that if you're on Lifehacker arguing over the semantics of the sizes of pizza, what to have on the pizza, or anything like that, then you probably shouldn't be in a team at all.

    Pizza size. It's in Spanish and a horrible flash site, but if you go to
    http://www.pizzaelis.com/ then choose:
    Lista De Ciudades > Cochabamba > New York Style Menu > Tamaños
    Their interminable pizza is 71cm in diameter.

    Nice try, Cameron from Eagle Boys.

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