The “two pizza rule” is simple-but-sound advice from Amazon founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos.
Just so you know this advice is worth something – in 20 years, his net worth has grown from zero to $32.3 billion.
Bezos believed in “two pizza teams”:
“If a team couldn’t be fed with two pizzas, it was too big.”
At Studio Rossiter we’ve followed a similar (non pizza-related) rule for a long time.
We always brief our clients to keep their team small and close-knit, and do the same ourself on every job.
There are good reasons why big teams lead to failure in video production. Two main areas are:
On a new project like video, everyone want to have their say.
Usually this is fine and we encourage our clients to be creative – but when 10 people are giving their ideas, inevitably, this leads to increased difficulty.
The two main culprits being:
a) Incorporating all these different ideas into a concise, business-winning script is rarely successful.
b) Fitting in all the ideas means the video ends up longer – and more runtime equals increased cost.
This is not only an issue at the beginning of a video project, but it adds extra complications at the end.
Once the client has the first viewing of the video, a few amends are expected – small items such as a word change or image change. This is normal.
When large teams start to analyse the video in depth over and over again, this where where large number of amends occur.
People start getting new ideas, or want to add new sections or they change their mind (often more than once!). The original message gets lost .
This high level of amends leads to escalated editing time, which in turn costs more money.
The downside isn’t just the cost increase, the production time of the project can become massively extended.
In our experience, having too big a team will increase your cost by 10%-15% and will result in an inferior video. No-one wants this outcome.
More people at the table always means longer meetings trying to agree on things.
This is completely unnecessary and an old-fashioned style of working. Creative meetings should be done in 90 minutes tops, and by the end everything is resolved.
No business profits by having lots of key staff stuck in meetings for 2 hours or more with no improvement in outcome.
What’s more, an idea which a small group can quickly formulate and adopt – can take significantly longer to resolve when presented to a large group.
And it’s not just one isolated element of pre-production that can incur this lost time.
Each production step ( known as a Key Performance Indicator, KPI ) has the potential to hold up the project.
When you consider KPIs includes script approval, storyboard approval and final edit approval, you are looking at considerable room for delay.
Even small delays in each of these stages can turn an 8-week project into 3 m onths, or longer.
The project can drag on, lose momentum and miss launch deadlines.
The longer any production takes to complete, the more people’s initial creative spark and enthusiasm for the project is lost. It can begin to feel like a chore.
When the final video is complete, this lost excitement shows in the final quality of the work.
Small teams get more done, faster – they save you money and valuable time and produce clarity in thinking.
For the two-pizza rule to help you win big, all you need is a small team of 2-4 people, focused and ready for action.
To learn how to get your next video project off to the right start, call Kevin Rossiter on 0845 366 4131, or ask any questions on our Contact Form.
Three examples of great small-team video projects: