Individual or teams?

Individual people usually follow an inverse rule relative to networks of people. Metcalfe’s law and Reed’s law are the 2 fundamental laws of networks and they assume that as a network of people grows, the value of the network increases substantially. But with individuals, the opposite is true: The value of a contributor decreases disproportionately with each additional person contributing to a single project, idea or innovation.

Teams too are vital to any business because every team is made up of individuals alike. But what most people strike out on is proper team building. When an activity can be performed sufficiently by one person with adequate skills, doing the activity as a group should be avoided.

Human intelligence is incredibly complex and as a result, a great individual can far exceed the value of many mediocre minds. For eg. Magnus Carlsen played 12 people individually at the same time and beat every single one of them. He managed to play 12 different games of chess, winning all, and others couldn’t manage to win a single game. He repeated a similar feat a second time, with the addition of being blindfolded, and he still won.

It just goes to show that even though teamwork is extremely important and crucial to every organization at its core, it still cannot undermine or replace the value of one single individual.

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