It’s clear to me that building a super team is more important than expecting to hire (or create) lone superheroes.
A highly effective team can produce amazing output from mere mortals. I certainly have nothing against working to improve each individual. It IS important. To me, it just doesn’t make sense to do it at the expense of building a team. My experiences with the 10xer movement, have all but ignored the power of the team. It has shifted to mean a 10x Programmer. The first time I encountered this term, it was meant to describe teams, even entire companies, not individuals.

Teams of people build software systems, and to do that they need to work together effectively. Scott Ambler
Writing software that is effective is an inherently collaborative activity. — Brian Fitzpatrick, Ben Collins-Sussman

We learned the benefits of teamwork from day one. Somewhere along the way, this knowledge is beaten out of us.

The highly effective team takes the best from each individual to create an amazing output. Ignoring the team requires each person to be superhuman, all the time.
The highly effective team ensures that human foibles are marginalized. The other ensures they are highlighted and multiplied.
The team ensures there is support for every aspect, of each individual and each step.
It was the highly effective teams that reached the North Pole, not the lone hero.


From Day One

My daughter learned the importance of teamwork from the very first books we read and the earliest TV shows that we watched together.

All: "Wonder Pets! Wonder Pets! We're on our way
To help a baby [animal] and save the day!"
Ming-Ming: "We're not too big,"
Tuck: "And we're not too tough,"
All: "But when we work together we've got the right stuff!"
Go, Wonder Pets! Yay!"

Her stories tell her the same message today, nine years later. Monster University shares the story of how the extraordinarily ordinary members of the Oozma Kappa (OK) fraternity scrabble their way out of obscurity and into the record books only once they have learned to work together.

The future of creation, it’s really bringing people together and bringing ideas together. — Iris van Herpen, Thirty Years of Mac


Myth: The Best Among Us are Rugged Individualists
We often portray the great explorers, heading into the unknown with little margin for error, as rugged individualists. On the contrary, they found that, in order to achieve greatness, everyone needed to be thinking of the other man first. This went double for the leader. They felt this could not be understated. In a world where all the cruft had been removed, it was blindingly obvious that team collaboration was the answer.

History: Einstein was no lone genius
"The landmark theory is often presented as the work of a lone genius. In fact, the physicist received a great deal of help from friends and colleagues, most of whom never rose to prominence and have been forgotten"
-- Nature, Michel Janssen & Jürgen Renn

"Avengers Assemble!" Even the superheroes know it takes a team. The Justice League. The X-men. The list goes on. They exist because these writers understand that even the best can not do it alone.

They need the power of a team. The power to keep each other going in the face of any problem. The power to plow through any road block. The power in having friends prepare the way for your special moment. The self-correcting feedback loop. The power in learning, continuously, from every member of our whole team — including beyond the development team. These benefits require interaction.

In software development, “lines of code written per day" often gets elevated above all others, simply because it’s easy to measure.
But selecting such arbitrary factors tends to promote “star players" who demonstrate those qualities but don’t significantly contribute to the team’s success.Stuart Wray


Each Feature Deserves the Best of Us
The best of us, our combined work, is so much better than the best any one of us can create. The customer deserves the benefit of the expertise of the whole team.

What Are You Throwing Away?
When managers adopt "agile", but ignore the team aspect, they are failing to see the big picture. Some hear agile recommend "adapting the process to fit your needs" and they pick and choose what they think are best for their team. Sometimes, without even trying them. Without empirical evidence. Without keeping the entire flow, the entire team, the entire human, in mind.

They are ignoring the subtle, but powerful network effect that combinations can achieve. Combinations of practices. Combinations of people. They focus on a few practices, ignoring the values and the principles.

At the heart of Medium is the idea that people create better things together. — Ev Williams, of Medium

They ignore communication.
"Everyone is part of the team and we communicate face to face daily. We will work together on everything from requirements to code. We will create the best solution to our problem that we can together."

“My biggest takeaway from the project was the importance of good communication in building good software. Building larger code bases, is, at its core, a human experience. No one person has the time to handle all of the work, so it’s important to actively communicate with the group as the project is ongoing." — Will Mitchell

They ignore the importance of enabling courage.
“We don’t fear anything because no one ever works alone". — The Values of Extreme Programming, Don Wells

Even Respect.
“Everyone gives and feels the respect they deserve as a valued team member." — The Values of Extreme Programming, Don Wells

Three of the seven Lean Principles of Software Design require team collaboration. The rest are enhanced by it.

There is no room in agile development for “avoidance technology".
If you can’t find a way to meet its demand for close-contact, continuous communication,
then you are not ready.
If you don’t want your programmers sitting together, talking through problems, writing code socially,
then try something else.
Attempting to bolt avoidance technology onto agile methods is like castrating a stud horse.Tim Ottinger and Jeff Langr

As Surowiecki points out, large groups, structured properly, can be smarter than the smartest member of a group.
The “best" answers typically come from a synthesis of diverse viewpoints and experiences – … T
he aggregation of this independent local knowledge is what creates a “wisdom of the crowds" solution.
A solution that could generate tremendous benefits for students and teachers, alike. — Eric Westendorf



Even if you have a group entirely comprised of superheroes, rock stars, ninjas, and 10xers (which is unlikely), their output, and their growth, is hobbled if they are not interacting — if they are not collaborating as a team. Tim and Jeff said there is no room in agile for avoidance technology. I think there is no room, period. You lose too much potential.

Great software isn’t built by rock stars. It’s built by teams. &Yet

Great minds think alike, but the best minds think together. -- Sherman (the horse)

Genius is a team sport. -- Tim Sanders, DealStorming

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. -- Margaret Mead