I’ve long thought that much of the world can be explained by feedback loops. Why are small companies nimbler than large ones? Why are private companies generally more efficient than governments? Primarily because in each case, the former has a better feedback loop. When faced with a baffling question — such as, “why do online companies do such a terrible job at dealing with abuse?” — it’s often helpful to look at the feedback loops.

Let’s look at the small vs. large and private vs. government comparisons first, as examples. Small companies have extremely tight feedback loops; a single person makes a decision, sees the results, and pivots accordingly, without the need for meetings or cross-division consensus. Larger companies have to deal with other departments,

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