In many things, the more resources we add, the better the output. This, of course, can be graphed with increasing performance tying to increasing resources. But does an ascending performance line start to dip back down once too many resources are added? Malcolm Gladwell provides some research in David and Goliath that argues this happens more frequently than we may think.
He takes student class size. It's assumed that the smaller the class size the better the performance. But research suggests that as classes become too small an adverse affect sets in. Too few students means dominant personalities can take over, there's less group discussion (a vital part of a classroom) and educational gameplay opportunities drop. It presents an Inverted-U Curve:
From the book:
"Inverted-U curves have three parts, and each part follows a different logic. There's the left side, where doing more or having more makes things better. There's the flat middle, where doing more doesn't make much of a difference. And there's the right side, where doing more or having more makes things worse."
It's a provocative thought. In business, be alert to the Inverted-U Curve. If there's too much ideation time, when do we begin to over-think? If there's too much collaboration, when do we begin to dilute? If there's too much data when do we begin to over-react? Nice to know there's a principle for such questions.