Scales of breeding projects was always a polemic subject, but it's only marketing. In essence it is not.
I will repeat what i've said in another post, i consider than a 30-50 specimens range is the comfort zone to go ahead in any line and any type of work. In the way than most growers are considering, but when one enter in complex methodologies and when one speak about programs and notations ... it's allready an intensive hobby at this level.
In practice, the number of specimens worked at the same time is just a "time-leverage" in the procedure of the breeding plan. And in practice again, the persons able to juggle with the accurate evaluation of 50 specimens at a time still very rares. At 100 we reach a type of persons than are close to an obsession or autism syndroms like asperger lol Half-joking.
Look, funny yes ? Now imagine yourself spending around 7 to 10 minutes on each specimen to give them a notation. Make the maths, and don't forget to consider than each week you must do it again. Until the very last specimens, the finalists, are the only one alive. Make the maths again and add to it the daily maintenance of this type of lab.
With 500+ specimens, we are not longer talking about the gently germinations we are used to see and share as growers but more this type of thing :
And generally a crew behind the breeder if he's not totally mad.
And it doesn't matter if you're outdoor, when you have acres to select, it end the same way lol :
A procedure of selection mean generally to analyze a dozen of parameter per specimen, than you multiply per the number of plants involved. It become quickly a full time job with the work in bonus than imply to simply grow healthy plants. And it imply too, to have a solid methodology to stay productive and to avoid the stagnation in the results. Life is short.
It's pretty rude to write this synthesis, but it's important to remember to people the crude reality of the breeding. And also than the marketing is made to dream, no to build cold head competitors all around the globe (which is my own dream lol) ^^
Now, the sweet part after the sour one : the methodology matter. This is obviously wrong to say to a "closet breeder" then he can't reach the level of quality of someone than can grow 100 specimens at a time (to get a real percentage for your stats). In fact it's totally irrationnal in practice, the only factor in action between these twos persons is only the time.
Let's say than you can grow only 10 specimens. It don't mean than you will have 10% of the quality of the 100plants guy. It just say than you will need 10 rounds to reach the same accuracy (considering than the 100-guy can give the same level of attention to each plants than the 10-guy).
And specially today with the democratization of formidable tools like tablets than can be linked with databases and than include also a "camera" to take shots of the plants on the flow. It's an example, i personnally don't like tablets and smartphones and i prefer laptops + camera able to do macros lol But it doesn't matter, the possibilities and the combinations today are enormous. You can track your specimens in ease (in anyway you want) then compare them later (in anyway you want) when you have collected enough datas.
Off course i avoid in these considerations the types of work than make you dependent on genetic sourcing. Like fem's factories vampires, than always need a new cut or a new strain to hack, to stay the head on the surface of hungry customers for novelty. I'm considering only the fact to develop a new genetic pattern (wich make you more autonomous and less hungry in gens), with the goal to refine it to be in accord with your goals.
There is no judgement of valor to search in this post, but the importance to stay rationnal when you read some ... informations ... in the marketing and "common theories" shared on boards. If you're really passionnated by breeding, eating every text on it, seeking rare gens than you love, and you're ready to dedicate your space to this hobby : you best friend is the rationnality and by extension the manner you will adapt your goals to the environment you have. Not the number of plants.