Wasn't the OP's conclusion that large scale was due to not being able to scale the team into the hundreds and not any limitation of a small team?
There's only so much code that a handful of programmers can write and maintain in any language. The scaling issues comes up when you need to make your team a lot larger.
So it is possible for 3 - 10 developers to maintain a product that perhaps, would need 50 developers using fully maintainable methods. But the 3-10 developers can never produce what 500 developers can. And there's a valley of death between about 10 and 30 where you actually go backwards. With 20 developers you might accomplish less than with 10 unless you very carefully and strictly compartmentalise the team (at which point you have two teams of 10 developers that don't interact ...).