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A blog post I read on why hard-tech startups are counter-intuitively easier (especially, in terms of attracting talent): https://blog.samaltman.com/hard-tech-is-back



I read an article a while back that described one trait of the "10x" engineer as dispassionate curiosity. Setting aside the argument of what a "10x" engineer actually is, I'm sure those of us working in the field can recall folks that were exceptionally talented. Every one of those people that I can recall have exhibited this trait.

It's easy to deduce that those folks would be more interested in hard tech than any paint-by-numbers startup. I've worked at startups and well-established companies, and have found it surprising how easily really good engineers will turn down lucrative but uninteresting opportunities at well-established companies and how readily they'll take an "interesting" role for less or sometimes way less money.


Could you elaborate on what “dispassionate” means in this context, or link to the article?

As an aside, I’ve just re-read a Terry Pratchett novel and your description of the good engineers’ behavior made me think of Leonardo da Quirm :)


I may be confusing the term with "disinterested curiosity". Wish I could fine the article if only to refer to again. Here's a bit of an explanation that seems to match my understanding of the concept:

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00221546.1943.11...

To my mind that's an engineer whose curiosity is uninvested in the outcome of the exploratory work.

I've known good engineers and great engineers and to some degree, they were all like Leonardo da Quirm, though not all quite as naive.




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