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>Most of your examples are commonly used phrases.

Yes, and "10x" is itself also becoming a commonly used phrase that's getting less tied to the math number 10. This thread's extensive non-quantitative usage from many people is evidence of that. (I'm guessing that in a few decades, the bikeshedding about "10x" will eventually stop and it will be accepted as a non-numerical description like "a million times better")

>We don't hear "10x electrical engineer" or "10x politician".

The "10x" is relatively new compared to "double-down" but it's spreading out to other uses besides "10x programmer":

- "10x manager" : https://www.google.com/search?q=%2210x+manager%22

- "10x author" : https://www.amazon.com/10X-Author-Level-Left-Behind/dp/10841...

- "10x <various_nouns>" : https://www.hugo.team/10x

- "10x" spreading out to company names, etc : https://www.google.com/search?q=10x

- "10x programming language" : yesterday's HN thread comment example

Why do all the above non-mathematical usages keep happening? Probably because "10x" sounds cool. We're witnessing language evolution as it happens.

>Whereas with 10x, it's always 10x. I don't hear people talk about 3x programmers or 20x programmers.

Sometimes people talk about 100x and 1000x and infinityX to try and emphasize extra rare skills etc. Again, interpreting 1000x literally as 10^3 isn't the intended meaning. And to build on your point... the fact that nobody says "9x programmer" or "11x programmer" but almost always "10x" is actually evidence that it's not trying to communicate exact mathematics.




> This thread's extensive non-quantitative usage from many people is evidence of that.

Even putting aside comments like mine complaining about the actual number, this thread's extensive use of 10x to mean as many different things is a good reason to avoid the term altogether. The whole thread is just "10x programmers don't exist because X" and "10x programmers exist because Y", where X and Y are unrelated.

> "10x manager"

All but one of the links in the first page were in the context of SW, or written by people in the SW industry. Many of them explicitly pointed out they derived the phrase from 10x developer.

I cannot count this as an independent use of 10x.

> "10x author"

Written by a tech guy.

> 10x <various_nouns>" : https://www.hugo.team/10x

Written by a guy who started a SW company.

> "10x" spreading out to company names, etc : https://www.google.com/search?q=10x

Sad, but fair enough.

It sounds like 10x is the equivalent of putting 2.0 on everything (and also as meaningless).


>10x to mean as many different things is a good reason to avoid the term altogether. The whole thread is just "10x programmers don't exist because X" and "10x programmers exist because Y", where X and Y are unrelated.

Yes, I understand your complaint here too but the various X-Y meanings isn't really the fault of "10x"... it's caused by any label. Previous comment about that: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=28797871

E.g. the alternative word "expert" or "effective" such as "effective programmer" would cause the same debates:

- I think an effective programmer is one who understand the whole stack from hardware gates to web stack

- No I think a truly effective programmer is one who empowers his team members.

- No an "effective programmer" is really X. No it's Y.

- <... ad infinitum disagreements ... >

It doesn't matter what the word is... "10x", "talented", "expert", "master", etc. There's no consensus definition and yet we haven't tried to eliminate those words.

Generally, I understand that people typically mean "10x" as a synonym for "massively better". (Because nobody who says "10x" has a stopwatch and rigorous academic studies measuring it.) And yes, the counterargument is "10 doesn't really mean anything" ... that's true but the "'massively better'" also doesn't really mean anything -- and yet we can't strike "massively better" from our language so we're back to the same issue.

There is no short label X that "really means" whatever everybody agrees it to mean. That's human language. We muddle onward regardless.


Fyi ... a correction as I've since listened to the book author's background since this thread. (https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=sean+platt+inte...)

>> "10x author"

>Written by a tech guy.

The author of that book, Sean M. Platt, is not a tech guy nor a programmer. He's a high-school dropout that started writing articles and stories. Now, he's mostly a publisher.

The interesting thing is that somehow, the "10x programmer" meme made its way to a non-programmer and he adopted it as "10x author".


> They argued amongst themselves on the pettiest of things that had no impact on the business.


> It sounds like 10x is the equivalent of putting 2.0 on everything (and also as meaningless)

What do you mean by that ? If I write a cooking book titled, "pizza 2.0" everyone in the world will understand what the 2.0 means.


It's 2 the latest version of the book?

Or a new better pizza




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