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Even if the 10x engineer were to exist, assuming a normal distribution, they would be extremely rare and highly sought after. To optimise your business around hiring such a precious unicorn would seem like a very foolhardy strategy. For one, simple probability suggests that you probably won't find one. And if you were to find one, could you be certain that it were a real unicorn rather than a horse with a plastic cone stuck to its forehead? And even then, what happens to the business you've built around it when your prized unicorn is stolen or passes away?

There are probably no 10x engineers, but I'm quite sure there are 10x teams. Better to focus on growing one of those than chasing a fairy tale.




YES. What the 10X myth hurt most is probably hiring practices.


The thing that always got me is that even if they do exist, the candidate selection methods are, at best, a very unreliable way to identify them.

Still, it really fed into the "only hire the absolute best" mythos that has spread in countless other harmful ways. Consider the aphorism "A players hire A players, B players hire C players".

The general message of all of it has always been: "You must hire the very best, even one merely good employee will poison the well and ruin everything".

Yet hiring practices are, as I said already, imprecise... which creates all sorts of bizarre behavior in the attempt to snag the "very best".


Yes, "only hire the best" hurts everyone. What they should have been doing is hiring more and firing more. At least you'd have a better idea of how well a person does in the context of your environment.


i suppose this is what a probation period is.


If you're not a 10x and assuming one exists, do you really have the expertise to tell that he is 10x?


yes, if you are reasonably trained enough in the field. I m sure i am not a 10x, but i have met those who are.


May not be normally distributed, but follow a power law (fatter tail)


10x was originally (man month book) the distance between extremes, not between the average and one extreme.




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