Should You Hire a 10x Employee?

Pros & Cons of Hiring Superstar Employees

Meet Martin

In the mid 1990s I took a job at a growing startup. The delineation of talent at the office was pretty clear: Four partners (President, VP/Technology, VP/Sales, VP/Marketing) and four employees (Video producer, Graphic Designer, and two Application Developers).

Then there was Martin.

Martin didn’t work at the home office in Boston, he worked somewhere near the mountains of Utah. For the first few months I only heard rumors of who he was and what he did. I heard he lived in an impossibly small apartment, slept on a small mattress on the floor, and owned only a handful of personal items.

I heard he never cooked for himself, and legend had it no matter which restaurant he would go to, he would refuse to even look at a menu, instead telling the waiter to “Bring me whatever is good.” I heard his “vacations” involved flying to Washington, DC and attending random government hearings that were open to the public for hours on end. I heard he was often cranky and difficult to work with.

But one thing was apparently never in dispute about Martin: He was a wildly brilliant computer programmer.



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