Source: Marginal Revolution, Mar 2019
The list of small-person or one-person innovators is long…[long list follows]…
The reason so few people can have such an outsize impact, Andreessen argues, is that when you’re creating a weird new prototype of an app, the mental castle building is most efficiently done inside one or two isolated brains.
The 10X productivity comes from being in the zone and staying there and from having a remarkable ability to visualize a complex architecture.
“If they’re physical capable of staying awake, they can get really far,” he says. “The limits are awake time. It takes you two hours to get the whole thing loaded into your head, and then you get like 10 or 12 or 14 hours where you can function at that level.” The 10Xers he has known also tend to be “systems thinkers,” insatiably curious about every part of the technology stack, from the way currents flow in computer processors to the latency of touchscreen button presses. “It’s some combination of curiosity, drive, and the need to understand. They find it intolerable if they don’t understand some part of how the system works.”