Good thread on Product Engineers. Over time I’ve learned engineers can be motivated by different things: - Hard problems - Performance/scalability - Elegant code or system design - Deeply understanding their craft All are valuable but very different than Product Engineers.

When a startup is tiny they need everyone to wear multiple hats and the “product engineer” role is most crucial IMO. Over time specialization is necessary and the hard/important thing is good collaboration cross-functionally.

But still, working with engineers that are especially laser focused on delivering user-facing product / customer value is special.

Why is it hard to have/hire true Product Engineers past the early startup phase? One big reason is that technical complexity, design quality, and also "risk of shipping the wrong thing" all increase as a company grows.

Even just taking technical complexity, the larger the company, the less likely any one engineer will be capable of creating an entire user-facing feature independently in high-quality way.