Alban's Blog

Find people who care

My intuition is that more of Stripe's success, than one would think, is down to the fact that people like beautiful things and for rational reasons.

Because, what does a beautiful thing tell you? It tells you the person who made it really cared, and you can observe some superficial details, but probably they didn’t only care about those and did everything in else in slapdash way.

So, if you care about the infrastructure being holistically good, indexing on the superficial characteristics is not an irrational thing to do.

— Patrick Collison, CEO of Stripe1

It's tempting to hire people who are smart, driven, or have acquired some social proof. But I've long thought that care is the most important trait.

It doesn't matter if somebody is a genius if they aren't interested in the problem they're working on. They'll give up after the first roadblock.

But deeply caring about a problem focuses your attention on it. Care motivates you to push through road-blocks. Care means that you'll keep continuing to refine your answer even after "it's good enough."

So find people who care, even if they aren't as credentialed, smart, or charming. The people who care will outperform their peers 9 times out of 10.

  1. This quote is from a podcast interview, which I highly recommend.