The Big Tech Way

Francisco Trindade
2 min readAug 10, 2022

When I started in technology, there was a typical quote, ‘no one gets fired for hiring IBM’, to point out that adopting the standard industry approach without thinking could lead to bad results. However, it would still be accepted as a good decision.

Source: https://makeameme.org/meme/company-decided-to

We are now in the ‘nobody gets fired for copying big tech’ moment. Unfortunately, in many discussions in our industry, it doesn’t take long for the argument to be solved by “this is the way one of the MAANG does it”.

Big tech is composed of a handful of companies that are highly successful tech giants. While there is a lot to be learned from these companies, some points are worth remembering:

  • These companies are huge. Any attempt to summarize how they work or how their teams are successful will surely be a significant misrepresentation.
  • Big tech companies are still big because of innovations created 15 years ago, not because of how efficient they are now at delivering software or new products to customers.
  • Companies with twenty thousand engineers have needs that are incredibly different from anyone else in the industry. For example, recruitment, when you need to hire thousands of engineers annually, should differ from all other tech companies that recruit less than 1% of that.
  • The efficiency needs of a product team with its funding attached to a vast independent and stable revenue stream are different from most other companies, where results will impact the business in the short term.

In other words, they are very likely running a different race than you. Next time this argument is used to justify a decision in your 10x smaller company, remember that this is a good reason to question the decision in the first place.

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Francisco Trindade

Born in Brazil. Living in NY. Engineering at Braze. Previously MealPal, Meetup, Yourgrocer.com.au (co-founder) and ThoughtWorks.