The dream team: Hipster, hustler, and a hacker

25 September 2020

Imagine you are pitching your product to a high-profile investor. During the Q&A session, they ask you to present the company’s hipster, hacker, and hustler. Which one would you be?

The startup industry has its deep-rooted glossary. Knowing the inside terms is necessary if your company’s big take-off isn’t an ambition but a reasonable goal for you. On top of that, looking closer into industry-specific jargon has an additional benefit: Behind each of them, you’ll find a well-tested method or advice. The same applies to the tendency of calling specific teammates a hipster, a hacker, or a hustler. They are the building blocks of a successful startup, and you should have them in place in your company.

You’d guess that hacker stands for the programmer, the hipster is the product designer, and a hustler – well, they’re the business people. But, what features make them the dream team, and does your company follow this widespread model?

Hackers go beyond the limits

A hacker is someone who understands the technology bottom-up and top-down. They’re the person who makes the idea of the company a reality. Typically, you’ll find them sitting quietly during the meeting and answering the question of ‘how’ in a couple of sentences that no one understands. This ‘how’ is often an untraditional and scarcely tested way.

Startup in itself desires creativity; It explores a rarely touched space; the team’s main technician is required to have an open mindset to go beyond the limits and hack the system at its finest.

Hipsters disrupt the industry standards

Hipster is a designer by profession, and their main goal is to fill out the space between the product and the user. There are two main priorities for them: product esthetics and ideal user experience.

This is the member of the team who tirelessly searches for the right tones and proper button distribution. They have a good understanding of trends and are always above them. Hipsters are the people who package the product hackers create to make it irresistible for the end-users.

Hustlers keep the party going

The hustler is always oriented on business negotiations, partnerships, and the business model. They are the hyperactive, social extraverts who always find a new goal to conquer. There’s often a misunderstanding between the hustler and the other team members because their main focus is money. And, as unpleasant as it sounds, you need money like air for your company to survive.

The positions of the hipster, hustler, and hacker vary based on the company’s needs. But in any case, they are the building blocks of your company (often in the position of founders and chief executives).

Bill Gates – The wealthiest hacker

Bill Gates is the founder of Microsoft, the leading provider of computer programs. Microsoft holds a monopoly on the market, and when it comes to office programs, no one comes near it. The company was the first mover in the market, and it followed the trend on the first sight of personal computers.

The co-founder of Microsoft, Paul Allen, even published a book about Bill gates in which he tells silly stories from his childhood: Bill was caught in school when he tried to get access to an account that would allow him to use the school’s computers without time limit; When the new semester was starting, he hacked the registration form to get himself in only-girls’ group; Once he was late on a plane, and he hacked the control panel in the airport to stop the plane and get on board. Bill Gates was born a hacker, and he’s done nothing else for the rest of his career.

Jony Ive and a new era in technologies

Apple is the only giant in the tech industry that relies on selling its hardware. This is the company that defied the status quo in the industry and made the competition even more fierce. Simplicity, esthetics, the importance of design – these qualities became the hallmark of Apple, and the guy responsible for them was Jony Ive. He lifted the importance of tech design and, as the hipster of his time, won over the competition easily.

Jony is the guy who made the position of an industrial product designer popular and appealing. Do you know of any other industrial product designer? A lot of people know Jony Ive. His products are found in almost every home, and the main reason for that is their design.

Nobody neglects the importance of design in tech today. That’s all we hear around us every day. If you’re following our news, you’d be well aware of the unicorn companies whose success greatly depended on their designer founders. Jony Ive is the guy who creates this trend. Nowadays, many hardware companies started working on the design, and we see how Microsoft, Google, Samsung, and other providers slowly replace Apple’s products. But, Ive will always stay an icon in the space.

Sheryl Sandberg’s road from Google to Facebook

Sheryl is one of the most influential women in business. Her success story starts with Google, where she spent six years as a sales executive of the company’s ad space. Mark was so impressed with her performance, he ‘stole’ her from Google in 2008 to work in his company as the COO.

This was precisely the period when Facebook needed to shift its focus on revenue increase. In four years, Sheryl increased its revenue from $150 Million to $3.7 Billion, a 2,400% increase.

We already talked about the fact that we see more and more women in the business industry. Sheryl isn’t only a good example of a hustler. Her achievements also indicate that women have a real chance of becoming a figure in the business industry. This has been an important motivation for many, too. Sheryl is actively engaged in helping women find their place on the market, and she even has a company called Lean In that works on this goal.

In this final example, there is another lesson hidden, too: At one of his conferences, Mark Zuckerberg noted that he learned the best strategy for hiring employees:

“Always try to hire a person for whom you’d work for in a parallel universe.”

Zuckerberg stresses the importance of having people stronger and smarter than you in the company. For most, this is a scary thing to do, and that’s what differentiates good companies from great ones. Having Sheryl on board was exactly this type of a move. And, judging by the results, Mark’s advice seems like one we should all account for.

Final thoughts

Hipsters and designers are not the same, just like hackers and developers, and hustlers, and business strategists. If it weren’t so, we wouldn’t have new terms for them. Endless enthusiasm and great respect for the work they do is what allows them to take a sneak peek into the future and start implementing it in the present. The three roles are like puzzle pieces: all of them are different yet highly compatible, and once you put them together, you get the whole picture of the product.

Ana Mikatadze