10x engineers exist.
But they're not the type of engineer that you might have just thought of.
10x engineers aren't the "rockstar" engineer that is slinging out hype prototypes and big refactors completely solo.
10x engineers aren't the engineer who's always "in the room" when it comes to making important decisions.
10x engineers aren't the engineer who boasts the biggest TC or the fastest promotions or the most prestigious pedigree.
At least, they're not required to be.
The honest truth is that people can only really give 1x. But different situations and environments can make their output far less that 1.
10x engineers are the people who ensure that the 10 people around them get to work at 1x as often as possible. Or who give the 8.33 people around the leverage to output 1.2x what they were before.
10x engineers are the mentors who level up everyone around them. They're the simplifiers who remove barriers-to-entry. They're the teammates that make time to pair up or review your code. They're the team lead with the gentle reminder to get enough rest over the weekend to able to give 100% come Monday.
10x engineers are the ones who care an inordinate amount that everyone else gets to do their job with a minimum of toil and pain.
In short: they're the team players.
That's who you should be hiring.