Finding and keeping superlative talent

How does a company find and keep superlative developers? What are the motivators that superlative developers are looking for?

I’ve seen this misunderstood by people so many times.

The primary motivator for superlative developers is mission — purpose.

We are doing what we are doing because we believe in it.

A developer’s primary purpose is to solve a problem by delivering a utility for humanity to consume. That is what being a developer is all about.

The “why” of an endeavor is tremendously powerful and is the most important thing for your company. It is the soul of your company. People will stick with you through thin times if the “why” is clear.

It doesn’t matter how much money and compensation your company can offer, those aren’t the primary motivators for superlative talent.

If you cannot explain why your company exist then do not expect to find and keep superlative talent. Ever.