Purple Squirrels and Other Lies


Purple Squirrel (n) used by recruiters to describe a job candidate with precisely the right education, experience, and qualifications to fit a job’s multifaceted requirements. “Your perfect candidate is as rare as a purple squirrel”.

In recent years, title inflation has exploded. We’ve seen new definitions for old titles and many new titles have been created. In product management, we’ve got product managers, product marketing managers, product owners, program managers, product strategists, product line managers, portfolio managers, and more. The more prescriptive your requirements, the less likely you are going to find the perfect person. The same applies across every function in an organization.

Steve explains why you should reconsider the areas of expertise needed to build a successful team. Identify contributors with a more limited skill set, but with specific strengths. Adapting processes to the strengths of your team can be a better approach to scaling a startup or optimizing an existing business. Six types of expertise are necessary for a well-rounded product team. They are rarely found in a single person but that doesn’t matter.

(PS. They are: Business, Market, Technology, Domain, Process, and Operations.)