The most difficult role from my perspective is that of a product manager(maker), and here is my experience on hiring the ideal product makers.

In my experience, the best product makers are 10x smarter, faster & articulate than the average, are typically experienced in small teams/companies where they had clear accountability for their success, and lots of opportunities to learn from their failures. its seems a bit unconventional and time consuming to search based on this criteria as opposed to university, bigCo, … but in my experience once we get someone in they quickly justify all the effort to recruit them.

The best candidates had led from concept to product at smaller size companies/teams( sometimes their own) which gave them deep experience to rapidly identify anomalies/opportunities, and confidence to make unconventional decisions that are often needed for great products. They typically stood on top of a mountain of work.

They would then be able to communicate precisely & consistently to ensure alignment and rapid execution. Clear thinking and communication is the cornerstone of building a great product.

Another post for another day is to outline the system for figuring out the average, below average and 10x product maker.