Rick Kitagawa’s blog halloween illustration of a scary version of the author

Unicorns and Coelacanths

When hiring, we often look for unicorns – mythical employees who can do it all.

But the problem with unicorns is that unicorns don’t exist. They’re fictional horned creatures that have never existed except in our imaginations and the world of Lisa Frank.  

Perhaps we should be hiring coelacanths instead.  

Coelacanths are an ancient fish that was thought to have gone extinct 66 million years ago, but surfaced in the late 1930’s. They’re super rare and extremely unique, with a tubular-shaped heart, a fused kidney, and other strange unique features.  

You could call them super valuable, as the sequencing of their genome allowed scientists to more deeply understand the transition between aquatic and terrestrial vertebrates, a crucial part of evolutionary science.  They also can’t fly or shoot laser beams out of their eyes, but they’re super steady creatures (living to 60) and have the resilience to survive for millions of years. They’re also not fictional creatures and really exist.

Coelacanths are rare, unique, and valuable.

So instead of looking for unicorns, I encourage you to figure out what a coelacanth looks like to you and go hire them. 

PS – Today marks the first day of October, so get ready for a month of Halloween-themed posts.

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