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If someone said to you, “Steve Jobs was a purple person,” you would probably look at them like they were crazy. Saying somebody is “purple” or talking about purple people is just another way of describing people who have a mind for business and technology. They are a combination of “red” people, who are technologically-minded, and “blue” people, who are business-minded. Having purple people in your business is more than just convenient; in today’s tech-based world, where technology is starting to outpace a human’s ability to keep up, having purple people is essential.

That agility to keep up with technology and make it work for business is crucial to success. It will only become more critical as technology advances. They can also act as a bridge between the red people and the blue people, translating for each side. They often end up being leaders of a company because of their expansive knowledge, which is good because purple people often hire other purple people. Furthermore, red and blue people often distrust and disrespect each other because they don’t comprehend the importance of the other’s position and all the hard work they must do to keep the business running. Purple people understand both sides, so they don’t have that problem.

Though the idea of purple people was initially developed to describe intermediaries between tech people and business people, they play an essential role in the world of cognitive technology. They are the people who step up to help create and modify cognitive systems within organizations. They are proof of the idea that humans can augment such systems and not just be automated by them. Other people may do the legwork of coding such systems. Still, purple people have the mind for technology to oversee these projects and the mind for business to make the systems work for the organization.

Because purple people have a wide range of knowledge, they play a wide range of roles: translator, intermediary, leader, and creator. In today’s world with fast growing technology, a business can’t afford to not hire purple people. This is because they play a crucial role in any successful business, especially in the realm of cognitive technology.