Shmulik Fishman is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Argyle, the leading employment data platform that provides companies access to user-permissioned records in real-time.

Shmulik Fishman

Mr. Irrelevant


In 2022, the 49ers selected Brock Purdy as the 262nd pick in the NFL draft as their third-string quarterback. For the uninitiated, that’s dead last. Mr. Purdy will earn $870,000 for the 2023 season, making him the lowest-paid quarterback in the NFL. Compare that with household names like Joe Burrow ($55M), Patrick Mahomes ($53M), and Lamar Jackson ($52M). Brock was Mr. Irrelevant.

By a stroke of luck, Brock Purdy was substituted into a game in December of 2022. He was going up against Tom Brady. Purdy won that game. Since taking over for the 49ers, Brock Purdy has a 16-4 record. No one bet on the intangibles. It turns out that he has the ability to see the field and has an intuitive understanding of where the football needs to go. Translation: he is exceptionally good at his job.

There are Mr. Irrelevants among us. The Brock Purdy kind. They are hiding in between the highest-paid personnel on your team. These A players are not receiving publicity, accolades, or praise. Instead, they are hard at work, waiting for their shot to show their greatness and surpass expectations. Both on the field and in the office, we are not allowing enough opportunistic moments for these players to emerge. Let’s fix that by increasing our underdogs’ at-bats.

Could Mr. Irrelevant win the entire thing this year? Sure. But that’s not the point. At the age of 24, he has a Super Bowl win in his future. Who would have guessed? The people who work harder than anyone else can also be the best.