Copy of Snippet "Platform PRD"


Thank you again for the time spent with our team last week. We are excited to have you move to this final round interview. I’ve shared your availability with my coordination team for the 45 minute silent reading and Q&A portion. 

Below you will find the instructions for the PRD. Let me know what questions you have!


At Square we are fortunate to have candidates like you that are engaged and passionate about product management. We'd like you to step into the driver's seat for the next step in our process. This written exercise is an opportunity for you to demonstrate your product know-how and communication skills. 

As Square seeks to attract more upmarket Sellers to its products, we’re hearing that they want help to better train their new employees and to help them learn on the job. Part of their hiring criteria is to be able to access this training material within existing corporate systems as well as Square products, and to customize portions of it with their own corporate policies (return windows, branding, refund policies, loss prevention, etc.).

Assume you:

  • There is an existing training product that we're looking to add a platform component to it. There's some existing docs/resources, but they're all built around the assumption of only being used by 1st party products.
  • Have a team of 10 engineers - you can decide how to resource them (server, iOS, Android, Web)
  • Can re-use an existing pre-built API framework and documentation site to expose any APIs or SDKs (
  • Will need to make an ROI base case for any paid marketing spend

Based on the prompt above, we’d like you to write a lightweight (2-3 page) Product Requirements Document (PRD) for the first version of the Square Training API platform that you would build.  

During your 45 minute live presentation call, this PRD will be reviewed by a group of 3-4 Squares representing engineering, product, a business partner, or potentially data stakeholders. The group will spend the first 15-20 minutes silently reading through your PRD doc and adding comments. During the second 20-25 minutes, the group will ask you questions about the document and your approach.

Please make sure to include the following in your PRD, but do not feel obligated to structure the document this way:
  • Customer Empathy - Describe your customer(s), their needs, and what they value. It’s OK and expected for you to provide some assumptions here, describe how you would test or validate these assumptions.
  • Problem Definition - Explain the problem you’re solving, its value, and how it fits into your strategy.
  • Solution - Discuss the Square Training API platform you would build to address that problem.  Be sure to include any technical challenges that you may have to overcome, and any user interfaces to build/modify.
    • Include a “rough draft” of the API spec you think might meet the need to kick off the API design process with your engineering team. It shouldn’t be perfect and polished, but a conversation starting point, and something that can show off how use cases you’ve identified can be met.
  • Execution - Explain how you would plan the work. Where would you start? How would you plan and utilize resources? How would you test if Square Training is a valuable product / feature?
  • Measurement - Explain how you would measure success for this initial version and how that might inform future iterations.

Things to keep in mind:
  • Inclusive - Consider various sources that could help you identify and validate your initial product scope. Our PMs rely on many different inputs to drive their decisions. 
  • Cross-functional teams - Consider and outline what cross-functional partner teams (ex. Customer Support) you would want to collaborate with to make your work a success.
  • Audience - You should consider your audience to be your product lead, analyst , engineering manager, or other cross functional partners, etc. 
  • Defensible - During the Q&A session, the panel of 3-4 Squares will ask you about the decisions you made in your document. Try to think about the obvious questions and either incorporate them into your doc or have a perspective on them.
Group silent reading and commenting on docs is a very common practice in the Square product org. Make sure this doc is a shared Google Doc, and give me and [hiring manager] access to it at least 1 hour before your assigned time. With the doc earlier, we should be able to complete the silent reading portion faster :) 

If you have any questions about the above prompt, please don't hesitate to respond to this thread and [hiring manager] can chime in to make sure that you feel aligned. Be on the lookout for the confirmation email shortly.