How Many Gas Stations are in the U.S.?


Inspired by Seth today.

How many gas stations are there in the U. S.?


Seth Godin recently revealed this to be his lone question when interviewing potential job candidates for his first Internet company. Seth was not interested in the answer, but rather the process that the potential candidate would go through in order to answer the question. Seth was seeking candidates who could confidently answer the question when the answer was unknown.

After asking about 400 people this question, Seth Godin was able to easily identify the people he wanted to work with based on their response.


I’ve written before about our need to ask students questions that are Un-Googleable. Now, even though the question Seth asked was very Googleable, he wasn’t looking for the very direct, Googleable answer. (And, Seth asked this question before the days of the search engine.)

We must also ask our students more questions that don’t have a direct answer.

Or have multiple correct answers.

Or cause our students to think…

Or to ask more questions.


Start by asking students this question today:

How many gas stations are there in the U. S.?


Just don’t let students have any resources other than their own brain.

See what they come up with.

Just focus on process.


(Click here for the answer.)

Rich (@RACzyz)

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