Douglas Edwards was employee number 59 at Google. In a recent Wall Street Journal piece, he provides an excerpt from his book I’m Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59.
The excerpt is interesting throughout, but my favourite part of the piece is the Edwards’ recounting of the so-called “hard question” given by Sergey Brin during an interview:
“I’m going to give you five minutes,” he told me. “When I come back, I want you to explain to me something complicated that I don’t already know.” He then rolled out of the room toward the snack area. I looked at Cindy. “He’s very curious about everything,” she told me. “You can talk about a hobby, something technical, whatever you want. Just make sure it’s something you really understand well.”
The author of the piece talked about the general theory of marketing. What would I say in the same position? Three items come to mind:
- The purpose of the polymerase chain reaction and the relevant steps.
- Cauchy’s integral formula and why it’s useful in complex analysis.
- The investment strategy known as the strangle.
What would you talk about if you had five minutes? Sound off in the comments.