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3

"At any given moment" - How to get there?

Hi everybody,

I have a question regarding guesstimations that ask for a number "at any given moment" or "right now".

Examples include: "How many people are airborne in the US at any given moment?", "How many people wear a suit in NYC right now?"

I don't really get what these qualifiers actually mean and how I get there.

I hope someone could enlighten me!

Hi everybody,

I have a question regarding guesstimations that ask for a number "at any given moment" or "right now".

Examples include: "How many people are airborne in the US at any given moment?", "How many people wear a suit in NYC right now?"

I don't really get what these qualifiers actually mean and how I get there.

I hope someone could enlighten me!

3 answers

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Best Answer

Those questions are nothing more than standard market sizing questions. The reasoning that you need to use is similar to the one you'll use to estimate a market size.

For example to determine how many new-yorkers are wearing a suit at this moment

1) Estimate how many people are in new-york (you can at first consider how many people live in new-york, then consider people commuting to new-york either on a daily basis or for less regular travel). You can split that number into age category (less than 20 y.o, between 20 and 40, etc.)

2) Estimate for each category how many wear a suit and how often (you can for instance use a per weekdays basis). For that you need to find the reason to wear a suit (for a job, for a job interview, for a wedding, for a funeral, etc.) for each segment you need to estimate the frequency of wearing a suit. For instance people below 20 would rarely wear a suit so you can make the approximation that 0% of that age group would wear a suit. Same for people above 60.

3) use your per weekdays number and divide it by 5


At each step you need to do three things:

1) suggest the number you'll use and justify it (for instance i'm in the age group 20-40 and among my friends around 15% wear a suit daily).

2) Ask the interviewer if he thinks this estimation is sound and if he has some more precise data available

3) comment your final number and drive the case to the next step (ok now that i have this number i need to consider that so...)

You'll be tested on your reasoning skills (how do you end up with your result, does it make sense) and less on your final number.

If the question is "at any moment" then you need to go one step further and consider for instance two time periods : between 8 a.am and 8 p.m and outside that time frame.

Those questions are nothing more than standard market sizing questions. The reasoning that you need to use is similar to the one you'll use to estimate a market size.

For example to determine how many new-yorkers are wearing a suit at this moment

1) Estimate how many people are in new-york (you can at first consider how many people live in new-york, then consider people commuting to new-york either on a daily basis or for less regular travel). You can split that number into age category (less than 20 y.o, between 20 and 40, etc.)

2) Estimate for each category how many wear a suit and how often (you can for instance use a per weekdays basis). For that you need to find the reason to wear a suit (for a job, for a job interview, for a wedding, for a funeral, etc.) for each segment you need to estimate the frequency of wearing a suit. For instance people below 20 would rarely wear a suit so you can make the approximation that 0% of that age group would wear a suit. Same for people above 60.

3) use your per weekdays number and divide it by 5


At each step you need to do three things:

1) suggest the number you'll use and justify it (for instance i'm in the age group 20-40 and among my friends around 15% wear a suit daily).

2) Ask the interviewer if he thinks this estimation is sound and if he has some more precise data available

3) comment your final number and drive the case to the next step (ok now that i have this number i need to consider that so...)

You'll be tested on your reasoning skills (how do you end up with your result, does it make sense) and less on your final number.

If the question is "at any moment" then you need to go one step further and consider for instance two time periods : between 8 a.am and 8 p.m and outside that time frame.

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Hi there,

This is basically market sizing! You'll have to look around for content + examples, however, you can see below for a screenshot from some of my material.

Remember that there's rarely a "best" answer with market sizing. What's important is that you break down the problem the way it makes sense to you. Importantly, break it down so that the assumptions you make are the ones you're most comfortable in.

For example, do you know all the major brands? Great go with that. Do you understand all the segments of that country's population (either age or wealth or job breakdown)? Go with that. Do you know the total market size of the tourism (or hotel) industry? Then break it down that way.

How to properly do market sizing

Hi there,

This is basically market sizing! You'll have to look around for content + examples, however, you can see below for a screenshot from some of my material.

Remember that there's rarely a "best" answer with market sizing. What's important is that you break down the problem the way it makes sense to you. Importantly, break it down so that the assumptions you make are the ones you're most comfortable in.

For example, do you know all the major brands? Great go with that. Do you understand all the segments of that country's population (either age or wealth or job breakdown)? Go with that. Do you know the total market size of the tourism (or hotel) industry? Then break it down that way.

How to properly do market sizing

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