The social media industry has been growing throughout the 21st century as millions of people around the world look to show their friends and family more about their lives than ever before. One of the areas that may often seem mysterious is how the social media companies of the world who are competing in an ever more crowded market can achieve success in their own right; many groups like Facebook and Google now look back to the 1970s for their business inspiration by asking the question “how might we?”.
The origins of the “how might we” question date back to the 1970s and the Procter & Gamble company when their market share of the bar soap market was being eroded by the arrival of the “Irish Spring” brand. Six months of toil had led to low morale among the team given the task of taking on the “Irish Spring” conundrum until the approach to the problem was given a fresh outlook; there is not a single question asked in the “how might we?” approach, but instead a series of questions are asked to obtain a new way of looking at a problem. In the Procter & Gamble problem it was decided looking to regain a higher market share was not the correct way of looking at the issue, which was solved by asking “how might we make people feel more refreshed?”
Experts believe a large amount of money is lost by social media developers over the years as they ask the wrong questions, including how do we solve a specific social media problem without stopping and thinking about our aims. Social media companies are now altering their business models to include more discussion time for product and service development that includes asking “how might we?”, according to Business Insider.