It has become somewhat fashionable for entrepreneurs to ask questions like “What would Google do?” or “What would Facebook do?”. After all, Google and Facebook are among the most successful companies on this planet. Furthermore what their founders did to reach this stage were legendary. Thus entrepreneurs seeking to emulate their successes could put themselves in the shoes of Mark Zuckerberg or Larry Page. By asking questions like “What would Google do?”, the entrepreneurs could try to solve a startup problem by looking at it from a different perspective.
Whether looking at the problem through the eyes of Zuckerberg or Page would bring about the desired solution is debatable. However there are significant merits at looking at problems from a third party perspective.
Most of the time, we spend our lives looking at things from our own perspective. For instance in deciding what to take for lunch, we consider what suits our palate. If you happen to be on a diet, it may help if in deciding your lunch choice, you ask yourself the question “What would someone on a diet eat for lunch?”. Alternatively you may know someone who is slim and is careful with what he or she eats. You could then ask yourself what this person would eat for lunch.
Suppose you are a would be entrepreneur thinking of a business idea for a startup. So far you have several ideas based on your own perspective or that of your partners. However these ideas tend to orientate around the world of you and your partners. Suppose you and your partners are millennials. However your business ideas are targeted at those in Generation Z. In deciding on the various options for a startup, it may help to ask the question “What would those in Gen Z do?” Gen Z generally refers to those born in the 1990s to the early 2000s. Thus these individuals are in their late teens to the twenties today.
By asking s simple question like “What would those in Generation Z do?”, you force yourself to consider whether another person in a different age group would like your idea. Take the world of fashion for instance, what might be fashionable to a millennial may not be so for those in Gen Z and vice versa. Thus by asking the right question, you change the perspective to that of your potential customers. After all, these are the people who eventually decide whether to purchase your products or services.
Taking a third party view of things could be a powerful tool for coming up with solutions to problems. The brain works differently when we look at things from our own perspective and when we look at things from another person’s point of view.
Of course you could ask “What would those in Gen Z do”. Hoiwever if you know someone in Gen Z, you could refine the question to “What would this person do”. For some, this refined approach could be easier to imagine that a group of generic Gen Z individuals.