Yet another post on the 70-30 rule...

Last year in July about a year ago to the day I wrote a blog post about the 70-30 rule. The idea that this ought to replace the out of date 80-20 rule. You can check that blog out here. This blog was all about the idea you can get to 70% of an idea and release it all on your own pretty much... so nothing except you preventing the idea from being birthed.

The second blog post was the realisation looking back on my school days that to go from middle of the road Mr. Average 70% to 80% and beyond required such a herculean effort that I wasn't prepared to make that sacrifice. You can read that blog here.

The reason why I am revisiting this particular topic for a 3rd time is because of the numbers once more...

Your personal community (network) 

Us humans are a pretty sociable bunch but to be honest there is a real limit of how many people we can have in our trusted networks. This is because to get to trust someone we need to spend time with them and really get to know them. What with all the other things we have going on we just only have a limited amount of time to spend in this way... 

It hasn't ever been any different. In the older times 150 people was what was required to create a self sufficient community. Enough diversity exists in 150 people to be able to do all that is needed... everyone is required to do something, everyone has a place, self worth naturally exists, and everyone is a important and valuable member of the community.

Now if we take the first blog post I mentioned above it talks about an idea ... 1 person... initial improvement with a further 5 people, the idea is further enhanced to 90% with the support of an additional 25 people... and 100% can be achieved by engaging a further 125. Each occasion we have more brain power working on the idea. So if we add all those numbers up we get to 156 people. Wow... almost the optimum size of a community... is that a coincidence?

Then... let's look at it from another angle... it's a known fact that humans work best with no more than 5 other people. So we start with ourselves... then 5 people we love working with or having in our community... they in turn each have 5... then one more level those 5 each have 5... so thats 1, 5, 25, 125 ... 4 levels down and we have 156 people... In this structure. No one person is directly connected with more than 5 and yet together we can have the rich diversity of the community. Through our connections we can then easily get to meet and know these 155 other people in the community.

Young People are doing this on WhatsApp

As the generations change the way they use technology we have seen the younger folk moving away from the over connected platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google. For this generation there is just way too much noise... perhaps sometimes they pop over there just to confirm why they aren't using it.

This group prefer the rather more intimate space of WhatsApp and Snapchat. Interestingly these kinds of applications are linked to the phone number directly. You are not logging into a huge platform to use the tools such as facebook. These messenging applications provide a less noisy, less intrusive, direct communication mechanism where pretty much all the correspondence is relevant and there is hardly any superfluous noise.

In essence this group are building their tribe, community (150+ connections) electronically within these messenging apps... they are doing what we did... but and this is the interesting thing...

Network Collision

When I was growing up... there were a number of networks that I had... School, where I lived (4 miles from school and those kids went to different schools), Table tennis, Scouts, Extended Family, and the community around my Saturday job... but zero online communities.

Each of the communities above were separate. There was no real way for these communities to collide and they didn't very often. Today everyone is on Facebook. It is in essence a new telephone directory with everyone in it sharing their life to varying degrees. But everyone can easily transcend the boundaries of the different networks. Today on such platforms there is pretty much transparency and few boundaries to inter community migration... I find that quite interesting. It is a double edged sword though... transparency and authenticity is on the rise... but it can be catastrophic too with nowhere to hide!

The younger generation have found ways to re-install these boundaries. They don't really play the game on facebook. Sharing minuscule levels of detail compared to the middle age upwards group; who see it as a huge opportunity to meet new people and connect. The younger generation build their 'separate' networks inside groups on WhatsApp, Snapchat, Viber, Instagram, Messenger or other message platforms. Here it is possible to keep networks apart.

Large Networks are useful resources, but a small network is where the magic is

We are all grateful for the connectivity that Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Twitter and other online platforms affords us. Today the simplest way to introduce someone is using these platforms. It saves lots of repetitive conversation time and we all do our own 'data' maintenance. It's easy to connect into groups and to start to grow a tribe...

It is once the like minded have gathered... or the community has assembled into a smaller group that the magic really happens... that's when we start to form those all important trusted connections.


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