TIE is an acronym for Tech, Innovators, and Entrepreneurs.
Many posts I’ve written have mentioned the TIME community (tech, innovators, makers, entrepreneurs). In addition to the TIE member types, TIME includes makers. The reason this posts is only discussing the TIE demographic is because some makers are not strongly focused on innovation. Those makers are fine using traditional methods, materials, and equipment to “make” traditional products. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. This post just doesn’t apply to them.
Other makers love innovative technologies, like 3D printing or microelectronics. This post does apply to many of those types of makers. And they are covered by tech and innovation, even if entrepreneurism is not of high interest to them.
Connecting The TIE Community
An email conversation I had last week discussed software patents, technology innovation, and the TIE community in NE Wisconsin. Part of our discussion related to building more connections between people in this region who are highly interested in tech innovations, emerging technologies and entrepreneurism related to those topics.
Our email discussion didn’t get into specifics of exactly what types of people would fit into the innovation community we were thinking about. Today I decided to put my thoughts on cyber-paper to help organize those thoughts. It’s also a way to continue the conversation, and, I hope, move it closer to action. That action being to start connecting more people in the TIE community.
Size Of NE Wisconsin TIE Community
One of the ways to help build a community, as I’ve mentioned before, is to have various types of community events. When thinking about or organizing those events, one of the pieces of information that’s helpful is how many people might be involved in the events. Coming up with an estimated audience, or total number of potential participants, for the TIE events does two things.
- Gives the core organizing team a feel for venue sizes, event budgets, communications needed, etc.
- Gives potential community and event supporters (partners and sponsors) a feel for how much support is needed and how big an impact a strong TIE community might make.
The population used below for NE Wisconsin is a recent and probably accurate number. Percentages I used to convert total regional population into the size of the TIE community are strictly estimates. If and when we work to connect the TIE community and have a significant number of events, we’ll find out how accurate the percentages below are.
TIE Community Numbers
- 1,200,000 = population of the 18 counties of NE Wisconsin (The New North region)
- 840,000 = target age, people 13 – 80 yrs old, in relatively good health (15% under 13, 15% over 80, or over 60 and in poor health)
- 588,000 = people who will hear about TIE community if well publicized and promoted (70% of target age)
- 11,760 = people who would say they’re very interested in TIE activities (2% of people who are target age and hear about TIE community)
- 5,880 = people who will actually get involved with community (50% who indicated interest will be too busy or have other reasons not to participate)
Based on my 10+ years of organizing events and projects, I’ve developed a 1 / 9 / 90 rule for medium and large groups (more than 20 people). I’ve also seen similar numbers applied to levels of participation in areas other than events wrangling. From my perspective, 1 / 9 / 90 means that the 5880 (NE Wisconsin people I estimated will get involved to some degree in the TIE community) will include:
- 59 potential leaders and initiators of events, projects, ventures, startups.
- 529 active and contributing community members.
- 5,292 potential participants for selected TIE events, but not generally active TIE community members.
Of the 5,880, 50 to 150 people (~ 1% – 3%) will want to actively discuss, work on, and facilitate disruptive and destructive innovation with goals of delivering 10 – 20X improvement rather than 10 – 20% incremental improvement.
My view of disruptive innovation as being 10X – 20X improvement or change, comes from (my incomplete understanding of):
- Schumpeter’s creative destruction and entrepreneurial swarming.
- Christensen’s innovator’s dilemma.
- Kevin Kelly’s technium, described in What Technology Wants.
- Steve Jobs 10X principle (my imperfect memory says I first got that from Jobs, although it could have come from reading about Larry Page or some other tech entrepreneurial leader).
There you have it. An estimated six thousand people in NE Wisconsin who have a reasonable chance of getting involved in disruptive innovation in the next few years. And over five hundred people who have a very high probability of being active in broad-focus innovation events in the region. It seems a worthwhile number of people to connect from an events wrangler’s point of view and from a supporter’s point of view.