The influence ranking for the Tyto Tech 500 Power List is determined based upon a combined score of an individual’s influence across social media, events, traditional media and their blog. Having the resources to get involved in these different areas are the table stakes required to be considered as part of our ranking. Therefore, it would be silly to say that access to resources doesn’t matter. You need a minimum level of resources to get involved. However, what is clear from our report is that access to resources alone is not a guaranteed path to influence. If you have the resources to get involved and you use them well, individuals can significantly outperform peers in the technology industry with the right approach.
Consider the fact that Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google have only three people represented in the Tech 500. One of these is occupied by Facebook’s Nicola Mendelsohn and is in the top 100. Google holds the remaining two, both sitting outside of the top 100. That means that Apple, Amazon and Netflix have no UK representatives in Tyto’s Tech 500 Power List. No one would argue that they don’t have access to the necessary resources to support members of their team to be individually influential.
When we look at the Tech 100, 20% of the list are employed and backed by either a large corporate employer, a major media brand (e.g. the BBC) or are in some way employed by Government or Parliament. On the other hand, 80% of our Tech 100 do not have a substantial backer.
Digging deeper we found that there are only 13 members of the FTSE 100 with representatives in the Tech 500. These are Barclays, BT, Diageo, HSBC, Just Eat, Lloyds Bank, Morrisons, Ocado, Prudential, Sage (with two representatives including the former CEO Stephen Kelly), Rightmove, Sainsburys and Unilever. Excluding the former Sage CEO, there isn’t one FTSE 100 representative in the Tech 100. Read Zoe’s blog to see how the FinTech sector is seeing more influencer from challenger banks, such as Starling, than industry stalwarts.
What does this all tell us?
It tells us that the size of your marketing and public relations budget does not hold the most significant sway on whether you can build a prominent position of influence. Quite the contrary it highlights that individuals that are committed, purposeful and have interesting things to say, can build positions of influence that are disproportionate to their resources to further their personal and professional agendas. Intellectual resources, ideas, and passion seem to be far more critical factors. In reverse, this analysis tells us is that there are lots of companies with considerable resources that appear to struggle with helping their representatives develop individual positions of influence.
When evaluating what it takes to get placed in the Tech 500, it should be noted that the bar is rising. Even if individuals manage to achieve the same level of influence over the next 12 months as this year’s Tech 500 there’s no guarantee they will place the same way. The reason for this is that the bar is rising. Now in its second year, the Tech 500 in 2018 collectively had an average influence score which was 45% higher than 2017’s Tech 500. This was less pronounced in the Tech 10 (average influence score up 4%), the Tech 50 (average influence score up 11%) and the Tech 100 (average influence score up 15%). This suggests that those at the top are operating at the upper limits of what is possible, while across the broader group there is a lot of room for improvement and individuals are working very hard to improve their influence.
In conclusion, what this year’s report shows is that as long as you have enough resources to enter the game, the size of the resources you can draw upon is not the primary determinant of success and your ranking. Instead, the game of influence is about how you best use the resources you have. Those already savvy enough to work on their influence are putting serious energy into raising their influence game making it considerably tougher for new entrants to break into the Tyto Tech 500 Power List should they sustain their performance.