Our group, The Admin Bar, has 38,355 years of combined experience in the web industry — at least that’s what I came up with using a bit of math and some far-from-scientific polling.
It’s a ludicrous number to think about, isn’t it?
30,000-some-odd years ago, the earth would have been unrecognizable and covered in ice. Unimaginable beasts roaming freely, and they say neanderthals might have been living alongside more modern humans.
But if you stacked every year of experience in The Admin Bar on their end, that’s how far back it would go.
Just Dave Navarro Jr., a laptop, and a sabertooth tiger looking for a decent Wi-Fi signal.
Obviously, this article is light-hearted and not to be taken too seriously. But what I thought was an exercise in wasting time actually turned out to be pretty interesting!
How This Started
A few days back, someone in our group commented about how annoying the “over X years of combined experience” data-points are.
I’m not sure why, but this stuck with me. I was teetering back and forth between it being useless fluff, or possibly a sign of knowledge.
I pondered on this thought a little more inside our weekly newsletter where I talked about how the diversity of experience (people with different backgrounds, point of views, etc.) is likely much more helpful to projects than the total number.
But did I stop there?
Oh, hell no! My time-wasting had only just begun!
What I did
I started a thread in the group with a poll asking people when they started their first agency or freelance career. I gave year options dating back to 1991 all the way through 2021 (yes, some people started less than 2 months ago, and as far back as the birth of the web!).
Obviously, not everyone will take part in the poll (more on this later), but within 24 hours we had 365 responses.
Using the data set I had, I fired up Google Sheets and got to work.
Column A was the “Year Started”.
Column B was the number of people who claimed to start that year.
Column C was the number of years of experience you’d have if you started that year.
Column D multiplied the number of people who started their career in a given year, by the number of years of experience that correlates with that starting point.
While this gave me very accurate numbers for the people who responded, the number of people who responded to the poll is only a fraction of the group… So it was time to extrapolate!
In a separate chart I did some further calculations:
- Total number of poll participants (365)
- Total combined experience (3797)
- Average Experience per participant (10.4)
Because I had a decent sample of data, I figured I could at least get close by taking the average experience per person and multiply it by the total number of people in the group (I know, statistics nerds, I know).
- Number of people in the group (3,690)
- Estimated Total Combined Experience (38,355)
And there it is. 38,355 years of combined experience.
What Else I Learned
A few things jumped out at me as interesting as I stared in amazement at my little spreadsheet.
Seeing is Believing
This nifty little chart will give you a better visualization of the data I collected:
First, which I already mentioned, the average person in our group has over 10 years of experience in the web industry.
Why I found this interesting is that, on average, most people in the group have been at this twice as long as I have.
Grouping The Data
Zach thought it would be interesting to see the data group in 5-year sets. You’re in luck, Zach — I obviously have time to burn!
1-5 Years Experience: 123
6-10 Years Experience: 87
11-15 Years Experience: 70
16-20 Years Experience: 41
21-25 Years Experience: 33
26-30 Years Experience: 10
If we redo the chart with everyone lumped into 5-year groups, it looks a bit different too (but generally follows the same shape):
Total Hours Worked
If we took the 38,355 years of experience and suppose everyone was working 40 hour weeks 48 weeks out of the year (pretty standard in the US) then that experience adds up to a total of 73,641,600 hours worked.
This, of course, begs the question: how many of those 73 million hours were spent waiting on content from clients? I think we know why the dinosaurs went extinct.
The average boot time of a computer is around 30 seconds (obviously much slower during the ice age), which means together we’ve spent over 837 hours waiting on our computer to restart.
Together, we’re rich!
Using our 73 million hours worked figure, it’s safe to say that the people in the group have an economic impact too.
If we charged $50 an hour that comes out to $3,682,080,000 in hourly wages.
At $75/hr it's over 5.5 billion dollars.
What’s even more mind blowing is that fact that Jeff Bezos alone is worth 33 times that!
Make the Logo Bigger
Lets say, on average, each of us got 3 requests per year to “make the logo bigger”. For each of those requests we made the logo 50px wider (on average), then we have increased the size of our clients logo by 79,906 inches at 72dpi. That's over a mile!
What does all this mean?
It means Kyle has too much time, obviously.
But beyond that, it says that with the number of people in our community and those people’s experience, it’s safe to say that if it’s happened, someone in our group has seen it before.
What’s great, is that a majority of the people in the group are happy to share that experience—and do so daily—without asking for anything in return.
Your membership to The Admin Bar grants you access to 38K+ years' worth of experience in your industry. How many people have access to something like that?
I don’t need a bunch of data to tell me that this group is great… But it’s fun to see the math (no matter how shaky it is!) back it up.