Close this search box.

25 People

In the 1990s, a man named Dunbar suggested a correlation between primate brain size and social group size. Without litigating his research, he proposed that we humans can comfortably maintain between 100 and 200 social relationships. Ever after, this has been referred to as “Dunbar’s Number.” Many people split the difference and call it 150.

Fifty years later, we find ourselves in a world where we think about followers, not friends, likes and not true appreciation. By Dunbar’s criteria, I wonder if most of us manage even 50 real relationships.

Which brings me to “Hoffberg’s Number.”

At any point in time, I think there are no more than 25 people who will make the biggest difference in how your future unfolds. Think of this curated list of relationships as a portfolio of venture investments. Out of those 25 . . .

1 – 2 will be directly or indirectly responsible for 50% or more of your earnings.

3 – 5 will turn into great clients and colleagues.

8 – 10 will be worth knowing.

5 – 10 will cycle away, hopefully still part of your Dunbar number but replaced by someone else in your 25.

We’re not fortune tellers. We can guess who will fall into each of these buckets, but we can’t say for sure until time passes. That’s why it’s 25 and not two.

The part that is in our control is the compassion, care, and connection we show those 25 people. That’s an investment worth making.

Invest in your 25.