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IAM 250: The long tail of strategists

by Andrew Watson on 15 September 2009


So it’s no surprise just by looking at the map of the IAM 250 list of IP strategists that the US leads the list for strategists-by-country. It’s a big place, a leading global economy, and one that has made IP and innovation a priority.

But it’s not clear just how much the US leads the league tables on sheer number of listed IP strategists from the map – so I made a graph:


The US leads with 195 of the listings, or 76%, with a more than comfortable lead over it’s closest competitor – the United Kingdom – at 16 listings and about 6%. With 19 countries represented, there is definitely a long tail of IP strategists, with the short head being the US.

Europe’s role

In terms of Europe, this fits with Benoit and David’s observation in their earlier post about the IP ecosystem in Europe:

IP generation [in Europe] is thus not an issue, whereas utilisation most definitely is. Traditionally, European organisations will utilise the IP they have generated either by making products based on that IP or else by licensing that IP to another party, or a combination of the two. Beyond that, other notions of utilisation are scant,

IP strategists and related IP services are about the utilisation of IP, and thus it makes sense that less utilisation (at least when compared to the level in the US) would produce less listed strategists. Benoit and David’s chart of the IP ecosystem is worth reviewing again in this context.


IAM 250: world interactive map

by Andrew Watson on 8 September 2009


In our last post I developed some word clouds of out of the firms and professional associations out of the data in the IAM 250 listing of the world’s leading IP strategists that Joff and co. kindly set me up with. Next up, I’ve turned all of the world’s leading IP strategists as ranked by IAM into an interactive world map.

The full map has its own page on the blog at:
(it’s easier to use with a larger space)

You can choose the opacity and map data source (including my friends at Open Street Map) up in the top right corner. Along the side, you can scroll through all the IP strategists in alpha-by-first-name order to find them on the map. Each listing has their name and location and firm name, and for those that went for a full listing in the IAM 250 guide, I also had website URL data that has been added (if anyone feels like handcranking the remaining 170 or so URLs, just let me know and I’ll update the map).


Many of the IAM 250 cluster in certain areas such as the US and Europe, (Africa and South America are a little lonely) but the full extent of the clusters in the cities and regions are only really obvious when you zoom all the way in.

Take California for example:


Northern California is clearly a hotbed of activity with lots of people listed, but of course you’d expect that with Silicon Valley and the start up scene there.

If you zoom in to the Bay Area, you get lots more detail:


IP strategists like the peninsula, which having spent some time in Menlo Park, I can see why.

For those interested, the process involved first cleaning up the address data into a good format to use for geocoding. I then used the great tools at GPS Visualizer to geocode all the addresses, which in turn generates a set of Lat/Longs for each address. About 20% of them geocoded to the wrong address either because of international address formatting errors, differences in English spelling of foreign place names, or just needed tweaks on the data (Talal Abu-Ghazaleh is not in this Cairo for example). Add in some more tools at GPS Visualizer and hand editing the code with TextMate to add in HTML for the URL tags and add it to the map and voila – IAM 250 as an interactive map.

More thoughts and bar charts in a future post.

Thanks again to Joff and Gavin and the rest of the team at IAM for both producing the list and granting me access to their data. The data and IAM 250 listing is the copyright / database rights of IAM, with the geo data and map tools credits on the actual map. Screenshots of Google Maps used with permission. Special thanks to GPS Visualizer for making the tools available to help put this together.

What do you think?