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The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less Paperback – October 19, 1999

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Editorial Reviews


From The 80/20 Principle:

"The 80/20 Principle can and should be used by every intelligent person in their daily life...It can multiply the profitability of corporations and the effectiveness of any organization. It even holds the key to raising the quality and quantity of public services while cutting their cost... The 80/20 Principle asserts that a minority of causes, inputs, or effort usually lead to a majority of the results, outputs, or rewards. Taken literally, for example, 80 percent of what you achieve in your job comes from 20 percent of the time spent. Thus for all practical purposes, four fifths of the effort--a dominant part of it--is largely irrelevant."

To learn how you can tap the hidden potential of the 80/20 principle in your life, read Richard Koch's exciting new book.

From the Hardcover edition.

From the Inside Flap

How anyone can be more effective with less effort by learning how to identify and leverage the 80/20 principle--the well-known, unpublicized secret that 80 percent of all our results in business and in life stem from a mere 20 percent of our efforts.

The 80/20 principle is one of the great secrets of highly effective people and organizations.

Did you know, for example, that 20 percent of customers account for 80 percent of revenues? That 20 percent of our time accounts for 80 percent of the work we accomplish? The 80/20 Principle shows how we can achieve much more with much less effort, time, and resources, simply by identifying and focusing our efforts on the 20 percent that really counts. Although the 80/20 principle has long influenced today's business world, author Richard Koch reveals how the principle works and shows how we can use it in a systematic and practical way to vastly increase our effectiveness, and improve our careers and our companies.

The unspoken corollary to the 80/20 principle is that little of what we spend our time on actually counts. But by concentrating on those things that do, we can unlock the enormous potential of the magic 20 percent, and transform our effectiveness in our jobs, our careers, our businesses, and our lives.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Business; Reprint edition (October 19, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385491743
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385491747
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,563 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

321 of 330 people found the following review helpful By J. Straub on December 1, 2002
Format: Paperback
In The 80/20 Principle, Koch proffers that 20 percent of what companies and individuals do generates over 80 percent of their positive results (a theory that he attributes to Vilfredo Pareto, an Italian economist around the turn of the 20th century). Koch proposes that by identifying the 20 percent of the activities that generate 80 percent of the results and increasing the effort put into those 20-percent activities you can dramatically improve results. To this end he provides an astute evaluation of the economic and social realities of business.
Koch goes further, though, and tries to extrapolate the 80/20 theory to success, happiness and life in general. While some of what he suggests makes sense, his examples seem to get progressively weaker as he moves away from the world of business.
The book's other main flaw results from its severe organizational problems. Koch seems to have a very limited number of examples - and because of their repeated re-use (and in many cases their limited pertinence to the topic at hand) the book seems to weave in and out of topics, making it somewhat difficult to follow for anything else than a linear read.
The principal, itself, is almost a truism, which as Koch points out, is not thought about nearly enough. The books main strength is that he explains the concept quite well. Unfortunately, the extrapolation to life in general and the organizational difficulties make 80 percent of the book just not worth reading. Read the first two chapters - they explain the principal - and the last chapter (which basically explains all of the extrapolation theories) then put the book down - you will have read the 20% of the book that contains over 80% of the value!
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299 of 307 people found the following review helpful By ConsultantsMind on January 22, 2003
Format: Paperback
The principle is simple, but counter-intuitive: Nature creates imbalances. This is true for money (20% of people have 80% of the wealth), crime (20% of criminals commit 80% of crimes), energy usage (15% of population uses 85% of energy), competition (20% of suppliers have 80% of market share)and even carpet (20% gets 80% wear and tear). . .
In a non-linear world:
1) Celebrate exceptional productivity . . .look for the short cut. . .be selective. . . only do what you do best. (pg 38)
2) Keep it simple. Size often creates complexity - which in turn creates inefficiency. Pour your effort into the 20% that makes a difference. Sometimes it is better to lose unprofitable customers to competitors (pg 93)
3) Hold on to your good customers and employees forever!
4) The key to 80/20 is not time-mangement. Don't try to do more. Just do more of the right things.
5) Do what you enjoy because enthusiasm and success is a complementary cycle.
6) Three great lists:
The top 10 low-value uses of time (pg 161)
The top 10 highest value uses of time (pg 161)
The ten golden rules for career success (pg 194)
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54 of 59 people found the following review helpful By J. Charles Hansen on December 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
I read this book about a year ago, and still regularly think of it and apply it's concepts in my life and business.
I have worked in sales for years, so I am very familiar with the 80/20 concept as relates to business. Simply stated in my field of real estate it's a proven fact that in different markets of the country and over time 20% of the agents make 80% of the income. This is true in other types of sales as well. Of course the flipside of this is that the large 80% of the agents only make 20% of the income. Basically a small number of people make most of the money. Why this is has been debated, but it seems to be a consistent rule that holds.
Koch points out how 80/20 is seen in other areas. For example 20% of taxpayers account for 80% of IRS revenue. What Koch does then is expand this rule to all aspects of life. He says that the 80/20 rule holds for all kinds of activities. He says that 20% of your work activity is responsible for 80% of your productivity on the job. And that 20% of your leisure time is responsible for 80% of your happiness. When I read this I just knew intuitively that it is true. So the next step is to figure out what the 20% activities are that are paying off the 80% returns in your work, or personal life, or anything. And then devote your energy into those activities and receive huge returns. He says that we're better off focusing on our strong suits where we're most effective rather than focusing our attention on the areas where we think "we need to improve". This idea alone is priceless.
This is practical, useful material that you can put to use today in your business and personal life.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Max7777 on December 14, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is the only review I ever wrote for a book, but this is such an important book, that I had to do it. On the face of it the book is self evident in many ways, as the entire book is summarized in its title, the 80/20 Rule: 80% of the results comes from doing the 20% of the work that truly mattered. Yet this book helped me become successful far more than my 2 years MBA. I read about 30 books a year, and in the past 5 years I feel this has been the book that helped me the most in my work and in my life, as it opened my eyes: Do only the 20% that matters the most, and you will have achieved 80% of the results. He also gives other good advice, do what comes easy to you, and become a top expert in it, outsource everthing else. etc..I feel everybody should read this book, it will help them achieve so much more and at the same time, save so much time and effort. It is Priceless advice.
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