- Publisher: Nicholas Brealey Publishing; 3rd edition edition (April 6, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1857886844
- ISBN-13: 978-1857886849
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.2 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 226 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,284,711 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The 80/20 Principle: The Secret of Achieving More with Less: Updated 20th anniversary edition of the productivity and business classic Paperback – April 6, 2017
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The 80/20 principle itself is amazing indeed, but 95% of the points of this book come from 5% of its words. The same SINGLE idea is explained in 20 different contexts each repeated 20 times.
Just read an article or introduction about the 80/20 principle and that's all you need to know really.
Those people do not actually understand the fractal nature of the 80/20 principle - how pervasive it is, or the extent to which you really need to immerse yourself in these concepts. Their opinions are worthless.
I first read this book in 2003. I got to page 14 and Richard was explaining how 80/20 is closely related to chaos theory. I suddenly had an epiphany - making realizations that weren't even explicitly stated - and realized that inside every 80/20 is another 80/20, and another and another. 80/20 is fractal!
Suddenly I looked out the window and saw 80/20 EVERYWHERE - in the trees, in the street, in the carpet in my house, in nearly every column of every spreadsheet in my business. Before I'd barely seen it at all, and even then only in the rear view mirror. After, I saw it everywhere all around me.
At the time I was just starting to crack the code on Google AdWords, and I realized 80/20 is the key to pretty much everything in AdWords. And in marketing itself. 80/20 became my secret weapon. It was the backbone of AdWords and I included an 80/20 chapter in my very first ebook, "Definitive Guide to Google AdWords" which eventually became Entrepreneur Press's "Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords" which is the world's #1 book on internet advertising. It also inspired my book "80/20 Sales and Marketing."
Richard makes a key observation, which is the difference between 80/20 ANALYSIS and 80/20 THINKING. Analysis is backward-looking. 80/20 Thinking is forward looking. When you know, in advance, that whatever you do is going to be 80/20 and nothing you do can change that, you artificially stack the deck to favor early successes. You kill your runts faster. You search for patterns that most people miss, and shortcut months or years of failure.
Richard also delves into many subtleties of how 80/20 manifests in business, and how most businesses are losing money every time they sell 20% of their product line. This is a very big deal.
I'm now reading this book, 13 years later, AGAIN (not sure how many times I've cracked it) and it's still producing new jewels. Yes, you can read 20% of this book and it could still potentially change your life. But if you understand 80/20, you should read that kind of book 5 times and you can be nearly certain that you'll get 10X your time investment back every single time.
When Richard starts getting philosophical near the end about this applying to relationships and whatnot, don't give in to the temptation to think he's over-reaching. He's not. 80/20 is a fundamental axiom of cause and effect, one of the great secret laws of the universe.
I've read a LOT of great books but this one tops the list. It's been worth many millions of dollars to me in my career.
The 80/20 principle has become somewhat popularized in the last 5 or so years. A lot of people think that just because they've heard about the concept, or because they shallowly know *about* the concept, that they've gotten all there is to it. Not so!
Richard shows that there is a far cry from actually *living* life the 80/20 way (which demands that you make tough decisions and learn to prioritize better). You have to take this idea very very seriously and apply it to more than one area of your life.
The structure of the book is not ideal and can lead to cumbersome reading. The first half is an absolutely thorough (maybe too thorough?) analysis of every conceivable manifestation of 80/20 possible in one’s life. It’s a little too driven and one-dimensional, though I accept that the author believes it to be essential information to fully comprehending the subject matter. At the 50% juncture of the book, he kind of runs out of gas having exhausted every avenue of analysis and has to lard the rest of the book with other ideas, which, though interesting, are not enough to justify that much more copy. So, why still the 5-star review? In the second part of the book are several gems of knowledge so valuable that it justifies slogging through to the end. One such idea that blew my mind: the 40-Hour Workweek, 5 days a week, 40 year “typical” job that most people have nowadays has only existed for less than 200 years—a drop in the bucket in human history! (It is a byproduct of the factory schedule originating from the industrial revolution.) So, there is no reason people should assume that is the only option for employment or that such jobs will even continue to exist beyond the 200-year mark! We had all better be finding ways to succeed more with less…
Buy this book, read it ALL, and start following its principles.