The Pareto principle, aka the 80/20 rule, is interesting. It is both hard to explain and easy to grasp.
The principle basically says that 20% of effort produces 80% of results. Or 20% of customers provide 80% of revenue. Or 20% of a product line produce 80% of sales. So those are the 20% of things you should be paying attention to.
On the converse, 80% of the effort produces only 20% of the results. Or 80% of customers provide only 20% of revenue. Or 80% of the product line produce only 20% of sales. So those are the 80% you should be reevaluating or removing.
The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less by Richard Koch explains this principle in more detail. More specifically, Koch explains how the 80/20 rule applies to business. He also explains how to determine what the 80% and 20% are for each part of your business, and what to do with this information.
It sounds boring, but it is actually a very important and real phenomenon. Every business needs to evaluate their successes and their opportunities for improvement. And The 80/20 Principle helps businesses figure that out.
Who is this book for? Anyone who has a business. Taking some time to evaluate your business using this principle with Koch’s guidelines for determining them will be a significant help. It can also be applied to your personal life too.
The book starts out as an interesting read by explaining the genesis of the principle (hint: there was actually a guy named Pareto), and introduces how the rule works in real life and how to apply it to your business. But about halfway through I started to get less and less value from every page. Once I understood one application, I didn’t get much more from the application in the next chapter. I think it might be because I already understood the Pareto principle due to my math background. So I stopped reading at some point and moved on to the next book on my list. However, I know that a lot of people have gotten value from the entire book, so I may be the anomaly.
I recommend getting this book from the library, and read until you get diminishing return with each page. The value you get from the amount that you read is priceless, but you may not need to read the entire book to get that value.