The Universe is Wonky – The 80/20 Principle by Richard Koch

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Richard Koch’s The 80/20 Principle is about much more than just the 80/20 principle.

The first part of the book applies the 80/20 principle to business. 20% of a business’ activities brings in 80% of its profits. 20% of the customers are responsible for 80% of the profits. The trick is to find which 20% this is. Koch provides the guidelines.

The 80/20 Principle

The second part of the book is where the fun is. Here Koch applies the 80/20 principle to your personal life. He approaches this from various angles. Koch describes self-help topics in an excellent concise manner. He limits himself to the bare description of advice. Where many self-help authors often stretch single topics to a full book, Koch keeps it short and to the point. Very elegantly and entertainingly.

Our lives can be improved applying the 80/20 principle. We can be happier and more effective.

The majority of input in our lives have little impact on our outputs, or a small minority of inputs have a dominant effect on our output.

Seek excellence in a few things, rather than being average in many things. Delegate everything that you are not good at or do not want to do. Target a limited set of goals.

Simple is beautiful.

In decision making:

  • Not many decisions are important.
  • Many important decisions are made by default (nothing else is possible realistically).
  • Gather 80% of data in 20% of the time.
  • Make a 100% decision.
  • Change you mind early.
  • If it works, double the bets.

80/20 thinking: think skewness, expect the unexpected, everything. Look for the invisible 20%, focus on the 20% activities, ignore the 80% activities.

80/20 is unconventional, hedonistic, non-linear.

Combine extreme ambition with a relaxed manner.

20% of your activities give you 80% of your happiness. Seek these activities, expand them.

Take objectives seriously.

20% of activities lead to 80% of achievements. Focus on these (a la The 4-hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss).

Hard work leads to low returns.

Do the things you like doing.

Be extreme.

How far could you deviate from the norm without being thrown out of your world?

Prioritize things that can advance your life, things you have always wanted to do, invest in innovative things that can slash wasted time, things that can’t be done, according to others.

Be radical. Screw time leaking activities.

Do things you are much better at than others – and that you like.

Friends: 20% of friends give 80% of joy.

Specialize in a very small niche, one you enjoy.

Manage money 80/20. But stock when people are pessimistic, sell where there is general optimism.

Trust your subconscious. Set goals, let these sink in your subconscious and your subconscious will be put to work to achieve these goals.

Networks and platforms are 80/20 or 90/10 forces.

Work in networks, work in small size, high growth teams.

Find the 80/20 idea.

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