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The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less
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The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  8,295 ratings  ·  147 reviews
Koch shows how to achieve better results with much less effort, time, and fewer resources, simply by identifying and focusing on the 20 percent of our efforts that really count.
Paperback, 277 pages
Published October 19th 1999 by Broadway Business (first published January 1st 1950)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Quinn
I give it five out of five but here's the deal. I think the book itself follows the 80/20 rule. 20% of the book gives you 80% of the value. Do this: Read a short definition of the 80/20 rule on the web. Skip to chapter 9 and begin reading the book. Stop when you finish chapter 11. Read 13 and then skim the rest of the book.

So if you do that the book is 5 out of 5 stars and if you read the whole thing I'd give it like 2.5 stars.
Scott Dinsmore
Why You Should Read It: The principles in this book can literally add hours to your days and compound your happiness. It’s worth a look. What’s more important than having time?


Average Read Time: 4.5 Minutes

We’ve all surely heard of the 80/20 Principle, or Pareto’s Law as it’s more formally known. It goes something like this:

80% of the results come from 20% of the effort.
It’s often thrown around in business as nothing more than a buzzword. Few actually do a full 80/20 analysis of their business a
...more
Chad Warner
Apr 22, 2012 Chad Warner rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Chad by: 50 Self-Help Classics
This book is a truly enlightening and motivating look at productivity, time management, and happiness. It shows how to apply the 80/20 Principle to your personal and professional life in order to work less, earn more, enjoy more, and achieve more. The main idea: in business and personal life, “pursue those few things where you are amazingly better than others and that you enjoy most,” and eliminate or outsource everything else. This has immediately become one of my favorite self-improvement book ...more
Vijai
For those proclaiming this book to be life-saver, you will be in for a shock to know that what this book expounds is one of the gazillion other data analysis methods.

Let me explain, there is data and there is information. What you do to the data and in appropriate context makes it information. What the author has expounded in this book is that ‘a little of something causes so much of everything” or rather has stamped an approval (it was not his original idea, remember, only the name “80/20 prin
...more
The Young Urban Unprofessional
There's a good side to this book and there's a bad side to this book. Good side first. Ever since reading the book I've put 80/20 thinking to use, that is to say that cause and effect are rarely linked in an equal way. 80% of the world's energy is consumed by 15% of the world's people, 80% of hospital costs come from 20% of the patients, 80% of your sales come from 20% of your products etc. It's not so much the "80" and "20" that are the point with this book, it's the theme that the inputs are n ...more
Jeffrey Getzin
It's difficult evaluating a graphic novel adaptation of an existing book. There are two factors at play: the original book and the adaptation.

In the case of this book, I found the book itself to be insipid and repetitive. The author argues that 80% of the results is accomplished by 20% of the effort. Where he comes up with this exact division is not clear. (Why not 78.9% / 21.1%, for instance?) Regardless, he belabors this assertion for page after page, with no real evidence or insight.

But then
...more
Walter
Mar 10, 2014 Walter marked it as to-read
This book takes the "work smarter not harder principle" and runs with it, expands it. The central premise is that there is likely a huge imbalance in the effectiveness of your actions (for example, 20% of what you do may be producing 80% of your results) and you should learn what that 20% is - what it tells you about what you are best suited to do - and double and triple down.

There are a lot of chapters that discuss situations in businesses very different from what I do that weren't as engaging
...more
Nicholas
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Goulo
It's OK, but rather repetitive and long-winded at times. The basic point is good and useful: different activities give different value, so it can be useful to focus on the stuff that is most useful and stop doing the other crap. It applies to economics, software development, and all kinds of other areas of life.

As the author mentions, the 80/20 principle is well-known in certain disciplines, including software development (which I have experience in), so the basic concepts were not so radical or
...more
Alexfitzgerald88
As someone who must make their living from owning a small business, but does not really care for much of the commerce culture, Richard Koch's book is a breath of fresh air. He gives great examples for how most of us could achieve more with less.

His central theory goes back to the Pareto principle, which is most distributions in life follow an 80/20 rule. The natural state of systems and the Earth is one of imbalance. By trying to understand this inequality, as opposed to bemoaning it's existence
...more
Kelly Knapp
Dec 11, 2011 Kelly Knapp rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone in the working world
Recommended to Kelly by: First Read and Franco Arda
When I first saw these books, I was both amused and skeptical. After all, I like a good comic but one based on business? I am delighted tosay that this book was wonderful.

The drawings useful in decripting the few writings that at first appeared difficult to understand, illustrator Chris Moreno added depth and contrast to his drawings. However, I did not find the monochromatic artistic portions to be aesthetically pleasing, especially considering the front of the book's bold colours. I would have
...more
Dessy
This book presents the theory of imbalance. Once you get acquainted with the general idea, it should be easy for you to spot the correlation between cause and effect in anything you do.

Whether you will find the book insightful and its ideas relevant will greatly depend on the way you read. True, the book gets quite repetitive at times so I reckon that you use the very same approach to reading it that the book itself recommends. Get the principle and skip to the chapters that are relevant to you
...more
Bakertyl
I received this book through Goodreads First Reads, and I was excited to see what the SmarterComics series could do. I am a Social Studies teacher and love the idea of a simple and visual way to explain concepts to students. Many students learn visually, and I hoped that the images in a comic-style book would help students who struggle to mentally visualize complex concepts. This isn't the comic from the series I would have chosen, but it's the one I won, and I have to admit I'm a little impress ...more
Ben
I get it. 80% results from 20% effort. I got it before reading this book. Nothing new was shared, there's not really much more to it than that.
I read 100 pages of un-credited examples, made up company names and far reaching generalizations. The point was made through the title alone. The table of contents added some details and ideas on where this phenomena can be found, but really, there was nothing profound here outside of 80/20 itself.
I skimmed the last half of the book hoping something woul
...more
Deborah
I like the concept. Many non-fiction books with one principle idea are too long for the material and end up repeating the ideas or dragging out the explanations. I think this is a good presentation that makes the sound-bites easier to remember.

The places where he broke the fourth wall looked a little too much like an infomercial to me. I would prefer keeping the author out of the illustrations, but I would be interested in reading more non-fiction books in this format. It's a much quicker way t
...more
Kasia
I like the idea of it: great concept, great title. Steers you away from perfectionism, stops from getting lost in the details, done is better than perfect, some is better than none. Does that sound like a platitude?

That's because it is one. Much as the 80/20 book. Vacuous and repetitive. If you want to read it, I advise to use the advertised principle and skim through the 20% of it. The remaining 80% won't bring any insights.

And guess what? The 80-20 split is very arbitrary, the author openly
...more
Max Nova
"The 80/20 Principle" is a must-read about how to get the most out of your life. The book's thesis is that in complex, non-linear, real-world systems, 20% of the inputs often generate 80% of the result. This means that if you focus on the right stuff and ruthlessly eliminate stuff from the other 80% of inputs, you can double your results with half the work. Very useful parts of this book included "80/20 charts", emphasis on simplicity, locking in great customers forever with superior service and ...more
Pascal Wagner
The concept of the 80/20 principle was an interesting one and the ways he supported this principle were interesting. But as he repeated his point over and over again I wanted to smack myself. He could have packed the same analysis in 50% the book.

Summary: It's OK, but rather repetitive and long-winded at times. The basic point is good and useful: different activities give different value, so it can be useful to focus on the stuff that is most useful and stop doing the inefficient/ineffective one
...more
Richard
The 80/20 Principle is based on Pareto's law that 80% of the results you achieve are typically based on 20% of the effort you put in. The principle can also be applied to income (80% of your business income is typically from 20% of your customers) and many other facets of life - including your personal life.

While I'm familiar with Pareto's law, I found this book hard going to begin with and took the author's advice and immediately sought out the 20% of the book I might find most useful! The sect
...more
Alexis
Jun 21, 2013 Alexis rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013
I wanted a lot more from this book, which was recommended to me by my sleep dr. It had some good reminders in it, but I feel like I'm already doing a lot of the principles. However, it was a good reminder to slow down and that you can achieve a lot without being busy and overexerting oneself. Also a good reminder to cut a lot of unnecessary crap.

Hmmm, maybe it was more useful to me than I thought.
Dinah
Unfortunately an illustration of its own principle: 20% valuable content with a lot of padding and assumptions.

Kudos to Koch for brave honesty in the end section discussing critiques of the original edition – even printing some negative reviews in full – and responding to them.
Melissawong
I'm very disappointed because I find neither thought-provoking questions nor practical applications which I can apply in my life immediately. However, I believe that it's a good principle. I found an online article which is more useful than the first three chapters I read.
Allison
Layered, succinct, and thought-provoking. I only wish the graphic novel was in color. I feel like the SmarterComics adaptation captured the 20% of information that provides 80% of the impact. Overall, fairly enjoyable.
Michael
In the words of Peter Drucker, "Efficiency is doing things right, effectiveness is doing the right things." This book is about discovering and executing the right things.
David
boring. Talking book, couldnt get into it. Seemed to be making a big fuss about the obvious
Dan Korth
A quick, to the point read about a principle with a lot of potential. I didn't feel like the author belabored the point like a lot of other reviews I read ahead of time complained about. I found the part about business extremely interesting and actually began discussing the principle and possible applications for my team with my boss even before I finished the book. I found the discussion about applying the principle to one's personal life a little less cut and dry and even nebulous at time. Sti ...more
Abe Schmidt
20% useful information. 80% common knowledge.
Dvir Oren
[URL="http://www.amazon.com/80-20-Principle...]

The 80/20 principal makes huge promises right off the bat - Multiply your productivity and lower your working time anx enjoy life more, all at the same time.

After reading the book I have to admit, I found it to be true. I found multiple cases in my life that I could vastly improve my output while lowering input.

Richard Koch shows you simply how to take this basic rule and apply it to every field of life, making you realize how unproductive you were
...more
Andrea Snell

This book takes the "work smarter not harder principle" and runs with it, expands it. The central premise is that there is likely a huge imbalance in the effectiveness of your actions (for example, 20% of what you do may be producing 80% of your results) and you should learn what that 20% is - what it tells you about what you are best suited to do - and double and triple down.

There are a lot of chapters that discuss situations in businesses very different from what I do that weren't as engaging
...more
Lars-Christian Elvenes
Oct 09, 2011 Lars-Christian Elvenes rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People interested in effectivess and efficiency
This book, if the author is to be believed, was one of the first on the 80/20 principle, and as such it is an important book.

The principle is more widely known today, that 80% of the results we achieve, comes from 20% of the effort. Also known as the Pareto principle, it is a figure that can be found in a lot of relationships that we encounter in life (though sometimes 80/20, 95/5, 70/30, etc.).

Having known about the principle for a while, I wanted to read the book as a source for more in-depth
...more
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