The 80/20 Principle by Richard Koch|Book summary

Book Name- The 80/20 Principle

Author- Richard Koch

Almost every one of us tries to work harder and harder to complete our goals. Goals may be related to business, job, money, relationships, or personal.

But many a time you don’t get the results the way you want.

That is because you are putting the same amount of effort into the things that don’t provide much value.

In order to get the desired results in a lesser amount of time by putting lesser efforts, you need to understand that not everything deserves the same amount of your attention.

You need to distinguish between high value and low value activities.

Then try to put more focus on high-value activities and to eliminate low-value activities as possible as you can.

In order to help you with “The Secret to Achieving More with Less”, Author Richard Koch has written this amazing book called “The 80/20 Principle”.

Most important takeaways from this amazing book “The 80/20 Principle” are as follows-

1- What is 80/20 rule?

  • 80/20 rule is also known as “Pareto principle” or “the rule of vital few”.
  • It suggests, 80% of output (rewards, results) is obtained from 20% of input (efforts, tasks).
  • The rest of the 80% input provides only a 20% output.
  • It simply asserts that the relationship between inputs and outputs is highly unbalanced.
  • 80/20 rule (maybe in any proportion as 90/10, 70/30, 99/1, etc.) applies almost everywhere
    • 20% of people control 80% of the wealth.
    • 20% of movies makes 80% of blockbuster revenue.
    • 20% of roads have 80% of traffic jams.
    • 20% of people are responsible for 80% of our moods (good or bad).
    • 20% of products provides 80% of the total profits.
    • 20% of salespeople generate 80% of total sales.
    • 20% of customers provide 80% of the profits.
    • 20% of the syllabus covers 80% for the exam.

2- Think 80/20

80 20 principle book summary
  • 80/20 thinking requires deep thought to make judgment rather than heavy quantitative analysis.
  • Identify the minority of activities, that have a major impact.
  • 80/20 thinking requires active participation and creativity on your part.
  • Try to distinguish between low-value and high-value activities.

3- Corporate Success

  • The key use of 80/20 rule in business is to generate the most money with the least expenditures and efforts.
  • 80% of the market tends to be supplied by 20% of suppliers.
  • 20% of workers are responsible for 80% of productivity.
  • 80% of profits come from 20% of customers. Have more focus on long term customers.
  • 20% of the products generate 80% of profits.
  • It’s better to focus on a smaller product range that generates higher profits rather than a wide range generating average profits.

4- Simple is Beautiful

80 20 principle book summary
  • The number one reason why most businesses suffer is that they become highly complex with time.
  • Complexity happens when people are not willing to give up low-value activities.
  • The complex is ugly- It doesn’t let you give complete focus on things that actually matter.
  • Additional scaling can be much profitable if we focus only on high-value activities.
  • Focusing on a few is simple but trying to focus on many is complex.
  • Always try to identify the simplest 20% of any product range, process, marketing message, sales channel, design, manufacturing, delivery, or customer feedback mechanism.
  • Make that simplest 20% as high quality and consistent as imaginable.
  • Whenever something has become complex, simplify it.
  • If you can’t simplify something, eliminate it.

5- Top 10 business uses of 80/20 principle

  1. Strategy
  2. Quality
  3. Cost reduction and service improvement
  4. Marketing
  5. Selling
  6. Information technology
  7. Decision making and analysis
  8. Inventory management
  9. Project management
  10. Negotiation

6- Improve yourself

80 20 principle book summary
  • If you apply 80/20 thinking in your life, you can work less, earn more, and enjoy more.
  • 80% of achievement and happiness takes place in 20% of our time.
  • Think and identify your state of mind and inputs during those 20% happiest times.
  • Multiply your efforts and spend more time doing the activities you identified in your those 20% happiest times.

7- Time revolution

80 20 principle book summary
  • Time management is quite complex because it tends to manage a wide number of tasks in a certain time period.
  • But Time revolution means transforming the way we spend our time.
  • The concept of the Time revolution suggests spending time doing high-value activities (those identifies from 20% happiest times).
  • It also tells to reduce or eliminate low-value activities.

8- Top 10 highest-value uses of time

  1. Things that advance your overall purpose in life.
  2. Things you have always wanted to do.
  3. Things already in the 80/20 relationship of results to time.
  4. Innovative ways of doing things that promise to reduce the time required and multiply the quality of results.
  5. Things other people tell you can’t do.
  6. Things other people have done successfully in a different arena.
  7. Things that use your own creativity.
  8. Things that you can get other people to do for you with relatively little effort on your part.
  9. Anything with high-quality collaborators.
  10. Things for which it is now or never.

9- Enjoy

  • The most common characteristic of successful people is that they enjoy what they do.
  • Do things that you enjoy. Choose to be happy.
  • Nearly everyone who has become rich has had the added bonus of becoming rich doing things they enjoy.
  • Spend time with people you enjoy.

10- Daily happiness habits

  1. Exercise
  2. Mental stimulation
  3. Spiritual/artistic stimulation/meditation
  4. Doing good to others
  5. Taking a pleasure break with a friend
  6. Giving yourself a treat
  7. Congratulating yourself

11- Seven shortcuts to a happy life

  1. Maximize your control
  2. Set attainable goals
  3. Be flexible
  4. Have a close relationship with your partner
  5. Have a few friends
  6. Have a few close professional alliances
  7. Evolve your ideal lifestyle


The 80/20 principle is highly effective to increase productivity and efficiency.

It holds the secret to make our lives simplified. By doing so, our lives can become more enjoyable and happier.

In my personal view, the 80/20 principle is a great way to do things with high efficiency. It also gives us creative and solution-based thinking.

It simply helps us to make the best use of our time and give us control to enjoy life.