Summary of The 80/20 Principle

The Secret of Achieving More with Less

Nicholas Brealey Publishing, more...

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The 80/20 Principle book summary
You can work less and be more productive. It’s all in the percentages.


7 Overall

8 Applicability

6 Innovation

7 Style


The key to success is “productive laziness,” claims author Richard Koch. Hard work is an inefficient path to accomplishment because of the “80/20 Principle.” You achieve about 80% of your results with about 20% of your activities; the rest is wasted effort. Focus on the productive 20% in order to work less and achieve more. Koch concisely explains the concept on his first few pages, so the book can seem repetitive, but the main lesson is clear. If you want to raise profit margins, focus on the most profitable 20% of your products. If you want to be happier, focus on the 20% of your activities that satisfy you most. Koch includes many useful ancillary ideas, such as a step-by-step guide to analyzing your business’s profit centers and a contrarian take on time management. getAbstract recommends his approach to the self-employed, to workers at all levels who want to better leverage their time and effort, and to companies seeking to maximize their marketing efforts. As Koch says, “Even if you are hard-working, you can learn to become lazy.”

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About the Author

Richard Koch is an investor and author. He worked as a consultant at The Boston Consulting Group and Bain & Company, and co-founded The LEK Partnership, a strategy consultancy.

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