Tag Archives: Economics

80% stop what you’re doing right now

Today’s lesson is diminishing marginal futility ✎ By Wayne K. Spear

I’m going to stop 80% of what I’m doing, right now.

We’ve all heard of the 80/20 rule, known as the law of unequal distribution.

– Eighty percent of your business is driven by twenty percent of your customers.

– Eighty percent of your profits come from twenty percent of your products.

– Eighty percent of the problems are caused by twenty percent of the people.

The idea is that roughly 80% of effects come from 20% of causes. Known as the Pareto Principle, the concept is named after the economist Vilfredo Pareto.

Pareto noticed that 80% of the peas in his garden came from 20% of the pea pods. He started looking around for other examples of the 80/20 rule.

He found them everywhere.

I think it’s more like the 90/10 rule, but 80/20 is not meant to be absolute. In any individual example, it could be 70/30 or 60/40 or even 99/1.

It will never be 100/100. That’s like buying only winning lottery tickets, and writing only #1 hit songs or #1 New York Times best-sellers.

I have almost 600 posts on this website, and over 80% of my traffic is generated by a half-dozen of them. That’s 80+ percent of traffic from 1% of posts, each and every day!

So I’m focusing on the 10–20 percent of my ideas and actions that get the results. And then I’m focusing on the 80/20 subset of that 80/20.

For example, I’m only going to write the 10% of the words that you’ll read, and leave out the other 90.

If we all did this, we could waste a lot less time.

But first you have to find the 20% of your pods where all your joy, fulfillment, happiness, money, and success come from.

The Bangladesh Factory Fires Could, and Must, Be Prevented

Triangle Fire

IT WAS ONLY eight days after the March 25, 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, and Rose Schneiderman was in no mood for playing nice. Addressing her (mostly) middle-class audience of Women’s Trade Union League supporters, she said:

I would be a traitor to these poor burned bodies if I came here to talk good fellowship. We have tried you good people of the public and we have found you wanting. The old Inquisition had its rack and its thumbscrews and its instruments of torture with iron teeth. We know what these things are today; the iron teeth are our necessities, the thumbscrews are the high-powered and swift machinery close to which we must work, and the rack is here in the firetrap structures that will destroy us the minute they catch on fire.

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