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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 19 August 1999
I have always found the 80/20 principle to be a valuable starting point in finding ways to improve performance. What I liked about this book was that it drew out more of the implications of that principle than I had previously thought about. If you are not familiar with the principle, this will be a good introduction. If you are familiar, you should probably stick to the implications. The review of what you know may feel a trifle repetitive. Another suggestion is that if you keep repeating your focus on the top 20% in each situation, you will make your results geometrically better (more like 1 percent providing 95 percent). If you know people who are not familiar with the principle who are a bit, perhaps, disorganized, this book would be a good gift. Teach this to your children, and you will increase the likelihood that they will move out when they are grown, because they will be able to afford to.
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47 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on 24 July 2001
I gave this book 5 stars not because it's brilliantly written but because it has the potential to change your life. It really has. The book itself proves the 80:20 rule - because it's very repetitive and could have been written in 20% of the space. But it has something very important to say in that 20%. I liked Koch's attempt to relate the 80:20 rule to your personal life - I'm certainly going to change some aspects of my personal life as a result. But be warned - in the wrong hands this book could be dangerous. You need a certain level of self-awareness before reading it or the advice that he provides could be seriously mis-used. So an important, potentially life altering book - that I highly recommend if your IQ can stand it!
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65 of 71 people found the following review helpful
on 27 October 2009
It is all explained in the title. In life, 80% of what you want is usually produced by 20% of effort put in. He mentions in the book that there is really nothing else published like this.

There is a reason for that; it doesn't take hundreds and hundreds of pages to explain one simple principle. The diagrams are pointless, the examples are repetitive and it just goes on and on and on. I bought this because it was a recommended book after reading "The 4 Hour Work Week". The 80-20 priciple was explained perfectly in THAT book, but "The 80-20 Principle" does the opposite of what it preaches; what could have been done in 20% of the pages has been done in over 80%.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 12 February 2010
I picked up this book as a whim because I had some book tokens going spare and at first I struggled with it. The problem I had was that there were no practical examples in the book, instead he would make a point, repeat the point and maybe give some contrived numbers to illustrate it. Its lucky that I didn't lend it from the library otherwise I would have sent it back straight away.

So why am I giving this 5 stars? Its because his approach (albeit inadvertently) was genius. Often with self help books the author will offer examples, which you will imagine and relate to and then you will carry on reading, much as you would with any good book. As Richard Koch left so much to the imagination however, I couldn't help but think of my own circumstances and how I could apply it to me. And as I had no example to lead me, my mind went and applied 80/20 to the whole of my life, the implications were mind blowing.

I am still working to get to my full 80/20 state because doing so is sometimes an uncomfortable process, however I have found that I am more successful, feel less guilt, commit more time to things I enjoy, am more organised and as one other review said, I walk around thinking that I have a secret that not many other people know.

I would warn that this is an eccentric concept to get your head around and if you apply it to every aspect of your life then your mates may label you as a bit mad or lazy or lucky or a genius, however it will turn your life on its head and may just be the best book you'll ever buy.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 1 December 1998
Eighty percent of the books I buy I fail to read.
This is one of the twenty percent of books that I own that will have a positive effect on my life and those around me. Richard Koch gives a great analysis of the simple rule, espoused by management consultants for years, that a small part of your effort causes a dissproportianate amount of effect.
The 80/20 principle is a great read for those of us who dont like to work too much, as it gives us the reason why we can still be so sucessfull. It will also be a gem for the overworked because it will show you why those around you who achieve without stress are managing to do it.
The 80/20 rule is nothing new to many of us. This book, however, opens the possibilities of its usage to the limits. It also provides a great link to Chaos theory and how the two philosophies are interdependent. It is a fantastic opportunity for anyone to embrace the idea that planning to succeed may not always involve maximising effort.
As a 80/20 practitioner for some while it has been a pleasure to see these ideas carefully scripted in an inspiring book.
Buy it now and do less and achieve more.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 24 October 2010
This book should be on everyone's "must read" list. I have always dealt badly with the ability to focus on what's giving me the most result for my efforts. After reading "The 80/20 Principle", I felt that I had an excellent method for approaching everything on my plate and deciding what I absolutely should get done in order of highest value. I now can get more done in less time and have managed to drop some things off my "to do list" because they weren't really of significant value. If you are looking to do the same, this is the book for you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 17 July 2010
There are some additional reflections in this ten year update of the business classic, but nothing earth shattering, and I thought the part IV of the book from the original version was quite interesting in its own respect, trying to reflect on some of the political consequences of 80/20 thinking. Something that would make Koch's approach significantly more useful, I think, is to combine it with the philosophy of Luke Rinehart's "Dice Man" (1971), designing all decisions in life to be random, but to design the event space according to 80/20 principles. As is particularaly clear in this updated version of the book, although 20% of the actions lead to 80% of the results, sometimes we have to use some of the remaining 80% actions as what may be the perfect 80/20 solution for games only played once may not be so for repetitive games.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 1 March 2002
The 80:20 Principle, statistically observable in a range of phenomena, has been applied to a host of situations - both business and personal - in an engaging and imaginative way. The killer insights available through this book are worth skimming in 20 minutes or absorbing and reflecting on over a lifetime. Whilst the instant kernel - that if we spent time in proportion to the importance and effectiveness of the results we want and value we'd be spending it very differently - is simple to state, changing one's behaviours is much harder. After all, if it was easy, we'd already all be doing it! I found the arguments and ideas in 'The 80:20 Principle' very compelling and persuasive though. This book has caused me to re-evaluate the extent to which dealing with the immediate and the reactive stops the proactive and effective delivery of long-term goals. There are some interesting ideas in this book about building up a network of professional allies; and it also asks some legitimate questions about how well we match the personal relationships we value the most with the deployment of our time and energy. Highly recommended.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 13 November 2010
This book is very good, and in depth, but im sure 80% of the words in this book are saying 20% of the information. IT is so repetitive it is untrue. I'd read about 30 pages and ive already heard the same thing 4 times! I'll keep reading but it's making my eyes go funny seeing 80/20 written so much.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 22 June 2008
Richard Koch explains that most of our results are the consequence of just a small proportion of our actions. 80% of any outcome is achieved by merely 20% of the effort.

Identify and concentrate on that 20% and you'll achieve far more, faster. Believing every important task has to be given 100% might make this a tough call for you, but the concept is proven. It will cause you to re-evaluate how you deal with the immediate, urgent and reactive in your life and how a change of attitude can speed you in attaining long-term goals.

Engaging and thought provoking, the book focuses on business but challenges with questions about how we balance personal relationships with our time and energy.
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