Essays/linkedin/23-12-07 the pareto principle

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🖖 The 80/20 rule is a bit of a folks tale, but it can be useful when deciding the problems on which to focus, features to include in a product, or how to organize your week.

The general idea is that 80% of your time goes into solving 20% of the problems you have. If you could avoid them, you've effectively freed a bunch of time for other things.

The frequency of the problems you or your product are trying to solve is not homogeneously distributed. If you check the support requests from your customers, you can build a distribution of causes. Target first those that belong to the top 80%. Probably, they'll be only 20% of all the issues presented. Even internally, check what your coworkers are complaining about and address the most frequent issues.

Products are built around features. You could think which features are valued by 80% of your customers and focus exclusively on them. Alternatively, you can see which features are going to require 80% of your resources. Only those in the intersection of value and resources required are worth pursuing.

Look at your week, identify the things in which you spend 80% of your time, and the reasons behind them. Entrepreneurs easily fall into rabbit holes that consume plenty of time but generate little impact. Those are prime things to delegate, outsource, or simply drop.

The 80/20 rule, as simple and sexy as it looks, it's never easy to follow. Personal preferences and mind-frame are important as well.

There are problems I chose to solve because I find them interesting, fun, or simply easy.

In contexts where resource allocation can become critical, having an overview of each action's impact can be the differentiator between success and failure.


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Aquiles Carattino
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