the 80-20 rule








The Pareto principle (also known as the 80-20 rule and the law of the vital few) states that in many things, 80% of the consequences come from 20% of the causes.

Vilfredo Pareto observed that 80 percent of the land in England was owned by 20 percent of the population. Over the years, he and many others observed this rule in action in different spheres. Some examples:
Relationship: 20% of the people you know (friends, colleagues, family) provide you with 80 % of nurturing support and satisfaction
Business: 20% of customers will account for 80 % of profit
Productivity: 20% of your activities will account for 80 % of your success
Gardening: 20% of garden peas are produced by 20 % of the peapods…
Software : 20% of the code is executed 80% of the time

The idea has rule-of-thumb application in many places, commonly misused – to state that a solution to a problem “fits the 80-20 rule” just because it fits 80% of the cases; it must be implied that this solution requires only 20% of the resources needed to solve all cases.

In computer science the 80-20 rule can be applied to resource optimization by observing that 80% of the resources are typically used by 20% of the operations. At run-time, an approximation is that 90% of the time is spent executing 10% of the code (known as the 90/10 law in this context).

Don’t try to do more. Just do more of the right things.

Links to…less is more


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