The vital few and the trivial many

The 80/20 rule by the great Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, is a brilliant theory that should find application in all possible fields, including technology and education. The rule meant that in anything a few(20 percent) are vital and many(80 percent) are trivial. In Pareto’s case it meant 20 percent of the people owned 80 percent of the wealth.

I find this rule applicable in almost every field-

  • 80 percent of the results are achieved by 20 percent of the members of the group (not applicable in Sankalp).
  • 20 percent of the tasks account for 80 percent of the value.
  • If you have to do ten things, two of those are usually worth as much as the other eight put together.
  • While developing a software, few elements (20 percent) are vital and many elements (80 percent) are trivial. This applies to every process.
  • 20 percent of your effort will generate 80 percent of your results. Every engineering student will agree!

This rule, if applied to self with honesty, can yield tremendous results. Deducting your 80/20 requires self-awareness and some brutal honesty. But do it anyway. You’ll be glad you did. At least 80% of the time you will be!


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