80/20 Rule Is Everywhere

This past weekend I attended a conference for CPAs. Among all the great speakers was Perry Marshall, author of bestseller book “80/20 Sales and Marketing”.

Who is Perry Marshall?

Entrepreneur Magazine says, “Perry Marshall is the number-one author and world’s most-quoted consultant on Google Advertising. He has helped over 100,000 advertisers save literally billions of dollars in AdWords stupidity tax.”

I have always been fascinated with the power of predictive analytics. I wouldn’t call myself a numbers geek, but I like to look for the story behind the numbers. So naturally I was pleased to see Perry on stage talking about his book the “80/20 Sales and Marketing”. I was interested to see how he applies this age-old principle to the art of marketing.

I’ve been aware of this 80/20 rule for a while now; I even looked at some of my own data-sets to “verify” if it applies to me as well. Still, I haven’t really used this principle in my own decision making process. It is too easy to get busy with the familiar day-to-day tasks instead of identifying those ones that are really important and focusing more on those tasks.

During his presentation, Perry demonstrated how the Pareto Principle applies to wealth distribution, talent distribution among people, client value distribution, etc. 80/20 applies to pretty much everything that you can measure.

To use Perry’s own words “Pure 80/20 is depressingly Darwinian, especially when you are on the bottom”. It does seem unfair why roughly 80% of the wealth should belong to 20% of the people. Politicians tried to “fix” this with various legislations, so far it hasn’t worked.


The good news is that charity is turning 80/20 upside down. Those of us who have more (if you are reading this post using the internet, you have more…) have the privilege of helping others. Generosity starts with me and you, not them…

My personal plan is to star applying this principle in my own life. I think it will be beneficial to me to apply this Pareto rule of thumb when prioritizing tasks.