The Pareto Guide to the AbstractOps Pareto Guides

by Adam Spector in
80/20 pareto principle

The Pareto rule: (also known as the 80/20 rule) is the tendency for a small proportion of factors contributing to the vast majority of the outcome. “80/20” comes from the fact that 80% of the outcome results from 20% of the [work/information/people/etc.].

Importance of the rule: Broadly, the Pareto rule is an excellent guiding principle to most decisions, since most decisions aren’t really hard, or very consequential, or completely irreversible.

Pet peeve: if you want to tweak the formula, it isn’t supposed to sum to 100. I.e., it’s not 70/30 or 90/10…. it’s more like 70/15 (70% of the outcome from 15% of the work), 95/50, etc.

What we’re doing: We’ve drafted a mini-guide for each of those little decisions or topics that you’ll run into, and broken it down — not from the sidelines, but from the field.

Why you should read this: We’ve served in every capacity in the startup ecosystem: early employee, executive, alumnus, service provider (to companies, employees and investors), founder, investor, advisor, and investor LP. Through this experience we’ve seen how hundreds of companies operate, and we’re distilling that into .

Format: They’ll generally be organized like this post (whoa, how meta), not because our attention spans are getting shorter (they are) but because:

  • sections, topics, and bullets help people absorb information
  • because entrepreneurs are inundated with information
  • an executive summary of what matters is all that matters

Style: This entire series is about efficiency. We’re not going to have happy little segues. OK fine, we might have some jokes, but it won’t distract (much) from how efficient it is to consume information from our guides.

Footnotes: We’ll try to make this a fair guide, but not an unbiased one (we have lots of strong opinions). We will receive affiliate revenue from some of the products and services we recommend (think of it as a “wirecutter for your startup”). And the posts are subject to change and updating because the goal is to have this be as current and useful as possible (we’ll try to annotate the change log as thoroughly as possible). None of this is tax or legal advice.