The 80/20 Power Principle

The 80/20 Power Principle
by Don Terrill © -

In 1906, Vilfredo Pareto created a simple formula to describe the distribution of wealth in Italy. He found that 80% of the wealth was concentrated in 20% of the population. In the 1950s, Total Quality Management Guru J.M. Juran, applied the Pareto Principle to business and it’s since taken on a life of its own.

I first learned about the 80/20 rule while studying sales. It was said that 80% of sales would come from 20% of the sales force. The percentages may vary, but I think we can swipe our world with even a wider 80/20 Brush and say that 80% of all results will come from 20% of the citizens. From my own experience I’d say the percentage is more like 95/5, but who am I to disagree with an early 20th century Italian Economist.

So, let’s look at how we can apply this to the racing world. For example,

20% of efforts will produce 80% of results
20% of the drivers will win 80% of the races
20% of money spent will produce 80% of results

Let’s look at the 80/20 Principle applied to performance:

Porting your Heads (Good)
Buying Titanium Rods (Bad)

Porting your Carburetor (Good)
Buying Fuel Injection (Bad)

Buying Aluminum Heads (Good)
Buying an Aluminum Block (Bad)

Dyno Testing (Good)
Powder Coating external engine parts (Bad)

Track Testing (Good)
Buying the most impressive Tow Rig (Bad)

The Conclusione: Don’t waste your resources on tasks that net few results, work smart and only on those tasks that net the big payoffs.

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