Thursday, March 19, 2009

The 80-20 Rule

Statisticians and scientists, using computers to sort quantitative data, have discovered that in nearly field of activity, such as the stock market or sexual activity, eighty percent of the action or movement is caused by only twenty percent of the participants.

It's actually a little worse in the stock market, they actually estimate that 90% of the trading is just the 10% that are really 'pros'. It's because these folks are using their own and other people's money as well (OPM). So this 10% controls ninety percent of the movement, blame them when prices rise or fall irrationally.

Extrapolating this to other endeavors, this also means:

  • Eighty percent of all divorce is just twenty percent of the people, so the divorced folks marry on average four times to make up for all the “single mate” folks.
  • In projects, eighty percent of the work is done in the first 20% of the time; the other 80% of the time is spent on the last 20%. This is called the law of diminishing returns. This rule also probably means that 80% of a project's work is being done by 20% of the group. (I think these people are called "workers", the others "management"!)
  • Eighty percent of the food is being eaten by twenty percent of the people. I’m sure you know a few of them - maybe you've eaten a bag of cookies or chips during one movie! Marlon Brando once ate two gallons of Haagen-Daas and they had to pump his stomach, he almost died.
  • Eighty percent of the beer is consumed by twenty percent of those drinking - mostly Germans, Aussies, and sports fans..
  • Eighty percent of the gasoline is being used by just 20% of you - hey, quit all that cruising! (well, we know it's all the truckers out there, some freeways report 50-1 truck traffic over autos in recent studies!)
  • Eighty percent of the babies are being born to twenty percent of the women; so eighty percent of the sex is being had by only 1/5 of the population – I need to meet some of these women! (actually, I have..)

PS - A manager is someone who comes to work early if you're late, and who leaves early if you stay late.


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