80% is the new 100%
“Use the 80-20 Rule to Increase Your Website’s Effectiveness” by Oleg Mokhov (SixRevisions.com, 2 September 2010). While we apply the rule somewhat differently, Oleg and I are certainly in agreement. It’s the ultimate rule to follow because it can be applied to everything, not just web sites.
Three other good rules that all play well together are:
— Divide and conquer.
— You can’t be everything to all people all the time.
— How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
For example, if your business is about a particular set of core services, focus on communicating those 80% of the time. when sending an email blast target it such that it connects with the interests and expectations of 80% of your list. If the web site is about selling those services then put 80% of your time and effort into defining those pages. That’s not to say shouldn’t trust your gut and igore your hunches. Just be fully aware that you are doing so when you do.
If you get distracted by the 20% you will ultimately only dilute the 80% that really matters. Stay focused! As a general rule, as you are fine tuning X, shoot to get it 80% r complete and correct. When that dust settles, go back to the remaining 20% and attack 80% of that. And so on, and so one. As a result of focusing 100% on only 80% you will be more effective. In addition, you and your team will have more senses of accomplishment more often. Good motivators are always a good thing.
The bottom line is that in all likelihood you will build a customer base such that 20% yields 80% of your business. 80% of your team will be happy 80% of the time, and so on. Now if only life were so easy.