When you're a product manager, you are constantly faced with problems to solve:
What we need is a general principle that we can apply that will help us prioritize our activities; and that is Pareto's Principle.
The Pareto Principle has its origins back in the late 19th century, when Vilfredo Pareto, an Italian economist, noticed that 80% of Italy’s land was actually owned by 20% of the population.
This overall rule of the distribution of cause and effect, where 20% of something is likely effecting 80% of something else, has since been seen in a range of economic and business settings.
The most used application in product management, is in the world of optimizing effort.
For example, Microsoft identified that fixing the top 20% of their most reported bugs, would remove 80% of the related errors and system crashes.
For product managers this means that if we can focus our attentions on the top 20% of reported user issues we can remove 80% of our user problems. If we address 20% of the reasons for dropouts from our funnel, then we'll improve the experience for 80% of our visitors.
So if we want the quickest way to get better results, focus attention on the top 20% of what is is, rather than spread yourself thinly by attempting to tackle everything.