If any of you don’t know this, heres an interesting food for thought – population distribution in most phenomenon in life follows a distribution curve commonly known as the Power Law. What is this Power Law you ask? Well, it is a functional relationship between two quantities, where a relative change in one quantity results in a proportional relative change in the other quantity – one quantity varies as a power of another. If that dint make much sense, here are some variations –
- Hurricanes & Earthquakes : Most hurricanes and earthquakes fall under a very small range of severity (Richter scale) and very few fall outside that scale
- Population Income : 20% of a countries population’s contribute to 80% of its economy. This is also called Pareto’s Law
- Profitability of customers & products : Only a small number of customers contribute to most of a products profits
- Distribution of volume on traffic lanes : Most of the traffic is usually concentrated in a small number of lanes. Remember how the lane you are in always feels the one with the heaviest and slowest traffic. Its kinda true 😉
- Questions from students in a class : Only a handful of students in any class ask the most questions and most students prefer not saying anything at all (this one’s my fav :D)
All these are proven by scientific studies and observations. Some other variations also exist like Nielson’s Law, Zipf’s Law, Benford’s Law, Lotka’s Law….but they all essentially say the same thing.
This might be worthless information but I find it really interesting to think about in spare time and apply to various situations.
For example, with friends. I know quite a number of people who claim to have over 10 contacts whom they call “Best Friends” or closest friends but when they need a shoulder, they always go to those same 2 people – the important few out of the trivial many 😉
Notice in the future when you ask a group of people for a favor, how many you asked and who/how many respond and use it to filter out your important few out of the trivial many.