What is the magic of 70-20-10? This breakdown comes up so frequently in life. In essence, I think it represents a rounded up binary exponential decay. I’ve shown this decay in the graph above. A ‘true’ binary decay – where the second is half of the first and the third is half of the second all adding up to 100% (since we are dealing in proportions) – would be 56-28-14.
Exponential decay implies an ‘acceleration’ in the decline of importance. The importance doesn’t just drop. It drops by an increasing amount. The 70-20-10 Principle is in essence saying “The most important thing is twice as important as the next most important thing. As is the third most important. And that leave pretty much no importance to anything after 3 things.”