Richard Koch on Mastering the 80/20 Principle, Achieving Unreasonable Success, and the Art of Gambling (#466)

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[08:33] Richard begins with a non-story story involving wines and spirits, chat show reinvention, Michael Parkinson, Windsor Castle, and David Bowie.

[10:10] Why I’ve made the rare exception for Richard with my “I don’t give quotes for books” policy.

[11:02] What secrets were revealed to Richard in Oxford’s Bodleian Libraries?

[16:35] What’s Richard’s own peculiar talent, and how did he discover it?

[19:34] How is it possible for Richard to be somewhat hopeless with numbers, yet have such a good investing track record? Here’s where the star principle comes into play.

[29:02] How did Richard decide on a bet size of $1.5 million in a certain investment?

[33:42] In his book The Star Principle, what does it mean when a business can “segment itself?”

[36:42] What are the principles that govern the constitution of Richard’s own portfolio?

[41:10] Richard fills us on the circumstances surrounding his firing from BCG and what happened afterward when he met Bill Bain.

[51:46] What is the growth share matrix (aka the Boston box)?

[55:44] What did Bain and Company appreciate about Richard that was not appreciated at BCG?

[1:09:32] What was the result of being asked to behave like a partner at Bain and Company nine months before Richard could officially be announced as one?

[1:13:42] What has Richard picked up from the book Perspectives on Strategy by BCG that makes it a recommended read? What are some additional titles that make the cut?

[1:17:57] Why does Richard consider principles better than knowledge, and how did his book The 80/20 Principle come to be?

[1:32:21] What makes Richard most happy? How does he ensure he’s allocating his time and energy appropriately to optimize that happiness?

[1:38:05] The two types of journaling I enjoy compared to Richard’s journaling style.

[1:43:12] Who has more fun in life: adventurers or controllers?

[1:45:58] What was the spark that prompted Richard to write his new book, Unreasonable Success and How to Achieve It?

[1:53:37] How does Richard define success, and what are the nine landmarks he’s found present in 20 people he considers successful?

[1:56:50] Landmark one: self-belief (and what you might do if you lack it).

[1:59:45] Landmark two: Olympian expectations.

[2:00:42] Landmark three: transforming experiences. (And if someone hasn’t had a transforming experience, is it possible to engineer one?)

[2:09:09] Landmark four: one breakthrough achievement (and how this differs from the other landmarks).

[2:14:15] Landmark five: make your own trail.

[2:19:13] Landmark six: find and drive your personal vehicle.

[2:22:14] Landmark seven: thrive on setbacks.

[2:24:50] Landmark eight: acquire unique intuition.

[2:25:13] Landmark nine: distort reality.

[2:25:56] How do these landmarks often reinforce one another?

[2:28:34] What Nelson Mandela did to acquire unique intuition during what could have been the bleakest time in his life.

[2:36:09] The annual question Richard asks himself in lieu of committing to new year’s resolutions.

[2:38:43] Parting thoughts.