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How The 80/20 Rule Applies to Explainer Videos

5. Dec 2018

applying the 80/20 rule to explainer videos

Applications, Business,

In the 19th century an Italian economist, Vilfredo Pareto, noticed that 20% of the pea plants in his garden generated 80% of the healthy pea pods! He began to consider uneven distribution and realised that about 80% of the land in Italy was owned by just 20% of the population… He investigated different industries and found that 80% of production typically came from just 20% of the companies. Also, 80% of wealth was generated and controlled by 20% of the people. Pareto came to the conclusion that society comprised of a “vital few”  (a top 20%) in terms of money and influence, and the “trivial many” (a bottom 80%). This is how the 80/20 rule came to be.

How The 80/20 Rule Applies to Explainer Videos

The 80/20 principle turned out to be a universal truth: 80% of results / outcome will come from just 20% of action / activity! Today the 80/20 principle is eagerly applied to a vast variety of situations. It strongly applies to mysimpleshow as well and can revolutionize your approach to script writing and video creation: 20% of your efforts will yield 80% of the results. Let’s consider a few areas where you can apply the 80/20 rule.


You can apply the 80/20 rule when doing research for your script. Only 20% of your research will fuel your explainer video script. So, when doing research, it is very likely that you will come across two or three really great resources. This is the “top 20%”. These resources will, in all likelihood, yield 80% of the information needed to write the script. Once you have located that 20%, stop with the research. Then, once your first draft has been completed, do further research only if it is really needed to fill in missing details.


Another area to apply the 80/20 rule is when you begin the script writing process. Plan before you start writing. Make an outline of what information you will include in the script. Planning makes up that 20% component of the writing that will ultimately take you 80% into the script writing journey. So, instead of rushing to write the entire script, take time to generate ideas and come up with strategies for a great explainer video script.


Also carefully think about the style that you will use to convey the relevant information. Consider if your script will be an anecdote that illustrates a point, a case study, a story (involving characters) or simply a straight-forward explanation. In any case, be sure to use the dramatic arc to enhance your storytelling! By considering this (before you start writing the scenes of the script) you apply the 80/20 rule, because once you have decided on the style, it will be quick and easy to get on with the script writing. This application of the 80/20 rule also saves you rewriting time – fewer drafts will be necessary! (And, with myss there is an additional bonus: most of the structural-thinking has already been done for you – choose a myss template and you can start writing!) Writing a good script is that 20% effort that results in 80% of the final product’s success!

Video Creation

The 80/20 rule also applies to the creation of the video. Use the 80/20 rule to simplify your video editing process, by sharing the task with others. Myss video creation is transferrable. So, a team can collaborate and together create an explainer video. (The script writing stage as well as the visualization stage of the process can be shared.) Once the script has been completed, create the basics by selecting the images for the explainer video. (This is the 20% effort that will result in 80% of the final video.) Then, transfer the project to a team member, to complete the editing. (I.e. to put in another 20% effort, this time in the form of editing the video.) And so the 80/20 rule helps to efficiently create a great explainer video.

Time Management

The 80/20 principle says that only about 20% of your work will lead to 80% of the result. It’s all about time management.

No matter how creative you are, we all have periods of diminished creativity. It may be a bad writing day, or simply a time during the day when your creativity levels seem to be low and you lack inspiration. Identify the times that you seem to be uninspired and times that you experience elevated levels of creativity. Apply the 80/20 rule by working on your explainer video when you experience elevated levels of creativity, because in these moments your 20% input will deliver an 80% output.

The 80/20 rule is all about the imbalance of inputs and outputs. An 80/20 rule approach in explainer video making is to truly understand which specific tasks need to be focused on most. Identify the 20% resources, strategy, and time that will give you 80% of the results. If you understand that 80% of results will come from just 20% of the action, you can work on strategies to be optimally productive in whatever you set your mind, or hand, to!