Richard John Koch (born 28 July 1950 in London) is a British author, speaker, and investor, and a former management consultant and entrepreneur. He has written over twenty books on business and ideas, including The 80/20 Principle, about how to apply the Pareto principle in management and life.
Koch went to Windsor Grammar School and attended Oxford University, receiving a bachelor’s degree (first class honors) in Modern History in 1971. He studied business at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, receiving an M.B.A. with Distinction in 1975.
From 1976 to 1980, he worked as a consultant at The Boston Consulting Group, and at Bain & Company from 1980 to 1983, becoming a Partner in 1981. In 1983 he co-founded The LEK Partnership. In 1990 he retired to write books and make private equity investments. He has since featured on The Sunday Times (London) Rich List.
In 1997 Koch published The 80/20 Principle. The book was a reinterpretation of the Pareto principle, extending its use beyond economics and business, to cover issues such as “time revolution” and personal happiness.
In The Power Laws, Koch discusses the 80/20 principle as a basic indicator of how the universe works, and sees the process of evolution, as described by Charles Darwin, as a special case of the 80/20 principle at work. He also emphasizes that the 80/20 principle should be seen not only as a method of making decisions and generating innovations, but that it should be combined with W. Brian Arthur’s concepts of positive feedback and increasing returns.
In Living the 80/20 Way, Koch focuses on how to succeed personally as well as professionally, to make a good life as well as a living – while doing less. He pioneered the idea that we can achieve more is we relax, enjoy life more, and concentrate on the few things that matter uniquely to each individual.
The Star Principle describes how the vast majority of value is created by the small minority of firms – about 5% of all businesses – that are or have been leaders in a high growth market (“stars”). The book is also a practical guide to starting a new business by creating a new market, often by adapting a proven concept to a new product or region.
Superconnect, written with Greg Lockwood, explores the “strength of weak links” and concludes that success is less about who you are than how you connect. The book advocates building a wide range of diverse links with acquaintances who “walk on different planets”. The book suggests that the most satisfying lives go to the “superconnectors” who frequently put different kinds of people in touch with each other.
Koch has also written The Financial Times Guide to Selecting Shares That Perform and The Financial Times Guide to Strategy, currently in their 4th and 5th editions respectively.
Selected bibliography 
- The 80/20 Principle. Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 1997, Doubleday 1998. ISBN 0-385-49174-3
- The Power Laws. Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 2000, published in the US as The Natural Laws of Business, Doubleday 2001. ISBN 0-385-50159-5
- The 80/20 Revolution. Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 2002, published in the US as The 80/20 Individual, Doubleday, 2003. ISBN 0-385-50957-X
- Living the 80/20 Way. Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 2004. ISBN 1-85788-331-4
- Superconnect: the power of networks and the strength of weak links. Little, Brown/WW Norton, 2010. ISBN 978-0-393-07160-3.
- The Star Principle: How It Can Make You Rich. Piatkus Books, 2010
- "Concentrate on activities with the most valuable results: New book gives tips on how to achieve more in less time". The Kansas City Star. 13 October 1998. Retrieved 18 May 2010.
- "The Power Laws – The Science of Success by Richard Koch". Business Line. 19 June 2000. Retrieved 18 May 2010.
- "The era of a few great men - The essentials of 80/20 leaders are well defined in this manifesto, but Richard Scase doubts they are shaping a New Economic Order". Management Today. 1 June 2002. Retrieved 18 May 2010.
- Trapp, Roger (20 June 2004). "Living the 80/20 way, by Richard Koch". The Independent on Sunday (London). Retrieved 18 May 2010.
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