Not really a balanced universe: III

I got a lot out of this book on the 80/20 principle. Can you tell?

We just got back from a week on the beautiful Sunshine Coast in sunny Queensland. Yes, it's my new favourite place in the world. We did a lot of nothing, including lazing around in the heated pool, but the main big exciting adventure for the children was 'Australia Zoo'. This is the home of all-around-Aussie-adventurer, Steve Irwin, aka the Crocodile Hunter, and it was a brilliant example of using the 80/20 principle in business.

Steve Irwin knows exactly what makes him popular: his 'Aussie-ness', the crocodiles and his ridiculously over the top enthusiasm. Obviously, there's a lot more to the man (You'd want to hope so at any rate.) But he knows that this 20 per cent of what he does gets 80 per cent of the results. Using his trademarks gets people visiting the zoo, thus raising money for himself and his business, but also for forwarding his pet conservation projects.

Everything, and I mean everything, at this zoo is about Steve Irwin. The signs use his trade mark phrases 'crikey' and 'have a ripper of a day'. All his staff dress in his uniform and the show presenters speak in his Aussie accent. But he also knows what people want in a zoo: the exciting animals and the Aussie animals, the up-close-and-personal encounters with koalas and wombats, interesting shows and then, for the littlies, a jumping castle with - wait for it - blow up crocodiles on the side.

There's not a sight or a sign at Australia Zoo that is not using the 20 per cent to get the 80 per cent results. It's impressive, and even though I don't particularly like Steve Irwin (too ocker for me) I got sucked in by the brand, and actually got excited when we saw him drive by.