How the 60:30:10 principle can work for you:

Writing a Book?

Seth Godin spends

  • 10% of his time planning a book,
  • 30% writing it and
  • 60% of his time promoting it.
many of the New York Times best-sellers account their success down to this process.

Social Media

Most successful social brands (KLM, Red Bull, Disney, Burberry) spend

  • 10% of their time creating content,
  • 30% of their time listening to their audience and
  • 60% of their time having meaningful conversations with them, or engaging quickly for customer care.

Gary Vaynerchuk refers to this as his 90:10 rulein this video, which I have shared many times over the last couple of years.

Personal Finances

Entrepreneur Bill Rancic,

encouraged people to be financially secure with his 50:40:10 model for personal finances.

  • Not quite 60:30:10 but close.

He stated that

  • most people can live off 50% of their income with the right planning.
  • 40% can be saved or invested. And if you are that way inclined,
  • 10% can then be given away to charity or church.

Influencer Fan Engagement Programs

NPS (Net Promoter Score) is a metric used to assess customer satisfaction for many global brands (especially retail or CPG brands).

An interesting observation I’ve seen over the years is that many of the fastest growing brands seem to have around

  • 10% superfans – the evangelists who tell everyone about you. These are the ones that PR agencies and outreach programs love to target.
  • 60% of consumers are usually passive. Happy enough to buy but not so excited as they tell all their friends.
  • 30% of consumers are unhappy for one reason or another, especially if it is a new product or fast growing brand with operations or logistical challenges during accelerated growth periods.


Steve Jobs’ iPhone launch keynote in 2007, arguably one of the best business presentations of all time, was split 60:30:10.

  • 10% on industry trends and background,
  • 30% talking about Apple as a business and
  • 60% revealing the iPhone and talking about the product.

All Steve’s keynotes had a similar formula, with a certain narrative and method of storytelling ~ something he picked up from the way stories were made at Pixar.

In many presentations spend:

  • 60% of the presentation on industry trends,
  • 30% on specific use cases and
  • 10% on marketing cloud products.

Team Time Management

When you have big goals and small teams, it is often difficult to organise time management within a team, in a way that aligns with your core business goals and objectives.

Split everyone’s time into 3 core areas;

  • the main goal (promoting the commercial side of the business),
  • the secondary goal (raising brand awareness),
  • the long-term goal (industry thought leadership).

The 60:30:10 model is as solid a base as any other concept I’ve ever come across.


The 60-30-10 Color Rule in Design

It is said that good designers know the rules and great designers know when to break them. This statement couldn’t be further from the truth when it comes to UI design in general.
From a Creative Agency perspective, every designer should at least start off following this simple staple, adhering to the rule, then really figure out when to break out of that box.

When designing UI for web sites and mobile device apps, this 60-30-10 color rule plays a vital role because the visible (above the fold) space that we have is so limited,

its important to know how to balance the colors on the page to achieve cohesive aesthetics.

For those unfamiliar with the 60-30-10 rule,

here is a quick breakdown.

When designing a UI for a web site or mobile app keep this in mind.

  • Use 60% of a dominant color
  • Use 30% of a secondary color
  • Use 10% of an accent color

when you think about 60-30-10 for web this may translate to

  • 60% of the site would be the negative space
  • 30% of the site would be the content itself
  • 10% of the site would be the call-to-action items

The primary color should cover about

  • 60% of the space and creating the overall unifying design theme.
  • 30% of the secondary color creating contrast and visual appeal. Lastly use about
  • 10% of the accent color to provide that final touch of elegance.

Honestly, a good designer can get away with using as many colors as they want, however, the risk of using too many colors, is greater than the risk of running too few colors.

So it’s probably always best to stick with no more than 3 colors.


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