Nightclubs and Maths

Working as a bouncer in my local town has been entertaining to say the least. It keeps you on your toes and it’s very sociable. You get talking to some interesting people and learn a lot about human nature and communication. Well, you either get good at talking or get good at fighting, I like my youthful good looks, so it was a no brainer which one I chose to master.

I work at a busy sports bar and you get to see a good cross section of society and I soak up all the information I can.

At the end of the day, these are the people you’re selling to. I try and consume “low” culture as much as possible, I want to keep my finger on the pulse of  pop. I even watch The Only Way Is Essex. And I enjoy it without any shame whatsoever

Anyway, I’d say 90% of people are out for a good time and don’t make a fool of themselves but it’s the 10% that are the reason bouncers are necessary.

In that 10% I’m including people who:

  • Get too drunk and start being a nuisance to other customers.
  • Are violent idiots and start fights.
  • Are under age and try their luck.
  • Are vulnerable people who get separated from groups or leave alone.

Obviously these are roundabout estimates, I’m not saying that in a 1000 capacity club you’ll be dealing with 100 incidents. Although it makes me shudder to think of a place that bad.

This is an example of the Pareto Principle at work. Normally the examples given are an 80/20 ratio, but it applies for nightlife as well as lots of other things. Basically, this principle is that a few things account for a lot, and a lot of things account for a few. Sounds confusing doesn’t it.

A good example is wealth distribution. The top 1% holds most of the wealth and the other 99% don’t. Or a few cities hold most people. Or a few customers account for most the sales. You get the picture.

Copywriting is no different.

80% of the work is dedicated to market research. Many hours are devoted to this to build fact sheets on the product and targets. Then 20% is the actual writing of the copy.  Most other copywriters get this the wrong way around and end up with copy that doesn’t convert. People find this out the hard way when they fork out thousands and end up with a skinny, limp wristed piece.

Patterns like this always amaze me. I love any weird mathematical proofs that manifest in seemingly random stuff. But I suppose maths is just the language of reality and shows natural law in its rawest form.

Right, I’m going to stop there before we get all philosophical and start talking about alien invasions and if 9/11 was an inside job.

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