Second-Order Effects

Everything in life affects us. Our response to it(visible soon after the stimuli) is the first-order effect. What isn’t visible till a little later is the second-order effect, third-order effect and so on.

Why am I writing about second order effects?

I have been reading quite a lot about how COVID-19 is going to affect businesses, as have almost all of us. What basically got me thinking is the fact that almost all analysis is majorly focused (as it should be, currently) on first-order effects.

How we react to situations also determine how those situations respond back? Any strategy game that you play, any episode like Bandersnatch(Black Mirror), your choices determine what’s coming next. You might be able to anticipate what’s going to happen next, you might not.

What if you aren’t ready? What if what you do today renders you obsolete tomorrow? How are you prepared, for the second-order, the third-order effects? Or are you prepared at all?

The concept of services, the concept of sales, the concept of relationship management, everything would be undergoing a sea change due to COVID-19. Not right now. Not in next year, but before you know it, the landscape would be vastly different from what it is now.

Are you ready? Have you thought about how your industry would be affected? Or are you still overwhelmed by the first-order effects?

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