Your actions have consequences. Those consequences have further consequences. Get better at identifying those.

Thoughts on the PTOTD

Second order thinking – a required skill for product leaders – looks at effects of the effects caused by your change.

The reason it is important to know and understand those is that the second order usually have unintended consequences. Consider the act of changing your sign up flow to mandate phone number validation. First order effect is that you’ll have better quality of data at the cost of sign up attrition, and the second order effect is that the delivery experience will be much better as you’ll have a verified way to contact the customer.

Remember it’s hard to envisage N orders down the road – but start small and build your intuition.

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