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At Frappe we have always celebrated spontaneity. Maybe we need to add a pinch of planning as well?


Rushabh Mehta


Apr, 12 2024



min read

It does not take extra-ordinary powers of observation to realise Indians are poor at planning. Just look at the state of our towns and cities. The roads are unplanned. There are no parks, sidewalks, trees. Services are unplanned - pipes and wires hang from everywhere. There is no place for people to collect waste and dispose it. Basically we just live in the moment - not worry about what happens tomorrow. The most bizarre example of this was when the government rebuilt a key flyover in Mumbai’s busiest suburb. There was a huge hue and cry when the bridge was taken down to be rebuilt. And when it finally got made, there ended up being a 2m gap in height between the new flyover and the bridge it was supposed to connect. How can people be so idiotic?

Misaligned Gokhale Bridge: Credit NDTV

A few years ago, in a frenzy to capture un-accounted wealth, the government decided that it will force everyone to exchange their hard currency. They forgot that most un-accounted wealth wasn’t kept in hard currency but in gold and real estate. And by most measured they uncovered negligible amount of un-accounted wealth. The cost of this was unimaginable. People lost their lives standing in queues to get their money changed. Did they not think this through??

This kind of living percolates in our everyday lives as well. I am sure living in the moment and in a constant state of amnesia has its perks. Maybe it has something to do with the climate. One of the benefits of living in tropical climate is that there is no winter for you to plan for, so you can live in the moment and still find enough food to eat. This kind of luxury makes Indians very docile and non-violent. “Why worry, there is enough for everyone”.

Sadly those days are over. India today is massively dense and crowded. Modernity has come to us whether we were ready for it or not. There is not enough place for everyone to eat, live, shit. But it is clear that we do not have the mental tools or appreciation for what it takes to live in modern society. No you cannot just pluck fruits from tree and then throw the peel in the bushes. Modern society requires for us to create new infrastructure for so many of us to survive. Modern infrastructure requires fore-thought and planning. Something that our ancestors never learnt. Something we have no cultural muscle for.

Planning requires imagination, breaking down a big project into small tasks. It requires co-ordinating with a large set of people to ensure things happen in tandem. Planning is not hard by itself. It requires thought, it requires time and it requires intent. The biggest mistake is to not plan to plan. Like King Richard said, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. Any long running project that is unplanned is most likely going to fail.

I am personally a product of this culture. I did not plan almost anything in my life. My childhood and youth was spent in the structure of the education systems. A time-table was given. The exam dates were given. The books to read were given. I just had to do. I did programming because I loved it. When I graduated, no one had a conversation with me about my career. I just joined my family business, because that seemed to be the default thing to do. When I joined my family business, no one told me what to do. I picked ERP because that was something I could help with.

Even as an entrepreneur, I did not plan for anything. I had the skill to write code. And somehow the internet made it easy for customers to find us. They reported issues and we solved them. All the innovation we did was because I could see there was a better way to do things than how it was out there, and being an outsider to the industry, I did not have the baggage of old ideas. There was never any plan, we just kept following hunches.

All my life I have been reactive and somehow I came to celebrate it. “We don’t do roadmaps, we do magic” is what I have said every-time someone asks us about out roadmap. I justified this by saying that working with inspiration brings out the best in us, not planning. Times when we tried planning, we miserably failed, maybe because it was top-down. But we never asked if planning and inspiration can go together. Can having a broad plan of what you are to do in the next 3-6 months help? Some of the things that we did, like launching new products did not come out of explicit planning but out of a broad sense of direction to build multiple product. “Let there be light” the lord said, and there was light.

Now I am questioning my own approach of not planning. I am beginning to think that living in the moment has its limitations as well and these limitations are hurting us. Yes spontaneity has its benefits and we should leave ample room for it, but we also need to balance with some planning. With the right amount of planning, I think we can do wonders. Planning does not have be top-down planning. We are a bunch of strongly independent people and I don’t think the planning has to happen from someone else, but from within. Planning is a muscle everyone needs to build. Planning requires thought and it requires time. I think it is worth giving it a shot.

Planning requires asking the question, what is important? what can go wrong? what interests you? what is it that you can visualise your future self doing? Planning does not mean that you can’t change things later. Yes you may learn new things on the way, and that will make you change your plans, but at least you will have some framework of evaluation. My hunch is that planning will force us to acknowledge that what we want to achieve now requires deliberation. Excellence is not human nature, excellence is a learnt skill. It requires thinking about the gaps and filling them. That is what we need to plan about.

Maybe at the end of the year, we may realise that not planning was truly magical, or we may discover that planning just amplifies our magic. Maybe too much thinking makes us less sure about our goals. Maybe too much thinking makes us more confident about our goals. Again, I am not saying that we have to be absolute about planning, but just start with some deeper thought.

Again this could be all wrong. Maybe not having that flyover will make people move out of the city. Maybe seeing garbage on the road will make us give up packaged food (which is bad as well). Maybe after a couple of centuries when the world is de-populated and we can all start plucking the fruits from the trees and live a carefree life, these lessons of planning may not apply.

But till then, it is worth taking a gamble. No, we are not promising a “roadmap” - that will be for individual products to decide, but this year, I am going to push people to think before they leap. And no we can’t change our culture overnight, but a little bit of planning can’t create much harm. Can it?

Published by

Rushabh Mehta


Apr, 12 2024


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April 23, 2024

Looking forward to seeing how these developments will enhance the overall effectiveness of ERPNext. Keep up the great work!

Mina Botros


April 12, 2024

In the end.. What make sense will popup to those who reflect deeply.

JayaPrakash J


April 12, 2024

It's never too late to try something new. 👍 If it works out or doesn't work out you will still learn and experience new things. Which is by itself magical I guess. 😄



Paul Mugambi


3 days


Beautiful read, and an insight into an individual I respect and have learned a lot from. Am inspired to trust the process and never give up.


Anna Dane


5 days


I must say this is a really amazing post, and for some of my friends who provide Best British Assignment Help, I must recommend this post to them.

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