Since childhood we are taught to build up expectations of what we will do in our lives. In the Doris Day song about anxieties of the future, the songwriter first asks, “Will I be pretty? Will I be rich?” and then towards the end of the song, the children ask her the same question, “Will I be handsome, will I be rich?”. It is as if this simple phrase sums up our expectations from life. The American dream, now the capitalist dream, is to end up rich. …


This post is triggered by a very interesting discussion we had at our weekly team call. Most young, smart and ambitious Indians want to leave the country and do so at the first available opportunity. What is the root of this malaise and what can we do to remove it?

In the league of nations, each nation gets pitted against each other. Whatever the arena, wealth, innovation, sport, economy, art, people want their country to count among the winners. This brings pride and pushes them to do better as a nation. If each country represents a flavor of civilization, then…


Every accountable ledger is already distributed.

I remember being excited about Bitcoins and blockchain years ago on HackerNews when it first started getting popular. I was instantly drawn into this concept of a world where power is instantly distributed because governments can no longer control the money supply. While I did set up a wallet and did some monkeying around, my interest was more out of curiosity than any real feeling of being “part of the revolution”.

Fast forward to today when crypto currencies have crossed 1 trillion dollars of market cap and have given life to even new asset classes like NFTs (non fungible tokens)…


The right has upped the game of political domination, the left is in risk of getting kicked out of contest until it ups its own game.

Poster from the CAA/NRC Protests in Dec 2019

There are always two sides to an argument

For the sake of our argument, let us define the left and the right as follows:

  1. Right: Socially dominant groups: Males, dominant race / caste, asset owning, older adults, invested in religion and symbols of social status.
  2. Left: Socially marginalized groups: Marginalized race / caste, non-male, youth, seeking jobs, assets, power. Start at the bottom of the social pyramid.

If society is a pyramid, then there are far more people on the bottom, than…


As I write this obituary, it does not feel like Ashok is no longer with us. Startup founders lead a difficult life, and very few have had the courage to persevere and succeed as Ashok did. Ashok was the person I knew the best in the startup ecosystem and I felt I shared a special bond with him. I used to go frequently to him for advice for my startup (he was helping many other founders on a personal level), and he used to lean on me to talk about philosophy and fulfillment. It feels unreal that he just disappeared…


In the first few weeks of COVID, experts rushed in with their views on how to make remote work, listicles sharing “insights” on “best practices” on how companies can adapt to this new normal. But they forgot one very important fact.

You are not the same company anymore, neither are you the same person.

Every morning, I used to wake up, get breakfast, get a shower, clear my emails, pack my lunch, walk to the station, check social media. As I headed out of my house, I could feel the beat of the city, joining millions of office goers like…


Organizations of all sizes usually have a designated person as a leader. Beyond a certain size, organizations are large and complex, and no single person can claim to have expertise in running each part of it. Consider a nation state with millions of citizens, thousands of representatives, massive government departments, tomes of legislature. It still needs a single President or Prime Minister to lead its way through complicated histories and futures.

Is it a failure of the human mind to accept collective leadership? Large complex systems (ecosystems) exist in nature without a single brain driving it. They are robust and…


This is an open letter to the Government of Kerala offering help for setting up a system for COVID-19 tracking, in face of the growing controversy over data sovereignity.

To,
The IT Secretary,

Government of Kerala

Re: FOSS Alternatives for COVID Tracking and Response

Dear Sir,

The last few weeks have been dramatic and devastating for the world and humanity as a whole. Firstly I would like to congratulate you on the outstanding work done by the Kerala Government in planning and executing the response to the virus, and setting a great example for everyone to follow.

IT solutions can…


As someone who has somewhat radical views on the state of education, (we pulled out our children from regular school and started our own community learning center), I was looking for a perspective of what it means not going to regular school when I started reading Educated by Tara Westover. In the book Tara shares her journey of growing up on a farm and not stepping into a classroom until she was 17, to completing a doctorate from Cambridge University on Intellectual History.

Tara Westover with Bill Gates. The book been highly recommended by Bill Gates

Tara’s parents were highly religious and skeptical of government and the modern way of life. They were…


As I am writing this, the experts across the world are advocating shutting down everything and asking people to stay at home. The Cornavirus is a respiratory illness that has symptoms very much like a normal flu. I am very much in favor of commonsense measures one would take during a flu epidemic that usually happens during winter and monsoon seasons. Taking precautions in public places, washing of hands, self isolation if you are sick etc. should be done very well. …

Rushabh Mehta

founder, erpnext | the best code is the one that is not written

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