Plan your house before you build it

Plan your house before you build it.

“House” could mean your company. It could mean a book or a documentary. It could mean the latest marketing campaign you’re working on. It could mean your new career. It could mean your next travel adventure.

Nothing of any complexity ever gets built without a plan. 

Yes, you have Gall’s Law, which states:

​“A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. A complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be patched up to make it work. You have to start over with a working simple system.”

​You can avoid planning in the beginning. I mean, all a business has to do is get one customer. But once you have ten, or a hundred, or a thousand?

No plan for the future means no direction for the future. It means you haven’t considered what matters, what doesn’t, what options there are and why you’re doing it in the first place. These are all things you need to explore.

Schopenhauer was talking about writing. But he might as well have been considering any complex undertaking:

​“Few write as an architect builds, drawing up a plan beforehand, and thinking it out down to the smallest details. Most write as they play dominoes: their sentences are linked together as dominoes are, one by one, in part deliberately, in part by chance.”

​To successfully do anything complex or difficult requires forethought. Consideration. Reflection. 

Plan your house before you build it.