The editors of Smith Magazine, an online storytelling publication, picked up the idea and created a book: Not Quite What I was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs from Writers Famous & Obscure. Now, six books and more than a million six-word memoirs later, the idea has spread through workplaces, families, communities and schools, with old and young alike. Six-word memoirs have been used in businesses, health care and even as part of eulogies.
A six-word memoir is a statement by an individual about his/her life and outlook at the moment it is written. A memoir is a snapshot in time. Here are some collected by the editors of the Six-Word Memoir books*:
Some of the memoirs sound like they could have been penned by enterprise architects*:
Apart from clever writing that someone might use to express his/her thoughts about the discipline of enterprise architecture, there are a number of parallels between six-word memoirs and enterprise architecture.
1. Memoirs rely on the established six-word format to convey meaning.
Enterprise architecture is based on a standard graphical structure to communicate.
2. Memoirs are snapshots of individuals’ hopes, histories and ideas at a moment in time.
Enterprise architecture describes a company’s goals, processes and resources at a point in time.
3. Memoirs are chronicles that can be revisited again and again.
Enterprise architecture preserves the record of a company’s story.
4. Memoirs can show progress, with new ones added as the individual’s viewpoint and experience change.
Enterprise architecture changes as time passes, as the company transforms to a new environment.
As an enterprise architect, what would be your six-word memoir?
*Six-word memoirs from Not Quite What I was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs from Writers Famous & Obscure, It All Changed in an Instant: More Six-Word Memoirs, and the Leonard Lopate Show, February 27, 2008.