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Six Word Memoirs

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Six Word Memoirs

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*:

  • Old soul, young spirit, hopeful heart.
  • It’s simpler than they tell you.
  • Yale at 16, downhill from there.
  • Found on Craigslist: table, apartment, fiancée.
  • I should have brought a GPS.
  • Facebook has ruined my entire life.

Some of the memoirs sound like they could have been penned by enterprise architects*:

  • Have yet to figure it out!
  • We should have written everything down.
  • Nobody left alive to confirm stories.


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.

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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*:

  • Old soul, young spirit, hopeful heart.
  • It’s simpler than they tell you.
  • Yale at 16, downhill from there.
  • Found on Craigslist: table, apartment, fiancée.
  • I should have brought a GPS.
  • Facebook has ruined my entire life.

Some of the memoirs sound like they could have been penned by enterprise architects*:

  • Have yet to figure it out!
  • We should have written everything down.
  • Nobody left alive to confirm stories.


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.