We allude now and then in this blog to "elevator speeches" about SOA and enterprise architecture. This is often intended as a method to boil down the essentials to make them easily digestible by business decision makers with limited time and attention spans.
Call it bursts of brilliance. That's probably why Twitter is so popular. Everyone gets their 140 characters, max, to say their piece. Maybe Twitter is a great mental exercise for those that need to sharpen their selling skills.
Guy Kawasaki, the master of product design (he helped launch the Apple Macintosh, as is now a leading venture capitalist), wonders how many companies can really explain what they do in two minutes or less.
He points to his involvement in the two-minute "Start Cooking" series, in which he explains, in rapid fire, how to make his world-famous teriyaki sauce. "This kind of tutorial works great for any company to explain any product or service," he said. "Think about all the crappy, long-winded, take-forever-to-load, seemingly-last-forever start videos you’ve seen."
Whether you're a vendor or architect or CIO, can you explain your latest undertaking in two minutes or less, in a quick, simple way?
As I mentioned in a previous post, JackBe found that it was difficult to define "enterprise mashups" in a quick, simple way, and was looking for bursts of brilliance. My compatriot JP Morganthal received honors for Week 1 with his definition: "A mashup is the formation of a new application created by combining parts from other applications. A mashup can include the actual user interface from that application or just its data."
JP is great with boiling down complex ideas to their essentials. I remember a few years back at a confernece when he framed Web services that were peripheral to the real work of the enterprise as "lunchroom Web services." I probably would have continued to refer to them in a twisted way as "Web services that were peripheral to the real work of the enterprise."
But I have to admit, I also like this definition sent in by Jeff Fischer. And a perfect candidate for "Start Cooking" as well:
"It's like ending up with a bowl of mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving with a lot of lumps from the programs that have been brought together. The interface is the butter that allows you to smooth it all out and have a richer experience."