Start cooking: can you explain SOA or mashups in two minutes?

Start cooking: can you explain SOA or mashups in two minutes?

Summary: 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.

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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."

Topics: Collaboration, Browser, Cloud, Enterprise Software, Networking, Software, Software Development, Social Enterprise

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7 comments
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  • Now - can you explain how it helps anybody in 2 min? (nt)

    nt = no text
    CobraA1
    • Great question: readers, can it be done?

      Even if we can define the concept or project in two minutes, be it SOA or mashups or something else, can we do the benefits justice in the same amount of time?

      I think any business proposal should include, in a summarized intro, bullet points outlining the benefits:

      o Decrease time spent per customer service call by 25%

      o Decrease IT workload for report generation by 15%

      o Increase sales per store by 20%

      ...and so on -- can it be done in two minutes?
      joemckendrick
  • RE: Start cooking: can you explain SOA or mashups in two minutes?

    Nice post. At IASA we often use this as the test for definitions of architecture (whether its software, enterprise or other). You must be able to describe it clearly, show how it is different than what exists and also demonstrate the value simply and quickly. Anyone who cant do this is a charlatan.

    Here is the IASA definition for ALL IT architecture (including business and enterprise): "The art and science of designing and deploying valuable technology strategy". 30 seconds: "We make or save you money with technology"
    paultpreiss
    • Re: IASA test

      Great test for any IT project, thank you.
      joemckendrick
  • Here's crack at it...

    Architecture is the defining of components that do something and the relationships between those components.

    An SO architecture definition uses "services" for a number of the components.

    A service provides access to some capability. To borrow an example from the OASIS RM: "For example, an airline reservation service can be used to learn about available flights, seating and ultimately to book travel ? the desired real world effect being information and a seat on the right flight."

    That's it! Anything beyond that gets into specifics of goals, scope, or implementation. How (or if) an architecture will save money, increase revenue, increase reuse, eliminate redundancy, etc. is a goal of the specific architecture being defined, not a characteristic of all SO architectures.
    reamon@...
  • RE: Start cooking: can you explain SOA or mashups in two minutes?

    A Mashup is an application created in a simple manner from two or more other applications to accomplish a task far more efficiently then either of these applications can accomplish separately on their own.

    D
    Cinji
  • RE: Start cooking: can you explain SOA or mashups in two minutes?

    You did a good job with mashups, but can you give me the 2-min version of SOA? THX @jmacofearth
    John McElhenney