I understand why Jeff Bezo’s asks people to send him a memo

“Full sentences are harder to write,” Bezos says. “They have verbs. The paragraphs have topic sentences. There is no way to write a six-page, narratively structured memo and not have clear thinking.” (from CNN Money)

We have been debating taking two different approaches for implementing something with one of our clients. At the outset we were all favouring Option #2 but our client expressed a few concerns with it. Lucky they did.

I went to write them an email that was to describe the two options, weigh up the pros and cons and ultimately provide a recommendation. Secretly I wanted to convince them that the internally favoured Option #2 was the way to go.

Half way through the email I realised there was no point doing Option #2 at this stage and that in fact there weren’t two options, just a simple version and then an extended version of the same thing. Option #2 needed Option #1 to exist before it could be implemented.

As you can see my point of view completely changed, all because I took the time to write an email. It was all because I had to clearly articulate myself with the written word, full sentences, essay style.

This is the way to go.

As an aside, Option #2 was one of those slightly over complicated but very powerful but probably over engineered ideas common to software engineers.

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Scott Middleton
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