Working Backwards

“The two-page (or one-page) mock press release format is also a writing genre common to Amazon, although it’s less often discussed than the six-page memo. What’s interesting to me about Limp’s invocation of the six-page memo in this Decoder interview is that 1) he describes how the two writing forms are, at least for his group, a combined genre and especially 2) how the memo has actually become a roadmap for product development. In short, the Devices group not infrequently begins with the press release, expands into the six-page narrative memo, and uses that document as a tool to decide which new products to develop and release.”

-Tim Carmody, “Working Backwards: Dave Limp on Amazon’s Six Page Memo.” The Amazon Chronicles. October 12, 2021.

Related to the Write: More Frequently, Less Long post from yesterday. The one, two and six page memo strikes me as an interesting model, where we take the less long pieces and start merging them together into single pages and than up to six. Of course, there’s no need to stop there, but I think the six page discipline would probably improve everyone’s writing considerably.