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101 Quotations for Enterprise Architects

        posted by , May 06, 2011

Enterprise Architecture requires such a diversity of skills that EAs really need to be the renaissance men and women of IT.

A few quotations that may appeal to EAs:


Regard it as just as desirable to build a chicken house as to build a cathedral.
~ Frank Lloyd Wright

Architecture begins where engineering ends.
~ Walter Gropius

There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds.
~ G. K. Chesterton

An architect's most useful tools are an eraser at the drafting board, and a wrecking bar at the site.
~ Frank Lloyd Wright

Most software today is very much like an Egyptian pyramid with millions of bricks piled on top of each other, with no structural integrity, but just done by brute force and thousands of slaves. ~ ~ Alan Kay

Architects in the past have tended to concentrate their attention on the building as a static object. I believe dynamics are more important: the dynamics of people, their interaction with spaces and environmental condition.
~ John Portman

I hate vacations. If you can build buildings, why sit on the beach?
~ Philip Johnson

Recognizing the need is the primary condition for design.
~ Charles Eames

A building has integrity just like a man. And just as seldom.
~ Ayn Rand

Change and Transformation

If you want to truly understand something, try to change it.
~ Kurt Lewin

He that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils; for time is the greatest innovator.
~ Francis Bacon

Change is the only constant. Hanging on is the only sin.
~ Denise McCluggage

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
~ Reinhold Niebuhr

City Planning (a common analogy for EA)

City planning finds its validation in the intuitive recognition that a burgeoning market society can not be trusted to produce spontaneously a habitable, sanitary, or even efficient city, much less a beautiful one.
~ Murray Bookchin

By far the greatest and most admirable form of wisdom is that needed to plan and beautify cities and human communities.
~ Socrates


I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
~ Thomas Edison

Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.
~ Steve Jobs


Designs of purely arbitrary nature cannot be expected to last long.
~ Kenzo Tange

Unix was not designed to stop you from doing stupid things, because that would also stop you from doing clever things.
~ Doug Gwyn

We should forget about small efficiencies, say about 97% of the time: premature optimization is the root of all evil.
~ Donald Knuth

Good designers can create normalcy out of chaos —t hey can clearly communicate ideas through the organizing and manipulating of words and pictures.
~ Jeffery Veen

To design the future effectively, you must first let go of your past.
~ Charles J. Givens

Design is what you do when you don't yet know what you are doing.
~ George Stiny

Good design doesn't date.
~ Harry Seidler

A common mistake people make when trying to design something foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.
~ Douglas Adams

Good design is good business.
~ Thomas J. Watson


Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.
~ Howard Aiken

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants.
~ Isaac Newton

If you want to make enemies, try to change something. ~Woodrow Wilson


Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.
~ Jack Welch

Give us clear vision that we may know where to stand and what to stand for- because unless we stand for something we shall fall for anything
~ Peter Marshall

If I had 8 hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend 6 hours sharpening my axe
~ Abraham Lincoln

Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.
~ Jonathan Swift


A good plan is like a road map: it shows the final destination and usually the best way to get there.
~ H. Stanely Judd

Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat
~ Sun Tzu

The best way to predict the future is to invent it.
~ Immanuel Kant

Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.
~ Jack Welch


The most successful businessman is the man who holds onto the old just as long as it is good, and grabs the new just as soon as it is better.
~ Lee Iacocca

We believe that if men have the talent to invent new machines that put men out of work, they have the talent to put those men back to work.
~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy

If you want to succeed, double your failure rate
~ JR Watson (IBM founder)

All of the biggest technological inventions created by man - the airplane, the automobile, the computer - says little about his intelligence, but speaks volumes about his laziness.”
~ Mark Kennedy

We must beware of needless innovations, especially when guided by logic.
~ Winston Churchill

If you're not failing every now and again, it's a sign you're not doing anything very innovative.
~ Woody Allen


As a rule, software systems do not work well until they have been used, and have failed repeatedly, in real applications.
~ Dave Parnas

If computers get too powerful, we can organize them into committees. That'll do them in.
~ Unknown

Computers are like bikinis. They save people a lot of guesswork.
~ Sam Ewing

The real danger is not that computers will begin to think like men, but that men will begin to think like computers.
~ Sydney J. Harris

If you have any trouble sounding condescending, find a Unix user to show you how it's done.
~ Scott Adams

If the automobile had followed the same development cycle as the computer, a Rolls-Royce would today cost $100, get a million miles per gallon, and explode once a year, killing everyone inside.
~ Robert Cringely

I think computer viruses should count as life. I think it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. We've created life in our own image.
~ Stephen Hawking

R2D2, you know better than to trust a strange computer!
~ C3PO

Part of the inhumanity of the computer is that, once it is competently programmed and working smoothly, it is completely honest.
~ Isaac Asimov

The question of whether a computer can think is no more interesting than the question of whether a submarine can swim.
~ Edsger Dijkstra

I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them.
~ Isaac Asimov

The most amazing achievement of the computer software industry is its continuing cancellation of the steady and staggering gains made by the computer hardware industry.
~ Henry Petroski

Computer science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes.
~ Edsger Dijkstra

Every piece of software written today is likely going to infringe on someone else's patent.
~ Miguel de Icaza

I regularly read Internet user groups filled with messages from people trying to solve software incompatibility problems that, in terms of complexity, make the U.S. Tax Code look like Dr. Seuss.
~ Dave Barry

Computers are like Old Testament gods; lots of rules and no mercy.
~ Joseph Campbell


If a builder builds a house for someone, and does not construct it properly, and the house falls and kills its owner, then that builder shall be put to death.
~ Hammurabi, King of Babylon (1780 BC)


Our business is infested with idiots who try to impress by using pretentious jargon.
~ David Ogilvy

Incomprehensible jargon is the hallmark of a profession.
~ Kingman Brewster

Working Style

The fastest way to succeed is to look as if you're playing by somebody else's rules, while quietly playing by your own.
~ Michael Korda

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
~ Aristotle

Project Management

If a major project is truly innovative, you cannot possibly know its exact cost and its exact schedule at the beginning. And if in fact you do know the exact cost and the exact schedule, chances are that the technology is obsolete.
~ Joseph Gavin


Scientists investigate that which already is;
Engineers create that which has never been.
~ Albert Einstein

Engineers like to solve problems. If there are no problems handily available, they will create their own problems.
~ Scott Adams

Simplicity and Complexity

When the solution is simple, God is answering.
~ Albert Einstein

Dealing with complexity is an inefficient and unnecessary waste of time, attention and mental energy. There is never any justification for things being complex when they could be simple.
~ Edward de Bono

Expansion means complexity and complexity decay.
~ Northcote Parkinson

The art of simplicity is a puzzle of complexity.
~ Doug Horton

Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity.
~ Charles Mingus


Creativity is the power to connect the seemingly unconnected.
~ William Plomer

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.
~ Scott Adams

The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.
~ Albert Einstein

Creativity takes courage.
~ Henri Matisse

Sometimes creativity just means the daily work of helping others to see a problem in a different way.
~ Joseph Badaracco

Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.
~ Mary Lou Cook

Creativity can be described as letting go of certainties.
~ Gail Sheehy

Creativity is a natural extension of our enthusiasm”
~ Earl Nightingale


Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedy.
~ Earnest Benn

Silo Thinking

The computer programmer is a creator of universes for which he alone is responsible. Universes of virtually unlimited complexity can be created in the form of computer programs.
~ Joseph Weizenbaum

Problems and Solutions

Three reasons problems are inevitable; first, we live in a world of growing complexity and diversity; second, we interact with people; and third, we cannot control all the situation we face.
~ John Maxwell

We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.
~ Albert Einstein

It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.
~ Douglas Adams

You won't find a solution by saying there is no problem
~ William Rotsler

No problem is too big to run away from.
~ Charles Schulz

For every problem there is a solution which is simple, clean and wrong.
~ Henry Louis Mencken

I believe that if you show people the problems and you show them the solutions they will be moved to act.
~ Bill Gates

Intellectual Property

Intellectual property has the shelf life of a banana.
~ Bill Gates

Thought and Imagination

If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking.
~ George S. Patton

Imagination rules the world.
~ Napoleon Bonaparte

Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
~ Albert Einstein

The man who has no imagination has no wings.
~ Muhammad Ali


There are only two industries that refer to their customers as "users".
~ Edward Tufte

The word user is the word used by the computer professional when they mean idiot.
~ Dave Barry

If you think your users are idiots, only idiots will use it.
~ Linus Torvalds


Measuring programming progress by lines of code is like measuring aircraft building progress by weight.
~ Bill Gates


If you automate a mess, you get an automated mess.
~ Rod Michael

Pessimists have already begun to worry about what is going to replace automation.
~ John Tudor

Automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.
~ Bill Gates

We live in a time when automation is ushering in a second industrial revolution”
~ Adlai Stevenson

The age of automation is going to be the age of "do it yourself".
~ Marshall McLuhan


Today, most software exists, not to solve a problem, but to interface with other software.”
~ IO Angel


Computer viruses are an urban legend.
~ Peter Norton

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