Twitter haiku: a great new way to deliver bad newsSun Microsystems CEO’s 17-syllable resignation announcement is a useful innovation that could be more widely applied

Respect is due to Jonathan Schwartz, chief executive of Sun Microsystems, who announced his resignation on Twitter with a haiku. “Today’s my last day at Sun. I’ll miss it. Seems only fitting to end on a #haiku,” he tweeted earlier this morning, going on to apply the five/seven/five-syllable rule of the Japanese poem to his situation:

“Financial crisis
Stalled too many customers
CEO no more.”

Schwartz doesn’t include the seasonal reference which is key in the traditional Japanese haiku but I think we can forgive him – and perhaps there’s a hint of winter in the gloom of the financial crisis stalling those customers, in the finality of his last line, drumming in its point with a flurry of single syllables.

At any rate, let’s hope that Schwartz – who’s already a trending topic on Twitter – will start a fashion for news to be delivered in the sweet, succinct format of the haiku. Why, just this morning, instead of a dry announcement,
British Gas could have told us it was:

“Warming up winter
With money in your pocket
As gas prices fall.”

That’s off the top of my head, and dire. I’m sure you can do better. Any difficult messages you need to send, where the blows could be softened if they were cast as haiku? Show us what you’ve got.

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