You never ask a question expecting a specific response. But nevertheless sometimes an answer will surprise you.
Boris Kraft has made an art of delivering the unexpected in his contributions this year, whether flipping the typical "how to succeed with _____" article on its head with "11 Ways to Ruin Your CMS Project Without Even Trying" or making the abstract concrete with examples of how mobile is impacting people working in forestry and disaster relief.
If we were to add a category for "Contributor I'd Like to Make Me a Cup of Coffee," he'd have my nomination (and I'm guessing yours, too, after reading his first response).
What’s your proudest accomplishment of 2015 (personal or professional)?
Our coffee machine. Seriously. Well, let me explain.
If you know anything about coffee machines and offices, you will know that no topic in an organization will be debated more than a new coffee machine. Our coffee machine is a Faema E61 from 1962. It is stunningly beautiful, and it makes amazing coffee. It also needs freshly ground coffee, an external water pump, a connection to wastewater, and 380 volts to plug into. And I have wanted it for six years.
When we started to design the new Magnolia office, I basically designed the office around the Faema E61. We have a lounge on ground floor, with a custom designed kitchen, bar, a stage, etc. The lounge is the social zone for Magnolians. And then, we have our actual office space on the second floor (1000 m2 / 10764 ft2), additional studios on the third floor for staff from our other locations that visit headquarters, and a rooftop terrace. Much of the new headquarters are my brainchild, and I am honestly proud of what I achieved with it and how well it all came together.
I also sailed across the Atlantic from Las Palmas to Saint Lucia, with nothing but water around me for about 5000km. But compared to the coffee machine discussions, that was peanuts.
What excites you about your field today?
The digital transformation. As every aspect of our lives is becoming more digital, new business models arise, industry boundaries break down and massive potential for disruption exists. The internet of things, itself an outcome of the mobile revolution, acts as the rocket fuel for that transformation.
These developments are the Petri dishes of our industry. A CMS is no longer a glorified text editor for the web, but has turned into the hub for an organization’s digital ambitions. Content management has grown up, it is that face to the customer, but also the interface to the organization. I find that new role very exciting, because of its impact on the success of an organization.
What inspires you?
People inspire me. When I was about 17 years old, I knew I wanted to build a software company. I wanted to work with a small team of outstanding people and change the world. I might not have been alone in that desire, but I think I managed quite well to translate that dream into reality, at least the part that ensures that I still like to go to work every morning after 15 years in this industry — the outstanding people I work with, including our partners and customers, who provide a lot of positive motivation.
What personal or professional goal have you set for 2016?
My role in 2016 will change yet again. Last year I was responsible for the new office, and acted as the interim CMO for most of 2015, too. Officially, I am the Chief Visionary Officer. I also sit on Magnolia’s board of directors. Luckily, our new CMO starts in January, and the new office no longer occupies much of my time. So I can put my “strategic thinking” hat on more often again. I am looking forward to that.
If I had a magic wand and could change one thing about my industry it would be …
to heighten the awareness among customers that their needs for tomorrow will differ massively from today’s — and that they need to buy software that is flexible enough to manage their digital transition along with them, instead of rigid suites that will ultimately leave them behind.