Boris Kraft, one of CMSWire's contributors of 2017

Many people dream of going to the moon, but in Boris Kraft's case, he did. Granted, it wasn't a literal trip, but rather a musical one via an original song he recorded on modular synthesizers.

When Kraft isn't exploring space, he is co-founder and chief visionary officer at Magnolia International, an open source content management system and digital business platform. Kraft's 25 years of software development give him a firm foundation for his current focus on the marketing and strategy side of the business. He is a regular conference speaker, though the conference circuit will have to find a stand in next year when Kraft takes a year-long sabbatical to focus on his music. 

Forget Cutting Edge, How Do You Improve Every Day Interactions?  

What’s your proudest accomplishment — professional or personal — of 2017?

No doubt: finding new majority shareholders for Magnolia. A lot of interesting and sometimes challenging negotiations lay behind me. This is a big milestone in a long journey, starting as a teenager when I founded my very first company (a sharing economy business), through all sorts of interesting ideas until Magnolia took off. I am proud of what I have built, the team, the customers we serve, the product that I love. At the same time I am super happy to have taken the risk out of my endeavors.

What unrelated skill or piece of knowledge has helped you with your current work?

Being able to say no. The world is full of crappy ideas. Knowing what makes sense and what doesn’t, what one wants and what one doesn’t want is essential if you want to build an outstanding product or company. Especially when a company grows and egos or politics start to play a bigger role than they really should.

What conversation would you like to see your industry have in 2018?

I think we are still far away from a decent experience in way too many cases. There is rarely a day when I don’t curse the people who built certain interactions. For instance recently I went through hoops after I accidentally picked the wrong age in Microsoft’s data acquisition frenzy for Skype. After being a subscriber for more than 10 years they now want me to prove I am 18 or older by entering credit card data, which doesn’t work through their app and needs me to log on with a Microsoft account etc. Crazy! So the discussion we need is not how to do cutting edge stuff, but how to make a difference in every day interactions.

What trend or story will you be following in 2018?

I am on a sabbatical next year and will happily do a deep dive into modular synthesizers and techno jazz. If you want to see me in action, here is a first modular jam I recorded:


If you could give 20-year-old you some advice, what would it be?

Try to figure out what you really want right now, and don’t be afraid to leave things behind.

Speed round!

  1. Name one tech trend you got wrong. I was always right! Well, OK. Segways?
  2. If you could switch places with someone else for a day, who would it be? My wife. I am sure I would immediately find out how I could improve myself ;-)
  3. What one song always puts you in a good mood? "Good Vibrations"!