MacDirectory Magazine

Warren Manser

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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Page 80 of 115

CLOSER LOOK PROVING BIG THINGS CAN COME FROM STARTING SMALL WORDS BY JONE DEVLIN HUMBLE DAISY > When you talk about classroom learning, whether at the high school, college, or even corporate level, most people automatically associate it with boredom. In fact, anyone who has ever participated in this type of learning experience has probably said at some point in their life "I HATED that class, it was so boring." While boring classes may never completely go away, there are solutions out there that can make them not only more entertaining, but also more interactive. One of these is a small thing, but a very efficient one. It is called SonicPics and it is an application that allows users to turn photographs into shareable, narrated films on your iPod, iPhone and iPad. In other words, SonicPics is a simple, yet effective way to make your work (and the work of your students) that much more interesting. MacDirectoryrecently caught up with David Chmura, who bills himself at the "Chief Instigator" of Humble Daisy, the company behind SonicPics. The company name, Chmura told us, comes from an XTC song described by Andy Partridge as "A paean to the person and the weed…" Chmura added "Daisy comes from the Old English word "Day's Eye." Daisies open in the morning and close at night. To me this means they are nimble and opportunistic. They look for opportunities to grow and flourish." Much like its namesake, this is exactly what Humble Daisy has done, moving in 10 years from being a company that provided simple and elegant solutions for web development to one that is developing, marketing, and selling their own products. Beyond looking for opportunities to provide solutions, Humble Daisy also distinguishes itself among competitors with its emphasis on design and customer focus. Says Chmura, "We aren't worrying about profit, or market, but rather empowering our users…this guides decisions about what we do, and more importantly, do not do." One of the things the company no longer does, for instance, is a product called ProfCast. As of 2011 this product, developed in 2006, is no longer in active development. The reason is simple – while ProfCast filled a great niche six years ago, as of 2011, the company felt it was no longer contributing anything unique to the market. And uniqueness is important to this company that works continuously to determine exactly who their customer is and what services can best meet their needs. For instance, since SonicPics is used primarily in schools, most companies would say "Okay, the teacher is the customer – let's focus on that." Humble Daisy takes this idea so much further, working to make the experience with their product not just great for the teacher, but for the students that are using it in class, and the programmers and IT people who are setting the platform up for use in the school. By putting this laser- sharp focus on all aspects of customer experience, Humble Daisy is able to guarantee that everyone who touches their product will be pleased with it. This focus is something Chmura says he learned from Apple and Apple users. "The most important thing we've learned from Apple is focus. We focus on doing great work, and having fun, and making enough money to keep doing that work and having fun." As someone who has been using Apple products since the age of 13, Chmura says their impact on his life (as well as his work) has been immeasurable. "Apple users are, I would argue, the most sophisticated user segment in the world. They have grown accustomed to excellent solutions and they will accept nothing less. I love the fact that Apple's products are designed beyond the constraints of technology or history… Apple doesn't settle." And if you're not willing to settle either, check out Humble Daisy and SonicPics. With their attention to detail, customer focus, and ability to take your lessons from inactive to interactive (and all without ticking off the IT guy no less) it might be the best educational decision you've ever made. Visit for more information. MacDirectory 79

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