Dinner at our house, in suburban Melbourne, in the 1970s seemed ordinary to me and my sisters. Only when we stayed over at friends’ houses and ate the bland food made by our mates’ mums did we get a hint that something special was on the table at our joint every night of the week. It’s well known in our tribe that my mother, Mary Manning, is a rare and exceptional cook. She shrugs it off and prefers we focus on her many other talents. Good food is hard to ignore though and the taste buds have a habit of trumping more prosaic skills when we play “remember when”. Along with the range, quantity and always perfect presentation, what really impressed me then and now is the way Mary can move across virtually any cuisine with unconscious skill. It’s uncanny and unfair. I’m not exaggerating at all when I say that Mary can cook any cuisine like a native.
What has that got to do with my good friend and colleague Klara Klaric?
Like Mary, Klara has deeply intuitive and versatile way with the digital world. In my twenty eight odd years in the trenches, I have never come across anyone who can so move across so many different digital platforms with such competency, speed and ease. It’s not just that she knows how to use the tools at hand so well; it’s that she has an unnatural and fearless talent for trying and succeeding in new digital ventures. That she is also a competent artist only makes it all the more unclear to me as those worlds don’t usually intersect. Klara can blend the two seemingly disparate worlds of art and data in a seamless synthesis. Don’t believe me? Take a look at www.speakerbits.com. It looks clean, clear and precise because it is. But what you can’t see is the extremely clever, custom made and highly effective software on the back end that ingeniously connects our web site with our accounting software. Klara drove the whole project to completion. It works brilliantly.
Klara also has an uncanny knack of skirting the tedious and irrelevant. Honing on the nut of a problem, she has saved me lots of money over the eight years I have known her. That she has such a keen sense if humour and fun comes as a bonus. That she can also view a project on the big picture level with an eye for detail has made her extremely useful and effective for us over the years.
By Tom Manning, Principal at Speakerbits in Melbourne