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About Harmonica

The harmonica can be carried in a pocket, but Muddy Waters's piano player, Otis Spann, once called it "the mother of the band." It's simple. Portable. Flexible. Easy to learn, but with powerful capabilities. Designed so you can't play a discord.

Software should be the same way. Ken Ficara, the founder and sole proprietor of Harmonica, LLC, has years of experience using every kind of content management system imaginable, from typewriters, spikes and Exacto knives, to large newspaper front-end systems, to mainframe-based database editing systems, to major web CMS products like Vignette, Interwoven and Saxotech. He wrote the first editing system for The Wall Street Journal Online singlehandedly, and for many years was the only person with both bylined articles and production software on the Journal's web servers. As a former journalist and programmer, and with executive experience in technology and business roles, he knows software and systems from both sides and can take a user-oriented approach without losing sight of good design and architectural principles.

Whether building an editing system, working out the details of a new product, or creating a new site, Harmonica believes in clarity and simplicity:

  • Open-source tools or mashups rather than expensive and complex proprietary systems;
  • Flexible architectures that allow for change, rather than rigid systems that can't change and grow along with you;
  • Clear language rather than buzzwords;
  • Listening carefully to users, rather than imposing a technical viewpoint on them.

Simple. Portable. Flexible. Easy. Powerful. Working together in harmony. Harmonica's systems may not quite fit in your pocket, but they will fit the way you work, and fit your budget. And they won't assault your eardrums.

More about Ken Ficara