Matt Mullenweg

(Matthew Charles "Matt" Mullenweg)

Matt Mullenweg
Matt Mullenweg
  • Born: January 11, 1984
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Founder & CEO, CBBQTT Automattic, Principal, Audrey Capital, Lead Developer, WordPress Foundation

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130 of Automattic's 150 employees work outside of our San Francisco headquarters. Why are so many companies stuck in this factory model of working? Work, Workers & The Labor Force
A lot of the early adoption of WordPress was actually from thousands and millions of individually hosted instances, so a lot of the people who ran WordPress were on their own.
Akismet started on a $70 dollar-a-month server. Anyone can scrape together $70.
As the web becomes more and more of a part of our every day lives, it would be a horrible tragedy if it was locked up inside of companies and proprietary software.
Automattic's mission has always been very aligned with WordPress itself, which is to democratise publishing.
Basically, if you believe in Moore's Law, and you believe that hosting is going to become more and more commoditized over time, not being a host is a good idea. Time
Before the widespread rise of the Internet and easy publishing tools, influence was largely in the hands of those who could reach the widest audience, the people with printing presses or access to a wide audience on television or radio, all one-way mediums that concentrated power in the hands of the few. Power
Captcha is the bane of the Internet. I can't figure them out myself half the time! Time
Don't think about work in your bedroom or relaxation area. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
Environment plays a huge role in my ability to creatively focus and my mood - for better and worse.
Everybody jokes about that old story about the world only needing five computers, but when you think about it, that's where we're heading. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
For me, it always comes back to the blogger, the author, the designer, the developer. You build software for that core individual person, and then smart organisations adopt it and dumb organisations die.
For me, open source is a moral thing.
For WordPress to be world class, it needs to have a sustainable model.
From the first time I held an iPhone, the space has evolved quickly, and people have shifted from reading content on their desktops to smartphones and iPads, even long-form stuff. Time
Has anyone ever said, 'I wish I could go to more meetings today'?
Historically, WordPress has been purely focused on the writing side. However, we're thinking about mobile completely differently, and I think there's a big opportunity to take the community of creators that loves WordPress and deliver an audience to the amazing things they're making.
I am an optimist, and I believe that people are inherently good and that if you give everyone a voice and freedom of expression, the truth and the good will outweigh the bad. Truth ;Freedom & Liberty
I do my best stuff midmorning and superlate at night, from 1 to 5 in the morning. Some people don't need sleep. I actually do need sleep. I just sleep all the time. I'll catch naps in the afternoon, or I'll take a 20-minute snooze in the office - just all the time. Our business is 24 hours. Our guys in Europe come online at midnight. Time ;Morning
I don't care how someone lives or how good their spoken English is. I do all of my interviews on Skype text chat - all that matters is their work. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I don't care what hours you work. I don't care if you sleep late or if you pick a child up from school in the afternoon. It's all about your output. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I don't have big ideas. I sometimes have small ideas, which seem to work out. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I don't think BuddyPress will be something you use instead of your existing social networks... but if you wanted to start something new maybe with more control, friendlier terms of service, or just something customized and tweaked to fit exactly into your existing site, then BuddyPress is a great framework to use.
I hope that people have more to say than 140 characters will allow them in their life. Life ;Hope
I learned a ton of things during my time in CNET. Time
I like to read first thing in the morning. I'm addicted to the Kindle. I read a lot of business books, because I feel like I should figure out how to be a real businessman before someone figures out that I'm not one. I really enjoy reading classics as well, which I try to work in once every two months. Morning ;Business, Commerce & Finance ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I really enjoy computer networking.
I spend a lot of time on forums, and they drive me crazy. Time
I think it's good to have different locations for different modes you want to be in throughout the day, and to keep them separate.
I think it's really important for the independent web to have a platform, and to the extent that WordPress can serve that role, I think it's a great privilege and responsibility.
I think that all services will have downtime. No matter how much you prepare, have redundant systems, or audit, there will periodically be a black swan event that is completely unlike whatever you've experienced before. It even happens to Google!
I used to always prefer to text, and in fact got indignant when people called. This was totally irrational.
I was raised Catholic, and I can get incredibly guilty about mistakes.
If I were to wish for two things, they would be as much bandwidth as possible and ridiculously fast browser engines.
If you have a fantastic idea you're really passionate about and are making $100,000 in your job, if you can set aside some of that to invest in servers or contractors or other folks, that's actually the best way to start a business in my opinion. Business, Commerce & Finance
If you still use 'admin' as a username on your blog, change it.
If you think of the ideas of open source applied to information in an encyclopedia, you get to Wikipedia - lots and lots of small contributions that bubble up to something that's meaningful.
If you want to be good at something, you really have to work at it every single day. You have to work hard at the things that are hard. Otherwise you are just treading water. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
If you were building a real-time game like one of Zynga's games, the WordPress model wouldn't work well for that. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
If you're going to quit your job to focus on an idea, you get overly attached to that idea because you had it, and it's the reason you quit your job. Plus, most ideas are bad.
I'm an investor in MakerBot, which is a good example of the 'thingiverse'. The idea of applying collaboration and rapid iteration to things that we interact with and hold in our hands every day is super revolutionary.
I'm pretty cheap, to be honest.
I'm pretty rough on my laptops. I go through about two a year.
I'm really good at making software for publishing.
Immunity to obsolescence is the only obsolescent-immune conceit of the past millennium.
In every aspect of life, I consider myself incredibly fortunate. Life
In my brief sojourn in college, my favorite classes were political science because I loved the idea of systems we can set up that benefit society - rules we can put in place that sometimes you run against, sometimes they're painful, but ultimately they benefit the world. Society ;Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
In my home office, I have two large, 30-inch computer monitors - a Mac and a PC. They share the same mouse and keyboard, so I can type or copy and paste between them. I'll typically do Web stuff on the Mac and e-mail and chat stuff on the PC.
In the morning, I have certain aspirations. One of my goals is to avoid looking at the computer or checking e-mail for at least an hour after I wake up. I also try to avoid alarm clocks as much as possible, because it's just nice to wake up without one. Morning
It seems like the web, particularly software as a service, provides ample opportunities for you to flourish economically, completely aligned with the broader open source community.
It turns out that social networks drive a heck of a lot of traffic to blogs.
It's good to be in a role when you can learn something new.
It's good to work for someone else. Because then you appreciate it more when you are an entrepreneur. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
Jeffrey Zeldman had an astonishing ability to craft a seductive coolness using educated references, dry humor, and retro/organic imagery. Humor
Just because someone uses Twitter doesn't mean they shouldn't use WordPress, and vice versa.
Longreads embodies a lot of what we really value with Automattic and WordPress.
Love is great, but not as a password. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
Money and salary is not a particularly good motivator in the long term. Money, Coins & Minting
Much of the lifeblood of blogs is search engines - more than half the traffic for most blogs.
My job is such that I get to run new things every day, and I get to run new markets and new technologies. I enjoy that quite a bit.
No matter what I do, I always come home to my blog.
Now an audience of more than 1 billion people is only a click away from every voice online, and remarkable stories and content can gain flash audiences as people share via social networks, blogs and e-mail. This radically equalizes the power relationship between, say, a blogger and a multibillion dollar corporation. Power
Occasionally, if I'm in a rut, I find changing location helps.
One of my favorite programs that we didn't make is Rescue Time. It runs in the corner of my computer and tracks how much time I spend on different things. I realized that even though I was doing e-mail only a couple of minutes at a time, it was adding up to a couple of hours a day. So I'm trying to reduce that. Time
One thing about open source is that even the failures contribute to the next thing that comes up. Unlike a company that could spend a million dollars in two years and fail and there's nothing really to show for it, if you spend a million dollars on open source, you probably have something amazing that other people can build on.
Particularly if you're a good engineer, there's a lot of ways you can make money, but to actually have an impact on the world is rare, and when you find an opportunity for that, it's very special. Money, Coins & Minting
People might start with LiveJournal or Blogger, but if they get serious, they'll graduate to WordPress. We try to cater to the more powerful users.
Philip Greenspun had a huge impact on me. He was the first person I knew of that embraced online communities, created a real business around open source, gave back to the community through education, and inspired me to explore photography. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Business, Commerce & Finance
Quantcast combines powerful web analytics with easy-to-read charts and data.
Red notification bubbles on any icon, including mail, drive me crazy.
Simperium seems like a genuine utility for our own apps, and for other people as a service. And Simplenote, as a product, I love, and it's just darn handy. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
Simplicity can have a negative impact when it's the crude reduction of nuances beyond appreciation: a Matisse presented as a 16-color GIF.
Some folks have suggested that, using WordPress, Prologue, and RSS, you could create a pretty effective distributed version of Twitter.
Sometimes you might feel blogs are like TV: You have a thousand channels, but nothing good is on.
Sometimes, you have to be frustrated and do something unscalable and a waste of your time to be inspired. Time
Technology is best when it brings people together. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
Thanks to our friends at the dot-ME Registry, WordPress is able to offer one of the shortest and most effective URLs available today.
The beauty of open-source is that you can pick up right where someone left off and start right there.
The biggest challenge for open source is that as it enters the consumer market, as projects like WordPress and Firefox have done, you have to create a user experience that is on par or better than the proprietary alternatives.
The biggest mistake we made at WordPress.com in term of infrastructure was buying servers.
The center of gravity for an organization should be as close to what they make as possible. If you make cars, you need people in the factory. If you breed horses, be in the stable. If you make the Internet, live on the Internet, and use all the freedom and power it gives you. Power ;Freedom & Liberty
The Google Voice service is a lifesaver for me. My actual phone number changes a lot, so having a canonical Google Voice number that doesn't change - it's actually my same number from high school - is indispensable.
The idea of having no responsibilities except general edification seems like such a luxury now. When I had it, all I wanted to do was hack around on the Web. Now the vast majority of my hours are hacking around on the Web.
The mobile world is very closed and proprietary just by definition.
The more money Automattic makes, the more we invest into Free and Open Source software that belongs to everybody and services to make that software sing. Money, Coins & Minting
The power of the web is not in centralization; it's not in closed systems or anything like that. It's in its open nature, and that's what allowed it to flourish for the first 10 or 15 years. Nature ;Power
The promise of the early web was that everyone could have a website but there was something missing. Maybe the technology wasn't ready. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
The relationship between WordPress and Tumblr has always been pretty friendly: Tumblr's own blog used to be on WP, WordPress.com supports Tumblr as a Publicize option alongside Twitter and Facebook, our Akismet team sends them daily emails of splogs on the service, and there's healthy import and export traffic both ways.
The rise of broadband and growing ubiquity of Internet access excites me the most. The world changes a lot when, no matter where you are - in the middle of a deserted highway or in a bustling city - you can get high speed broadband access.
The themes in WordPress drive a lot of design trends. It democratizes design... You make a theme, and suddenly it's on hundreds and thousands of sites.
The world cannot live on 140 characters alone.
There are 100 million blogs in the world, and it's part of my job as the co-founder of WordPress to help many more people start blogging.
There are two main methodologies of open source development. There's the Apache model, which is design by committee - great for things like web servers. Then you have the benevolent dictator model. That's what Ubuntu is doing, with Mark Shuttleworth.
There is no moderator or ombudsman online, and while the transparency of the web usually means that information is self-correcting, we still have to keep in mind the responsibility each of us carries when the power of the press is at our fingertips and in our pockets. Power
There's something very real about helping someone one-on-one.
Twitter is the ultimate service for the mobile age - its simplification and constraint of the publishing medium to 140 characters is perfectly complementary to a mobile experience.
Twitter is the ultimate service for the mobile age - its simplification and constraint of the publishing medium to 140 characters is perfectly complementary to a mobile experience. People still need longer stuff, but they see the headline on Twitter or Facebook.
Ubuntu is doing amazing things, and I think it's going to change the face of the desktop.
Ultimately, Captchas are useless for spam because they're designed to tell you if someone is 'human' or not, but not whether something is spam or not.
We focus on two things when hiring. First, find the best people you can in the world. And second, let them do their work. Just get out of their way. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
We're not done yet, but two things WordPress has been able to exemplify is that open source can create great user experiences and that it's possible to have a successful commercial entity and a wider free software community living and working in harmony.
What's best for advertisers on Twitter's platform isn't for there to be 20 different clients.
When I first got into technology I didn't really understand what open source was. Once I started writing software, I realized how important this would be. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
When I travel, which is most of the year, I live in TripIt. Travel
When there's no one you can point to, or when something goes wrong, it's your fault - that level of responsibility and accountability is pretty interesting.
When you look at things like Flickr and Youtube, they are specialised blogging systems, so why hasn't blogging encompassed that ease of functionality?
Whenever there's a new form of media, we always think it's going to replace the old thing, and it never does. We still have radio, however long after TV was introduced.
While I personally believe strongly in the philosophy and ideology of the Free Software movement, you can't win people over just on philosophy; you have to have a better product, too.
Why are so many companies stuck in this factory model of working?
With Akismet there was an interesting dilemma. Is it for the good of the world Akismet being secret and being more effective against spammers, versus it being open and less effective? It seemed more people would be helped by blocking spam.
With Akismet, there was an interesting dilemma. Is it for the good of the world Akismet being secret and being more effective against spammers, versus it being open and less effective?
WordPress, it's a complex tool; it's like the back of a digital SLR... but that doesn't work on a phone. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
WordPress.com is the only service of its kind that not only lets you export your data, but gives you an open source package you can run on pretty much any web host out there to run your own instance of the software. So the freedom is really in your hands. Freedom & Liberty
You don't need to know someone personally to be able to discern whether their work is high quality or not. The idea of a meritocracy is that it's what they do, not who they are. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
You really have to love every single bit of what you do. The moment that you do something that makes you feel queasy to your stomach, the company dies. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
You shouldn't restrict peoples' freedom on what they can and cannot do with code. Freedom & Liberty

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