Matt Mullenweg

Matt Mullenweg

Founder of WordPress, Automattic, Jetpack, and Audrey Capital

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON September 22, 2015

Discussion

Matt Mullenweg
Matt Mullenweg@photomatt · CEO, Automattic
Howdy everyone, Matt here. I'm the co-founder of the open-source blogging platform, WordPress, the most popular publishing platform on the web which powers about 24% of websites and the founder & CEO of Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com and Jetpack. I also run Audrey Capital, an investment and research company with about 70 investments so far. Feel free to ask me anything!
Ryan Hoover
Ryan Hoover@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
It seems distributed teams (something Automattic is known for) and remote working is growing in popularity and acceptance. Why is that, Matt? Relevant: @levelsio created a great collection of products for digital nomads and remote workers.
Matt Mullenweg
Matt Mullenweg@photomatt · CEO, Automattic
@rrhoover First I think there was a huge gold rush to SF in particular and the Bay Area in general. My rent when I moved to SF was $2700 for a 1100sf two bedroom. (I sound old saying this, I'm only 31.) That has at least doubled. Now multiply that by the number of employees you're trying to put in an office with skyrocketing rent you're going to outgrow in a year... So this causes people to go back to first principles, what actually matters about what we're building, how we're working together, what we're creating. What are the actual advantages of being in the Bay Area, and what is just window dressing. Does the entire team need to be there to get the advantages, or just some people, some of the time? What about the new generation of highly sophisticated investors outside of the Bay that have economic models and timelines better suited to how startups operate today, not in the 90s or 00s? We're going to come out of this cycle with a lot of failed startups and a lot of much-wealthier landlords. Every dollar you're spending toward something that isn't directly benefiting your users or your growth is a distraction, in the early stages for sure, but doubly so once you have lots of dollars.
Hertz Lovers
Hertz Lovers@hertzlovers
Hi Matt! So glad a founder like you is doing this. Thanks a lot. Seriously. I would like to ask about mobile native-like experience when it comes to browsing WP sites in mobile/tablets. What do you think? Is WP getting there? Is something missing? Have you ever consider leaving PHP behind and switching to a "Single Page Application" kind of website? Thanks bro!
Matt Mullenweg
Matt Mullenweg@photomatt · CEO, Automattic
@hertzlovers For visitors to blogs / sites I think a server-side rendered approach is going to be the most effective and efficient to get a drive-by visitor the content as quickly as possible, though many themes could do a lot more optimization and this is something we're definitely try to help people with the Jetpack plugin. For the admin side of WordPress, which contains a lot of deep and complex functionality, a "Single Page Application" approach could be really interesting.
Luis Herranz
Luis Herranz@luisherranz · CTO at @getworona
@photomatt @hertzlovers That's interesing. Maybe with the upcoming WP-API, a Single Page Application could be possible for both the front and the admin side. If so, we could have WP sites without any PHP or even MySQL, only based on the "WP-API language". What do you think? Could WP become only "a language"?
Nikhil V.
Nikhil V.@nikvimal · Founder
Hello Matt, with the upcoming release of the WP REST API in WordPress core, what do you hope to most see built with it’s capabilities?
Matt Mullenweg
Matt Mullenweg@photomatt · CEO, Automattic
@techvoltz I'm hugely excited about the REST API! Once the infrastructure is in, I think we'll see really widespread adoption from plugins that right now are creating their endpoints in very ad hoc ways. Once we iterate a bit more on the core content endpoints and authentication I think we'll see a lot more specialized interfaces built on WP as like a content kernel, an engine powering a wide array of applications and interfaces you'd never imagine having WordPress behind them today.
Jack Reichert
Jack Reichert@jackreichert · Full Stack Philosopher
@photomatt @techvoltz Do you see wp-api evolving to include a Parse like library for mobile development? I'd love to see what plugins could be built off the sort of data that is generated by apps.
Fercho
Fercho@madebyfercho · eso si
Hi Matt!! Thank you for answering our questions. I'm a WP plugin developer, and I've always wondered how plugins are ordered in the search results from WP's plugin repository. Are there any good practices to follow in order to get my plugins well positioned for specific search terms? Thank you!!
Matt Mullenweg
Matt Mullenweg@photomatt · CEO, Automattic
@madebyfercho We're experimenting more here in the coming year. The things we'll emphasize are the things that make your plugin a good citizen in the world: support your users, don't upsell, update frequently, have multiple contributors, translate, test frequently, be responsive to security issues.
Andrei Barbuta
Andrei Barbuta@andreibarbuta · Freelance Front-End Developer
@photomatt Hi Matt, I was wondering if you, having accomplished so much, have ever had a burnout and how did you recover? If not, do you do something to avoid having one?
Matt Mullenweg
Matt Mullenweg@photomatt · CEO, Automattic
@andreibarbuta Definitely. Everything is connected, so if one of ( health | diet | relationships | family | work | soul | creative outlet ) is running on empty for too long, it will impact the others and you might end up treating the symptom rather than the cause. Recovery always comes from the people around you who give you unconditional love and support, which I've been lucky to have since I was an infant. To avoid it now I try to take small mini-breaks frequently, be that a ten minute meditation every day, jogging a few times a week, or taking a few days to recharge once a month. I find that's better (and less stressful) than trying to do a big blow-out reset or vacation once a year. Conversely, a lot of times when people think I'm on vacation I'm actually working as much or more than when I'm at home, just from a more interesting location (often with fewer distractions). Funnily enough I'm more likely to actually take time off and unplug at home, and more likely to be working when in an exotic location.
Jack Reichert
Jack Reichert@jackreichert · Full Stack Philosopher
@photomatt @andreibarbuta which remote locations have surprised you the most as best places to get work done?
Andrei Barbuta
Andrei Barbuta@andreibarbuta · Freelance Front-End Developer
@photomatt @andreibarbuta Thank you, the mini-breaks are interesting I think especially if you get to change routine and do something different, in my case I think a little get away with my fiancee and no tech gadgets (think I need a detox on that) :) . By the way, I started using Calm couple of days ago (I had it installed for months), so thank you for that also, it's a great app. Have a great day!
Fernando Moreno
Fernando Moreno@fmorenoper · Worona
Hi Matt, thanks for taking the time to do this! Do you think that WordPress responsive themes are enough to offer the user a full experience from mobile? What are your next steps in WordPress regarding mobile traffic? Thanks!!
Pete Indelicato
Pete Indelicato@protopete · Product Lead and Co-founder, GrowthHax
Hi Matt - what kind of policies and practices do you have, if any, that help remote teams work well together within teams and across teams? Or, do you let teams figure that out for themselves and see a bunch of different things work well?
Mario Y. Peshev
Mario Y. Peshev@no_fear_inc · WordPress Architect, DevriX
@photomatt hey Matt, thanks for the AMA. What would you advice freelancers and businesses around WordPress that have to deal with the constant race to the bottom, lack of quality standards/training courses for newbies and overall perception that "everything in WordPress is free"?
Matt Mullenweg
Matt Mullenweg@photomatt · CEO, Automattic
@no_fear_inc The everything-is-free anchoring is tough to deal with, and definitely something we run into at Automattic as well. I don't think of it as a race to the bottom though, in fact it mirrors which happens in the larger business world which is you have to be constantly evolving and upping your game to remain competitive. It has nothing to do with being WordPress-related or not, there's always someone out there looking for a better way to do things. As Jeff Bezos put it, “Your margin is my opportunity.”
Jeff
Jeff@jeffr0
You've spent a lot of time, money, and energy on trying to catch up on creating a great mobile experience in WordPress via dedicated apps. As more of the WordPress backend becomes responsive, how will this affect (if any) the priority level of developing the mobile apps versus putting that time and effort into a 100% responsive WordPress backend?
Sandeep Tripathy
Sandeep Tripathy@kingdomof_s · Programmer | Digital Guy | Musician
@photomatt Hi Matt I’ve been a WordPress user/designer since 2009 and seeing it evolve over a period of years, it makes me wonder when will WordPress become a complete web development framework instead of only being a CMS? Components like Buddypress, bbpress etc have already given a lot of extensibility for WordPress though its still is mostly used as a CMS and not as a platform to build new apps(be it web or native-mobile), which I’m sure it can. I also remember something that you said in 2012 that WP will soon be a web operating system which was really exciting news for a many of us. So, does the WordPress Foundation have any plans regarding this?
Tys Bradford
Tys Bradford@tysbradford · App Developer & Founder of BlueTropical
G’day Matt! Your accomplishments with Wordpress have literally changed the face of the internet and enabled people without programming skills to make beautiful and functional websites. Do you think this could be replicated ever with mobile applications (iOS/Android)? I have seen a few companies try, but none have come close to delivering in the way Wordpress is able to.
Matt Mullenweg
Matt Mullenweg@photomatt · CEO, Automattic
@tysbradford Thank you! The ecosystems and app stores for iOS and Android right now are too locked down, and the discoverability and overhead of apps is too distorted, for an approach like WordPress' to work for mobile applications. The environment for the foreseeable future there is going to favor more centralized apps, my only hope is that at least a few get really successful (including ours) that aren't advertising-driven.
Ionut Neagu
Ionut Neagu@hackinglife7 · CEO at Themeisle.com
@photomatt Hey Matt, Thanks for doing this! Due to the GPL thing I believe once the market will become even more mature paid themes/plugins will more or less disappear, how do you see themes/plugins future ? ( I am not talking about SaaS kind of things )
Ignaty Nikulin
Ignaty Nikulin@ignaty · Founder and CTO at Cone-headed Cat
@photomatt when rest api will be merged to Wordpress core? Thank you!
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
Matt, Welcome! :D You became a founder at a very young age. If you could go back in time and give advice for your, say, 20 year old self, what would you tell yourself? How about 25? also: latest rap song or artist you've discovered?
Matt Mullenweg
Matt Mullenweg@photomatt · CEO, Automattic
@eriktorenberg To my 20-year-old self I would say to be okay with things building up over time. Something I didn't appreciate until recently is that there any many productive decades ahead with which to build the things that I feel need to exist in the world. One of the best things I did then was avoid any press or capitalization on my age (to the extent I could) because youth is an ephemeral asset and just a novelty in business. To my 25-year-old self I would tell him to slow down and think about health more, I burned the candle at both ends that year. I would also say to not get as caught up in mailing list and IRC arguments and discussions, just focus on building. Favorite rap song discovery recently is Everyday by A$AP Rocky, in fact that entire album is fantastic, and Big Sean's Dark Sky Paradise. A rapper I just started to hear and been intrigued by his lyricism is Logic. He's not a rapper but keep an eye out for Arrow Benjamin.
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
@photomatt @eriktorenberg love this answer. i've appreciated that you've documented many parts of your journey on your blog throughout.
Matthew Kay
Matthew Kay@matthewgkay
Some would say that you use a Dvorak keyboard and can type over 120 words per minute. Would you by any chance be using a Dvorak keyboard and typing at around 120 words per minute as you reply to questions on this thread? Would you say that the Dvorak keyboard enables you to be a more efficient typist? Why is this and why aren't more people using Dvorak?
Sydney Liu
Sydney Liu@sydney_liu_sl · Co-Founder of Commaful.com
Hi Matt, Thanks for doing this AMA! In the early days of WordPress, what was the 20% that got you the 80% of the results? Thanks, Sydney
Matt Mullenweg
Matt Mullenweg@photomatt · CEO, Automattic
@sydney_liu_sl There's no simple answer there, if I had to pick one thing it would be "luck."
Chris Koerner
Chris Koerner@ckoerner
@photomatt What advice do you have for someone looking to join Automattic. What stands out in a strong candidate to you?
Matt Mullenweg
Matt Mullenweg@photomatt · CEO, Automattic
@ckoerner There are two sides. First, do interesting things and learn a lot. It doesn't matter where you went to school (or didn't), or if you've been in the same job for a decade, but what have you done above and beyond that? Personal projects, open source, community service, volunteer, education, things that demonstrate your passion, creativity, attention to detail, and work ethic. Second, does your application tell that story? Think about how it stands out, how you can demonstrate the above not just in what you've done but how you apply to the job. Lots of our hiring process is geared toward determining if skills are at a level to contribute to Automattic, and they work great, so what I primarily look for is the four qualities you can’t teach: work ethic, taste, integrity, and curiosity.
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
What is your best, natural skill? How and when did you discover you had this skill (or personality trait, or combination of skillsets?)
Matt Mullenweg
Matt Mullenweg@photomatt · CEO, Automattic
@eriktorenberg I'm not scared of getting up in front of a group, or taking the initive to make something happen rather than waiting for someone else to. I realized this partly through Boy Scouts, and later through starting/leading a computer club in HS and the Houston Palm(pilot) Users Group. The related and more-important thing is hiring.
Mike Sukmanowsky
Mike Sukmanowsky@msukmanowsky · VP Product @ Parsely
@photomatt a few questions about distributed product management: 1) what was the hardest part about Automattic moving to distributed and autonomous product teams? 2) How do internal WordPress teams manage their roadmaps? 3) Any tips in general for scaling distributed product/engineering organizations?
Taufiq Husain
Taufiq Husain@taufiqhusainca · Managing Director at Polar Hills.
Hey Matt, What do you think of newer blogging tools such as Medium? Does it inspire you to improve the publishing experience on WordPress? Do you think Medium has a chance compared (similar to WordPress) to power media & blog sites worldwide someday? Thanks!
Excess Matters
Excess Matters@excessmatters · Excess Matters
Howdy Matt! What's the story behind the Audrey Capital name? Can you elaborate on the research aspect of Audrey Capital and what drives you to invest?
Nate Henry
Nate Henry@natelately · Designer
How many domain hacks do you own? Do you have plans for them?
ED
ED@aten · CEO & Designer, Merchbar.com
Hi Matt! I know you spend a lot of time traveling to Wordcamps around the world to interact with users of the platform. What are other ways you interact with and learn from Wordpress users? What kind of insights are you looking for? Are there any forums for feedback you used to use that you don't anymore?
Matt Mullenweg
Matt Mullenweg@photomatt · CEO, Automattic
@aten I get a ton of insight when doing support, whether that's tickets or live chat on WordPress.com, or just personal support for my many friends and family I've gotten to use WordPress. I also occasionally dive into searches for WordPress and related terms on Twitter and random Facebook groups. One thing I miss that I used to do was participate a ton on the WP.com and W.org forums. Periodically a from-scratch user test or walkthrough can be incredibly eye opening.
Marc Jenkins
Marc Jenkins@marcjenkins · Web Developer
Hi Matt! What do you think were the factors that you got right in the early days (and your competitors didn't) that lead to WordPress' incredible adoption?
Matt Mullenweg
Matt Mullenweg@photomatt · CEO, Automattic
@marcjenkins In the earliest days it was our adoption and support of web standards, an easy/well-documented installation process, good (or lucky) choice of platforms in PHP and MySQL, and being a collaborative open source project.
Kristof Bernaert
Kristof Bernaert@ssstofff · WordPress Full-Stack Web Architect - UX
hi @photomatt, are you still involved in core development/decisions? How do you see WP about 5 years, or how do you want it to see? Favorite hobby to empty your head? Your best headphone ever?
Matt Mullenweg
Matt Mullenweg@photomatt · CEO, Automattic
@ssstofff I work on something with Core pretty much every day of the week, but I do try to stay a lot more behind-the-scenes there than before. I will throw my hat in the ring to lead a release again sometimes between now and 5.0 though, especially once we catch up with a few more things at Automattic. In 5 years I think that WP will be infinitely easier to use for both power-users, developers, and newbies. You will be able to have a full experience of core, plugins, themes, docs, and support in several dozen languages that will be as large or larger than English. There will be over a million people making their living on top of the platform. Most people will be creating from touch devices, and their content will mostly not come from keyboards (virtual or physical) as an input device. My decompression hobby right now is kind of dorky, but I love it -- IT stuff like I did in my teenage years: wifi, A/V, backups, wiring things, upgrading components, automating things, smart home stuff, batteries, charge cables, miniaturization, bluetooth, NFC. I'll take this moment to plug that there's some very cool stuff coming from http://nfcring.com/ soon. Headphones are getting better than ever. The three I use most now are: Sennheiser Momentum wireless for travel and good sound, Powerbeats Wireless for exercise and not getting run over by trains, and custom Ultimate Ear 18s (wired) for best sound and misc other times. At home I have a lot of hi-fi equipment, but most is overkill. There are lots of new ones I haven't evaluated so I don't know if those are all still the best available for their category.
NFC Ring
NFC Ring@nfcring
@photomatt @ssstofff Glad to see you are still hacking away at stuff in your downtime. The sign of a true geek - do geek stuff during the day, get home and do different geek stuff, because you love it.
Daniel Klose
Daniel Klose@kloseline · Former HW Project Manager - Now Coffee
@photomatt When you say: "Most people will be creating from touch devices, and their content will mostly not come from keyboards (virtual or physical) as an input device." do you believe that means there won't be much written text anymore? I appreciate the push in WordPress for mobile, but I'm having a hard time to accept mobile first for content creation. It's ok with FB status updates, but the internet as an information source is more than toilet entertainment...
Justin F Harris
Justin F Harris@justinfharris · Co-Founder, Beehive
@photomatt Hey Matt, Amazing work with Automattic. What kind of investments do you look for at Audrey Capital? Do you feel that being a musician has helped your success or thinking on growing a company? Thanks and keep making cool stuff!
Spock
Spock@utkarsh_me · Little monks
@photomatt Where will be WordPress​ after 5-10 years ?
Rahul Bansal
Rahul Bansal@rahul286 · Founder & CEO @rtCamp
@photomatt in your opinion, which trend or radical change WordPress needs to have? Some examples: - composer support for core, themes and plugin, - git instead of svn for plugin and theme - better code layout (mvc or some other design pattern) - angularjs or a REST API based "default theme" for future WordPress versions. May be TwentySeventeen or TwentyEighteen You can pick anything. Not necessarily from above list! I just like to know which trends you "think" about.
Corey Maass
Corey Maass@gelform · Web app developer, often with WordPress
I've used WordPress as an application platform for the last 3 SaaS apps I've built. I'm starting to present this "concept" to meetups and such, and people look at me like I have 2 heads. Are there any good blogs, resources or authors I can point people to who are exploring WordPress as an application platform specifically?
Taylor McCaslin
Taylor McCaslin@taylor4484 · Technical Product Manager
First off, huge congrats on the success of WordPress. The fact it powers 24% of the internet, and that thousands of people and businesses solely make their income off of WordPress based products and services, it is amazing. Thank you for all your work helping make that come to fruition. A few questions: 1. Back in July there was a survey posted on the hosting recommendation page (https://wordpress.org/hosting/), however the survey closed on July 31st, and we haven't seen or heard anything since then. The survey asked a lot of intimate details about hosts. What's the plan for that information and the future of the hosting recommendation page? Talk at WordCamps and among Automatticians pointed towards a "choose your own adventure" hosting guide to help people find the right host for them. This seems much more helpful than one or two "featured" hosting partners. 2. With the acquisition of WooCommerce and WooThemes, it seems as if Automattic and WordPress.com are working towards an integrated ecommerce solution. How do you feel about competing with solutions like Squarespace Ecommerce, Shopify, and BigCommerce? Thanks again for your contributions and for taking the time to respond to all these great AMA questions!
Daniel James
Daniel James@deleted-314815
@photomatt Hey Matt, what advice would you give to someone who wants to get into Open Source but is confused and doesn't get stuff like GitHub and Git, Terminal etc. As well as wanting to start an Open Source Project as well. Any advice to help get started?
Matt Mullenweg
Matt Mullenweg@photomatt · CEO, Automattic
@danieltj27 You have to understand the tech, so read everything you can about it, find someone to walk you through, sneak into a college class, try and fail on local installs, do whatever it takes to get to the other side of understanding for the core tech of collaboration of open source projects, or adopt something other than Git/etc that fits you better.
Alphavisor
Alphavisor@alphavisor
When will WP be reactive as in real time instead of pressing the refresh button. It seems like that is the direction of CMS's.
Matt Mullenweg
Matt Mullenweg@photomatt · CEO, Automattic
@alphavisor I have no doubt this will happen. :)
Edwards Powers
Edwards Powers@edwardspowers · Business Analyst
@photomatt What's your view on the future of the internet in 2016 and beyond?
Bernard O'bien
Bernard O'bien@bernard_o_bien
@photomatt Thanks for doing this. With regards to open source platforms(blogging, or self publishing in the case of Medium), Where do you see the future of Open sourced solution in the tech ecosystem and the effects that will have on enhancing knowledge share? Sorry! Multifaceted Question.
Dre Durr💡
Dre Durr💡@dredurr · Growth is the only thing that matters
What are your top 5 hip hop albums of all time?
Sam Willson
Sam Willson@samwillsn
Hey Matt! I think you said on the Tim Ferriss Podcast that you would hesitate starting another Non-Profit due to the massive hassle involved in setting it up (to show that it isn't a way to avoid tax etc). Do you think that it is best for a college student to then aim mainly at the for-profit industry to make a big difference, and at what stage is it worthwhile doing non-profit work? I'd love to hear more in depth thought about this.
Matt Mullenweg
Matt Mullenweg@photomatt · CEO, Automattic
@samwillsn Knowing what little I do of both areas, and if tax-deductible donations are not a key part of your plan, do a for-profit and just try to do all the good things in the world with it you would have done with your non-profit.
Brian Krogsgard
Brian Krogsgard@krogsgard · Editor, Post Status & Commerce Notebook
@photomatt @samwillsn How do you feel about the recent B corp moves, like Kickstarter's? Would you consider reincorporating A8C to be the same?
Emin Özlem
Emin Özlem@eminozlem
did you check back on b2evolution (b2evo - cafelog) after you started WordPress ? Are you still getting questions about it ? How do you feel about the all forking story, could someone take over WP and take it to whole another level one day ?
Russell Aaron
Russell Aaron@enqueue_russ · WordCamp Vegas Lead Organizer
@photomatt We had an open discussion about WordPress this weekend at WordCamp Vegas 2015. we got all of the speakers, sponsors and attendees together and we had an open mic. anyone could ask / answer a question. A greater conversation broke out and I was wondering: How you feel about involving everyone in the WordCamp event, instead of just opening the floor to a panel or localizing the answers to one place.
Rose Kuo
Rose Kuo@tigerose · Photographer and Writer, www.rosekuo.org
Hi Matt, hope you're having a great day. 1) Can you describe how musical/artistic ability (and a general love for music and art) has helped you in the tech world (and in life)? 2) When your gut instinct happens to tell you the opposite of the majority of advice you receive, how do you decide what to do? 3) Curious as a fellow Texan who loves to travel, what's your response if someone makes fun of your use of "y'all" or other colloquialisms?
Matt Mullenweg
Matt Mullenweg@photomatt · CEO, Automattic
@tigerose 1. I don't know if anything to do with music has a causal effect with success in the entrepreneurial sphere, but there are things you learn as a musician, like the concept of deliberate practice and persistence, which are highly applicable across all aspects of life. My musical background brings me something I can connect with people share a similar passion, and today choosing which music to listen to is one of the most reliable ways to break me out of a funk, help me concentrate, put words to emotions or feelings I can't articulate, or get a room to dance. :) 2. Most of the interesting or important things I've done in life have been directly contrary to the majority of advice I've gotten. WordPress itself was widely criticized as entering a crowded market that had no need for new products and unassailable dominant players. Sometimes my gut is wrong though -- I try to break down reactions or feelings to their sources or component parts, think of first principles that govern the environment and try to strip away all of the extraneous influences (this is the hardest), and finally imagine a future self looking back and think if he would regret not ( going down the water slide | jumping out of the plane | kissing the girl ). 3. I try to work "y'all" into the conversation as soon as possible as quick filter to see who is worth spending more time with or not. It is also incredibly useful in a world of gender-neutral pronouns.
Connor Hicks
Connor Hicks@cohix · Software Developer at 1Password
@photomatt hey Matt! I was an intern at a8c earlier this year on the VIP team, very cool to see you on PH. If you had to choose one upcoming technology to put a8c's weight behind over the next 5 years, what would it be?
Randy Ksar
Randy Ksar@djksar · I find cool things
@photomatt in your career, who is the one hire (position or actual person) that you are most proud of / thankful for?
Judith Straetemans
Judith Straetemans@judithstr · Product Manager @ Addapp
@photomatt Hi Matt! What is the one book that changed you, one you would recommend everyone to read?
Ansel Taft
Ansel Taft@anseltaft · AnselTaft.com
Two questions: 1. Why were the WordPress core developers tone deaf to the community's outcry against onshoring the menu editor in the Customizer? From what I can tell the pushback to the pushback left the community feeling like the 'core developers knew better' and our concerns didn't matter as much as the inner circle's opinion. 2. Do you still think it was a good idea to re-up the war against Pearson by acquiring Thesis.com? More than a few Advanced WordPress members voiced concern that it was childish, vindictive, and not representative of how we wish our de facto leader would act - OSS and GPL champion or not. Cheers
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
HUGE HUGE thanks to @photomatt for taking the time to chat with us today - for the thorough answers and for even staying extra to do so. We're all very grateful. Cheers!
Katz Kawai
Katz Kawai@katzkawai
@photomatt Hi, Matt. I love wonderful P2 theme, and use it every day, all of the projects. Do you still use the P2? I hear that Automatticians are now using mainly Slack. Also, I like Simplenote better than, say, Evernote. What is the future of Simplenote?
NeOPSTEP
NeOPSTEP@joyneop · UI/UX at Jisuanke.com
Hi Matt! I wonder, In your opinion, what are critical parts for remote teams to keep productive? And, what if the team has highly diverse cultural backgrounds?
Tom Parish
Tom Parish@tparish · VP Marketing
Thank you Matt for your time. How do you see WordPress evolving in the next 24 months?
Theoharis Dimarhos
Theoharis Dimarhos@theo_dimarhos · Marketing+Biz Dev at AngelouEconomics
Hi Matt! Besides great product/content, have you seen any other ways to make a company grow its audience/users/customers? Thanks!
daniellevine
daniellevine@daniellevine · Fireside
@photomatt Hey Matt! Thank's for doing this AMA. I'm wondering, what's the best thing you've come across in the last 30 days and why? Could be anything, a product, an article, a tea, a quote. Anything! Thanks for answering.
amielucha
amielucha@amielucha
@photomatt Hi Matt. 1. What kind of people are you looking for at Automattic? Are you looking for a specific set of skills when selecting team members? 2. What is the direction Automattic is going now in regards to products and services range? Would you rather focus on expanding and adding more services and products or rather keeping Automattic as is but growing stronger on the market?
michaelbrom
michaelbrom@michaelbrom · Native Houstonian. Partner at Reside.
Howdy Matt, what's your favorite app (or fave website) on your phone these days?
Matt Mullenweg
Matt Mullenweg@photomatt · CEO, Automattic
@michaelbrom In no particular order: * Fitbit * Calm * Telegram / FB Messenger / iMessage * Runkeeper * Blinkist * Wunderlist * Uber * Simplenote * Swarm * Coach.me * Slack * Google Photos * Spotify * A cool internal beta of WordPress :) I've also really been enjoying Beats 1 radio.
@photomatt Should Automattic be diversifying into other internet services?
@photomatt looked at your portfolio with Audrey and see one stand out...Hike. Do you see your firm investing in more ideas that are targeted for Asia/India? And...what are you hiring for?
Jeff Umbro
Jeff Umbro@jeffumbro · CEO of The podglomerate
Hi @photomatt - I'm curious what you think about the future of Wordpress. I know it's still huge and incredibly popular and that the widget feature remains somewhat unique in the world of CMSs. My question is whether you see companies like Nation Builder or Squarespace as competitors? Are they taking significant market share from you and Wordpress and how do you think you'll evolve to fix that?
Kalo Yankulov
Kalo Yankulov@kaloyanyankulov · Product creator and marketer
Hi, ​Matt. I run a productized service for WooCommerce and WordPress (http://wooguru.net) What advice for growth you'd give a person running a similar service?
Alex Vinogradov
Alex Vinogradov@alexvinogradov4 · http://www.cfc.io http://heartin.net CEO
@photomatt Hi. I'm looking for help in world-wide distribution for my http://heartin.net project, not for investment. Is it possible to meet with u in SF and get some help, introductions e.t.c? Alex
Matt Gibbs
Matt Gibbs@mgibbs189 · Lead developer, FacetWP
Hey Matt, congrats about the WooThemes acquisition! Do you envision the (premium) extension marketplace continuing to play a pivotal role in WooCommerce? Also, what's your personal stance regarding listing premium plugins on wordpress.org?
Matt Mullenweg
Matt Mullenweg@photomatt · CEO, Automattic
@mgibbs189 The extension marketplace is definitely crucial for WooCommerce. No plans for anything paid on WordPress.org.
Wade Holloway
Wade Holloway@wadeholloway · Marketer, Growth Hacker
Hi Matt - Thanks for doing this AMA. Upvoted two great questions by @eriktorenberg & @msukmanowsky
Jade Hwa
Jade Hwa@jadehwa · nomad
Hi Matt! Do you have a consistent setup for your desk or workstation? Can you list some items that make it easier for you to work from various locations (headphones, gadgets, snacks, anything)? I'm super impressed that you can focus so well working in beautiful, exotic locales. Thanks!
Matt Mullenweg
Matt Mullenweg@photomatt · CEO, Automattic
@jadehwa Nothing is ever consistent! At home I like the Retina 5k iMac, on the road my primary machine right now is a 15" Macbook. Everything else is changing all the time, and I try not to get too dependent on anything to be productive because it can become a crutch. In January I did a post on what's in my bag, which is essentially my "desk": http://ma.tt/2015/01/whats-in-my... It's been an exciting tech year and about 80% of that has changed, including the bag itself, so I'm looking forward to doing another update in the next few months. I will plug one thing that I have 5-6 of a day when I'm home, and miss when I travel, which is Hint Water (also an Audrey investment): https://www.drinkhint.com
Peter Knight
Peter Knight@peterrknight
Will the tech (Simperium etc) behind Simplenote be open sourced? I'd like to see offline capable WordPress sites and one of the missing pieces is a tool that makes syncing data across browsers and the DB easy.
cf7skins
cf7skins@cf7skins · WordPress Developer
My question is why you used "open-source blogging platform" rather than "open-source CMS platform" to describe WordPress in your introduction here?
Ahmad Awais ⚡
Ahmad Awais ⚡@mrahmadawais · 🥑 OSS Dev Advocate & WordPress Core Dev
Hey, Matt! Great AMA, thanks for doing this. 1) What do you think WordPress is headed towards in next 10 to 20 years? 25% of the www is impressive to say the least, what about Mobile? 2) What would be your advice for anyone who builds products (themes/plugins) in ref to the direction of our company and being productive? 3) When can we expect a change from SVN to GIT, I know it's a biggie, but it will help a lot.
Orbisius
Orbisius@orbisius · Orbisius
Hey Matt, Re: "No plans for anything paid on WordPress.org."... Why not? What are your 3 reasons? If designers & developers get some money for their work that will keep them motivated to improve it and not abandon the plugins/themes because they have to work at a regular job or take on client work.