USA Today’s Jefferson Graham met with Matt Mullenweg yesterday to discuss WordPress. This article explains how Matt became involved in the WordPress project and how Automattic was created. Much of the interview can be found in Matt’s Wikipedia entry . However, he did include a few quotes that are worth repeating.
The first quote is:
“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,”
I love this quote simply because Matt uses his own blog platform to promote it.
The second quote is one that I consider to be very important. Jefferson asked Mullenweg how much Automattic makes. Here’s what Matt said:
“We’re profitable”. “Our goal was never to make the most money possible, just enough to sustain our growth and contribute as much back to open source as possible.”
Think about this for a moment. Automattic wasn’t created to be a giant corporation that hoards all the WordPress.org goodness. Automattic’s employee base has been growing slowly since its inception. They also made excellent use of the $1.1million they raised for their initial round of funding. They were able to take a few risks and not worry about payroll, but WordPress.com’s success meant that they used very little of the funding money.
Too often, people in the WordPress community believe that Automattic is the only company who can make money from WordPress. However, Automattic also flattens every other person’s business opportunities. I encourage you to listen to my special interview with Matt Mullenweg. You can access the episode .
In this episode, Matt clearly reveals that WordPress.org is his passion. He wants to see as many people as possible become successful through the likes of the software albeit with a simple request to abide by the license for which the software is filed under (GPL). This episode also reveals that Matt isn’t as evil as some people in the community might have you believe. He is smart, passionate about the software, not just the people who make it successful, but also the people using it and, most importantly, the open-source nature of it all. He only does what he believes is best for his community. We may not all agree with his decisions, but he always puts the community’s interests first.