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023 - Matt Mullenweg - The Evolution of Wordpress & Democratizing Publishing

By Elliot Roe

In today’s episode, Matt Mullenweg, co-founder of WordPress, CEO of Automattic, photographer, and world traveler, explains why he believes open-source is the only moral way for software to continue. Matt has witnessed the rapid advancement of open-source through his work with WordPress and has dedicated his life to democratizing publishing on the entire web. Although his lifelong mission is lofty to say the least, he maintains a balanced life with meditation, disconnected breaks, and travel. Listen in as Matt shares his opinion on culture, results, and taking control of your journey. Visit A-Game Advantage or find us on iTunes to subscribe, visit previous episodes, and learn more about your host, Elliot Roe. Time Stamped Show Notes 01:30 –Introducing Matt Mullenweg, co-founder of WordPress, CEO of Automattic, photographer, and world traveler 02:00 – He loved the idea of making websites; he started coding by contributing to his own blog 02:30 - Matt’s early days 02:40 – He volunteered for B2-Cafelog and when they stopped being developed he posted on his blog about wanting to continue 03:00 – He set up the software for 5 or 6 of his friends from his performing arts high school and those were the first ever WordPress sites 04:27 – The most exciting thing about the journey 04:42 – When someone he admires uses WordPress, he feels proud; he loves the open-source volunteers he works with from all over the world 06:30 – Matt’s views on open-source technology 06:40 – Everyone uses it and improves it, which makes improvement so much faster than if it were proprietary 07:30 – It’s important for the community to see and help improve how our technology works 08:00 – The WordPress hierarchal structure 08:10 – Things get approved; but if someone disagrees with his decision, people can still take ideas and go a different direction 08:56 – There are about 300-500 code contributors per release; this doesn’t include all the other positions that go into making a release possible 10:35 – Dealing with people who disagree with his decisions 10:53 – He engages with the community to hear their concerns and get input; Twitter doesn’t lend itself well to effective communication with the community 12:20 – Matt’s self-care routine 12:55 – He meditates with the Calm app; his self-awareness has improved with meditation 13:25 – He thinks music is the most underrated mood-changer; he has different music for different tasks 13:48 – He’ll listen to the same song or album on repeat to get in the zone; deep house and DJ sets help him get energy and focus 14:50 – He uses the net “Sleeping Dragon” sound 15:18 – Matt’s Burning Man experience 16:40 – How Matt disconnects 16:46 – At least once a year he completely unplugs and goes somewhere where connecting is difficult 17:10 – He takes micro-breaks throughout the week and avoids things building up while he’s on vacation by working a bit each day 19:50 – Tips for others running young companies 20:06 – Don’t try to innovate in too many ways at the same time 20:30 – Focus on hiring, retention, and letting go; it’s important how you treat your employees 21:05 – It’s respectful to let go of those who aren’t a good fit 21:55 – How Matt trusts the people he brings on 22:28 – In the early days, he enjoyed doing all the jobs; then, he could hire for those jobs or delegate 22:40 – He still loves to code but doesn’t necessarily like the way the company codes now 23:30 – The importance of culture 23:40 – He believes culture is an overused word; just practice what you preach 24:30 – Emphasize that the rules are an iteration; keep building and reexamine your assumptions 24:50 – Results keep you honest; Uber and Google as an example 25:45 – Matt’s future 25:50 – The goal of his companies is to democratize publishing; they want the whole web on an open-source operating system 26:13 – He plans on working on this for the rest of his life 26:50 – Their philosophy and quality of software keeps WordPress popular 3 Key Points                                                          Open-source is critical for rapid worldwide innovation. Practice what you preach. Results keep you honest. Contact/Resources Primed Mind – Elliot’s Mindset App Calm – Meditation App net – Sound Site Work Rules! – Book Principles – Book Matt’s Instagram Matt’s Twitter Matts Website Automattic – Matt’s Company com – WordPress Add-on Credits Podcast Production by Podcastily

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