Distributed, with Matt Mullenweg

Matt Mullenweg

Matt Mullenweg, cofounder of WordPress and CEO of Automattic, embarks on a journey to understand the future of work. Having built his own 900-person company with no offices and employees scattered across 68 countries, Mullenweg examines the benefits and challenges of distributed work and recruiting talented people around the globe.

All Episodes

Are companies setting up their managers for success? What are BICEPS? How do you assemble your colleagues like a management Voltron? Lara Hogan is the founder of Wherewithall, a firm that specializes in management and leadership training. She’s the author of Resilient Management, a must-read for anyone who is a manager, wants to become one, or generally just wants to learn how to be a better teammate.

Jul 24

38 min

"We have introduced so many frictions to people’s lives by forcing them to move." Prithwiraj (Raj) Choudhury, the Lumry Family Associate Professor at Harvard Business School, studies the future of work -- specifically the changing geography of work. What happens to cities, to immigration policies, and to issues around gender equity when more companies let people work from anywhere?

Jul 3

50 min

Is working from home a breakthrough for introverts? The answer, of course, is not so simple. Morra Aarons-Mele is the host of The Anxious Achiever podcast for HBR Presents from Harvard Business Review, and founder of award-winning social impact agency Women Online and its database of women influencers, The Mission List. She’s also the author of Hiding in the Bathroom: How to Get Out There (When You’d Rather Stay Home). To learn more about Aarons-Mele’s work, go to womenandwork.org.

Jun 19

53 min

Matt Mullenweg speaks with neuroscientist Dr. Adam Gazzaley, co-author of the book The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a High-Tech World, about how our brains work, particularly during times like the current pandemic. How does the brain handle internal and external stimuli, and what do we know about the effect of practices like meditation, exercise, nutrition, and sleep?

Apr 29

58 min

On a recent episode of Sam Harris's excellent Making Sense podcast, Matt shared insights for managers and companies who are currently exploring remote work for the first time.

Apr 15

106 min

The world has dramatically changed in just a few weeks. As companies around the world shift to remote work, how do we navigate this crisis? Distributed host Matt Mullenweg talks to Vanessa Van Edwards, bestselling author, speaker, and founder of Science of People, about how we communicate with our friends, family, and coworkers during a time when Zoom and Slack are our primary tools for understanding each other.

Apr 9

46 min

For our first episode of the year, host Matt Mullenweg talks to Jason Fried, the CEO of Basecamp. Jason runs a semi-distributed company that’s been making project management software for 20 years. He’s accumulated a wealth of wisdom about how trusting employees and treating them with respect can yield long-term success. For more, go to Distributed.blog.

Jan 9

33 min

To close out the year, our host Matt Mullenweg is joined once again by Automattic’s Mark Armstrong to discuss the state of distributed work as we transition into a new decade. Matt discusses his key takeaways from his 2019 conversations on the podcast, and reflects on his year as the CEO of a growing distributed company. m For more, go to Distributed.blog.

Dec 2019

45 min

Anil Dash didn’t like the direction the web was going, so he joined a tech company that promised to take web development back to its indie roots. That company became known as Glitch, a semi-distributed company based in NYC. In this episode, Matt and Anil talk about the good old days of blogging and how the ideals of those pioneers inform the way Glitch treats its employees and its product. For more, go to Distributed.blog.

Dec 2019

57 min

On this episode of the Distributed podcast, we get an insider’s look at the Grand Meetup, Automattic’s annual weeklong all-staff event, where employees have an opportunity to collaborate, learn from one another, and hang out face-to-face. Folks from across the company share what makes this gathering so special, talk about social cohesion in the context of a large distributed company, and reflect on what’s great (and what’s tough) about the distributed lifestyle. For more, go to Distributed.blog. Produced by the Automattic Editorial team and Charts & Leisure: Jason Oberholtzer, Cole Stryker, Levi Sharpe, Michael Simonelli, and Meghal Janardan. Theme music by Jason Oberholtzer. Cover art by Matt Avery.

Nov 2019

71 min

InVision CEO Clark Valberg needed a tool to help his distributed team collaborate on design projects. So he created it — and it became the company’s flagship product, one that every Fortune 100 company now uses. In this episode, Clark joins our host Matt Mullenweg to discuss how he built his distributed company, and how that structure informs InVision’s collaborative-design products. For more, go to Distributed.blog. Produced by the Automattic Editorial team and Charts & Leisure: Jason Oberholtzer, Cole Stryker, Levi Sharpe, Michael Simonelli, and Meghal Janardan. Theme music by Jason Oberholtzer. Cover art by Matt Avery.

Nov 2019

33 min

Because of their background in working with disabled and marginalized people, attorney and activist Lydia X.Z. Brown has a deep understanding of how different workplace environments can best serve diverse workforces. Today they join our host Matt Mullenweg to discuss what distributed companies can do to make workflows and working conditions more inclusive. For more, go to Distributed.blog. Produced by Mark Armstrong and the team at Charts & Leisure: Jason Oberholtzer, Whitney Donaldson, Cole Stryker, Levi Sharpe, and Michael Simonelli. Theme music by Jason Oberholtzer. Cover art by Matt Avery.

Oct 2019

33 min

When hiring managers interview a candidate for a high-level role, they want to be sure that the person they choose will be productive and able to work well with their prospective team. But what if the hiring process takes place over video chat? A growing number of companies outsource the vetting process to a company like Toptal, a freelance marketplace. Toptal’s CEO Taso Du Val joins us on this episode of the Distributed podcast, with Matt Mullenweg. For more, go to Distributed.blog. Produced by Mark Armstrong and the team at Charts & Leisure: Jason Oberholtzer, Whitney Donaldson, Cole Stryker, Levi Sharpe, and Michael Simonelli. Theme music by Jason Oberholtzer. Cover art by Matt Avery.

Oct 2019

31 min

Stephen Wolfram started out on an academic career path, but eventually realized that founding a company would allow him to pursue his scientific work more efficiently. He’s served as a remote CEO of Wolfram Research for the last 28 years. In this episode, Stephen shares with host Matt Mullenweg — another remote CEO — his perspective on the value of geo-distribution, and the processes his partially-distributed company uses to make world-changing software. For more, go to Distributed.blog. Produced by Mark Armstrong and the team at Charts & Leisure: Jason Oberholtzer, Whitney Donaldson, Cole Stryker, Levi Sharpe, and Michael Simonelli. Theme music by Jason Oberholtzer. Cover art by Matt Avery.

Oct 2019

47 min

Sonal Gupta leads Automattic’s Other Bets division, a team that develops experimental products that hover around Automattic’s core business. She relies on her legal background in order to clearly communicate the team’s new ideas to the rest of the company. For more, go to Distributed.blog. Produced by Mark Armstrong and the team at Charts & Leisure: Jason Oberholtzer, Whitney Donaldson, Cole Stryker, Levi Sharpe, and Michael Simonelli. Theme music by Jason Oberholtzer. Cover art by Matt Avery.

Sep 2019

16 min

Our host Matt Mullenweg gets together with an old colleague, Scott Berkun. Scott’s an author and tech industry veteran who in 2013 wrote a book about his experience with distributed work at Automattic. Now he’s catching up with Matt to talk about what’s changed since they worked together back in the day. For more, go to Distributed.blog. Produced by Mark Armstrong and the team at Charts & Leisure: Jason Oberholtzer, Whitney Donaldson, Cole Stryker, Levi Sharpe, and Michael Simonelli. Theme music by Jason Oberholtzer. Cover art by Matt Avery.

Sep 2019

33 min

Our host Matt Mullenweg gets together with Cate Huston, Automattic’s Head of Developer Experience, to talk about the kinds of engineers that excel in distributed environments, and how companies can create the conditions that help engineers thrive. For more, go to Distributed.blog. Produced by Mark Armstrong and the team at Charts & Leisure: Jason Oberholtzer, Whitney Donaldson, Cole Stryker, Levi Sharpe, and Michael Simonelli. Theme music by Jason Oberholtzer. Cover art by Matt Avery.

Aug 2019

29 min

Our host Matt Mullenweg sits down with leadership coach Leo Widrich to talk about how distributed workers can build emotional resilience and stay connected. For more, go to Distributed.blog. Produced by Mark Armstrong and the team at Charts & Leisure: Jason Oberholtzer, Whitney Donaldson, Cole Stryker, Levi Sharpe, and Michael Simonelli. Theme music by Jason Oberholtzer. Cover art by Matt Avery.

Aug 2019

34 min

Our host Matt Mullenweg sits down with design leader John Maeda for a discussion about how creative collaboration happens in a distributed context. For more, go to Distributed.blog. Produced by Mark Armstrong and the team at Charts & Leisure: Jason Oberholtzer, Whitney Donaldson, Cole Stryker, Levi Sharpe, and Michael Simonelli. Theme music by Jason Oberholtzer. Cover art by Matt Avery.

Jul 2019

36 min

Upwork's Zoe Harte discusses how she helps run a blended team of full-time and freelance employees. Then Upwork's Han Yuan shares his insights on the “soft” skills engineers need to work effectively in a distributed world. For more, go to Distributed.blog. Produced by Mark Armstrong and the team at Charts & Leisure: Jason Oberholtzer, Whitney Donaldson, Cole Stryker, Levi Sharpe, and Michael Simonelli. Theme music by Jason Oberholtzer. Cover art by Matt Avery.

Jul 2019

42 min

Automattic editor Mark Armstrong turns the interview table on our host, Matt Mullenweg, to discuss how Automattic became one of the biggest fully distributed companies in the world. For more, go to Distributed.blog. Produced by Mark Armstrong and the team at Charts & Leisure: Jason Oberholtzer, Whitney Donaldson, Cole Stryker, Levi Sharpe, and Michael Simonelli. Theme music by Jason Oberholtzer. Cover art by Matt Avery.

Jun 2019

46 min

A distributed work skeptic shares her concerns with the model along with recent blockchain innovations. For more, go to Distributed.blog. Produced by Mark Armstrong and the team at Charts & Leisure: Jason Oberholtzer, Whitney Donaldson, Cole Stryker, Levi Sharpe, and Michael Simonelli. Theme music by Jason Oberholtzer. Cover art by Matt Avery.

Jun 2019

34 min

How VR might empower remote workers with high fidelity communication. For more, go to Distributed.blog. Produced by Mark Armstrong and the team at Charts & Leisure: Jason Oberholtzer, Whitney Donaldson, Cole Stryker, Levi Sharpe, and Michael Simonelli. Theme music by Jason Oberholtzer. Cover art by Matt Avery.

May 2019

32 min

How changing the way we think about work can give workers freedom and flexibility. For more, go to Distributed.blog. Produced by Mark Armstrong and the team at Charts & Leisure: Jason Oberholtzer, Whitney Donaldson, Cole Stryker, Levi Sharpe, and Michael Simonelli. Theme music by Jason Oberholtzer. Cover art by Matt Avery.

May 2019

38 min

I created a company with no offices. Now it's time to share what I've learned.

May 2019

2 min

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