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Matt Mullenweg – Young Start-up Entrepreneurs Listen Up!

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WordPress Developer has an Important Message for Young Start-up Entrepreneurs

My father, Barry Dunlop recently got to spend 6 days on Necker Island with a small group of amazing entrepreneurs and Sir Richard Branson the Billionaire Founder of the Virgin Group.

One of the entrepreneurs that Barry got to hang out with was Matt Mullenweg the founding developer of WordPress and below is a short video and transcription from one of their discussions.

We have done an Interview With Matthew Mullenweg in the past. As previously what impresses me most about Matt is his ability to convey a message clearly, quickly and concisely.

In this video Matt makes several very important points — so Listen Up!

Enjoy and please comment.



Barry Dunlop: I’m here today with Matt Mullenweg from “WordPress” and numerous other organizations as you might well find out. Matt has agreed just to answer some questions especially for people who are young on the entrepreneurial trail.

I wanted to ask Matt what would be the single top tip if you like he would give to young people who are getting into business for themselves or going on their entrepreneurial path themselves in 2009?

So over to you Matt.

Matt Mullenweg: That’s a good question. I think one of the hardest things about being an entrepreneur is just keeping going, because it’s actually really, really hard and there’s lots of times when you want to stop or you just feel like nothings going right, or you can’t get funding.

And certainly with myself there’s just been honestly some days where you just want to quit. But when you work through those things; it’s not necessarily that the idea you started with is going to work, but that if you just keep working on it new doors open up and you are able to find whatever it is that ultimately is sort of the big idea that drives you, that’s successful, that allows you to do more things.

But just keeping going is actually really hard… sometimes.

Barry: OK, that’s really good actually. So, effectively what you’re saying is that your idea will evolve?

Matt: Oh definitely, its relativity rare to end up doing what you started out with.

Barry: Right, I think actually that’s an awesome tip for people because sometime people feel they’re a failure if their idea didn’t work out quite as they expected it to.

Matt: And people’s biggest mistake I’ve seen in young entrepreneurs is getting really attached to that idea.

Barry: Right.

Matt: Not wanting to tell people about it, feeling like it’s proprietary, and honestly the idea is probably the least valuable thing you’ll have. It’s really all about your work ethic, how you’re able to inspire people and bring people around you. Not only bring good people around you but empower them, delegate, things like that. That’s what’s going to make you succeed or not in almost any space.


  1. pays to live green says:

    I agree completely about how they feel that their idea is completely unique, when it is usually not. Have the proper work ethic and following through with your idea is the hardest part. I think another key part of being a start-up entrepreneur is the idea that it is much more riskier than simply getting a 9-5 job. Great interview.

  2. Nice – to the point with short interview. I agree that it’s very dangerous hold on to the “original idea” and not letting it evolve. Not just with ideas, but with pretty much everything you do, you gotta adapt and see what is working and what is not, and adapt to keep things rolling later.

    There are great (bad) examples in the “traditional industries” when some individuals or companies stubbornly refused to change their ways and smaller, but more innovative and flexible companies will eventually run them over.

  3. Shane - Inspiring Your Success says:

    Good interview, One day I hope to be able to go to Necker or somewhere and meet such amazing people like Matt.

  4. Barry Dunlop says:

    Matt Mullenweg was one of the most impressive people I have ever met in my life — actually quite modest and frankly I felt more motivated about making a difference (I had a nice chat with him about open source) rather than just making money

    ~ Barry

  5. Marketing Man says:

    Like a breath of fresh air. Look, good people, as a slightly older entrepreneur that has been going for it for many years already I have had many ups and downs, and that tends to make one a bit cynical. For evey startup that soars, hundreds flounder, for a myriad of reasons, cashflow being a dominant one. So take heed of what the successful people have to say, but alway remember not to lose faith, and to try & try again (whilst not foolishly flogging a dead horse either)….

  6. used tires says:

    What a fantastic interview with Matt Mullenweg, and you know what? He is completely right, it can be very hard to not want to give up, especially in the beginning, when the times are likely the hardest. After the success is there, and new windows of opportunities start opening up, it certainly gets easier, and that’s when you do realize that as long as you keep working hard, you are already setting yourself up for success.

    Till then,


  7. Best CSS Gallery says:

    Very good interview. Matt Mullenweg is great

  8. Cash Back says:

    Yep he seems like a very smart young man. When you start your own business there are bound to be ups and downs. You need to be able to roll with the punches and not give up.

    Another good point he mentioned was about surrounding yourself with good people and motivating them. At the beginning you may have to do most of the work yourself. Once you get some capital, you’ll probably want to pay employees or freelancers to help out. You not only have to find great people who can help a lot, but you also have to keep them happy. They have to want to do a good job for your business.

  9. Play Games Win Prizes says:

    Ahhh Michael, I forgot that your father is also a entrepreneur too 🙂 I see where you get it from and meet all these great people. Of course you work hard yourself too, but it seems a bit easier for you 🙁


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