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Interview With Matthew Mullenweg – The Founder of WordPress

By:     Topics: Entrepreneur Interviews

This is an awesome interview. I am most impressed with Matt’s candidness – clearly he has not let all his success go to his head. Matt is clearly a no fluff kind of guy –  look at his powerful / to the point replies to our questions. Sort of explains why he was responsible for creating one of the simplest, easiest to use blogging platforms in the world. Lets face it – we all love WORDPRESS!

First off – can we have a little background information on you Matthew – Where you live? How old you are? (if you don’t mind answering) What motivates you? What inspires you?

I live in San Francisco and I’m 24 years old. I’m motivated by working with great people towards and democratizing publishing on the web.

1) Many of us are WordPress users but can you give us some of the  early history of WordPress and how it has evolved so quickly to become the leading blogging software?

Early WordPress was very slow, the software was very basic but from the beginning we tried to focus on the user experience. But it wasn’t a quick evolution at all, it’s taken 5 years to get where we are now!

2) If you were starting a Project like WordPress again, is there anything in particular that you would do differently?

I would try to centralize more of the add-ons like plugins and themes earlier on. We do it now but we were very tardy on it.

3) Tell us about Automattic Inc – just about everyone has heard of WordPress, but not so many people know about Automattic and the many other software projects it is involved in.

Automattic is a company I created to pursue some of the more commercial interests around the WordPress ecosystem, such as offering services like stats and anti-spam and providing WordPress hosting on WordPress.com.

4) Do you have any suggestions / resources you can recommend young programmers / developers who are working with open sourse?

Two books I’d recommend:

Producing Open Source Software by Karl Fogel
Open Sources 2.0 by Chris DiBona

Between those two you’ll learn everything you need to know about running, participating in, and using Open Source.

5) What do you consider the best opportunity / language for young web developers to be getting involved in right now.

Learn Python and do your project in PHP.

6) What is next for WordPress? What next for Blogging Software? What kind of organisation do you feel WordPress / Automattic will be 10 years from now?

WordPress is coming up on its 2.7 release, which I think will provide a solid foundation for our growth in both user-base and feature set in the coming years.

I hope that in 10 years WordPress will be ubiquitous on the web, quietly and invisibly running a large portion of content on the web.

For Automattic I hope that we continue to scale elegantly, both on the people side and the infrastructure side.

7) Do you have any suggestions for coping with set-backs, negative experiences?

There’s nothing magic I think – sometimes things are rough and it’s just not easy. The two things are remember to keep perspective, the world is a big place and many of the things we think are real problems are actually results of things we’re lucky to be experiencing at all.

Second, load this link a few times:

http://icanhascheezburger.com/?random

Always makes me smile. 🙂

8) Do you have any favourite business related or personal development related books that you can recommend to other entrepreneurs?

Recently I’ve enjoyed:

* Devil Take the Hindmost: A History of Financial Speculation by Edward
Chancellor
* The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable by Nassim Nicholas
Taleb
* The Halo Effect by Phil Rosenzweig
* Leaders & Followers by Dick Ruch

9) What is the best advice you have ever been given?

There’s no such thing as a wrong note, and to focus on people first.

10) Have you any plans (personal or business) that you can share with us about your future plans / goals / lifetime goals?

Right now I’m trying to catch up with uploading all the photos I’ve taken in 2008 and spend some more time with the piano and sax over the holidays.

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Comments

  1. Hello Matthew
    Matt this is not a comment about your post. But I didn’t get any spat to express my gratitude for you
    Instead writing a comment I prefer expressing my feeling and my respect to you
    You are so young; but you are doing your responsibility across our world, you are contributing some thing for the development of technology as well as development of SMART thinking. I’m fresh to use a computer; I didn’t get any opportunity to use a PC before January 2009 even to touch a computer, after January 2009 I strive to know about PC, SMART usage of internet, network and such like things, in this time a little bit I know some thing about it. Behind my change of knowing these technology there are a number of positive and SMART thinkers in your SMART network; I thank you a lot! Peoples like you and like Mark Elliot Zuckerberg (face book) and yours colleagues as well as SMART peoples in your wed and others. You and Zuckerberg are in the same age and in the same track you are doing what you have to do. I try to follow yours good manner. (Self Monitering Analysis and Reporting Technique)(this is a technology that recent PCs used) in case of a persone this is a good Manner.
    Let’s say some thing about my self. I’m living in side the poorest country in the world “Ethiopia” I’m struggling to overthrow poverty from my country as I can. I’m 30 and I’m a graduate industrial engineer. Now a day I work for Bahirdar University Institute of Technology as Structural system analyst for engineering laboratories.
    I’m so jealous with your work. After a couple of year I can be a programmer like you.
    Thank you Mattew. I ask an apology for my poor English
    God bless you.
    Keep it up
    Meazaw Mekonnen http://mmeazaw.wordpress.com , mmeazaw@gmail,hotmail.com

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