Matt Mullenweg – The Past, Present, and Future of the Internet – [Founder’s Field Guide, EP.20]
My guest today is Matt Mullenweg, co-founder and CEO of Automattic, the company on top of the open-source project WordPress that Matt helped start. Today, WordPress powers 40% of all the websites in the world. Our wide-ranging conversation covers the state of the internet when Matt first started WordPress, the symbiotic relationship between open source and proprietary projects, and how the most successful companies are really master world builders. I hope you enjoy this great conversation with Matt Mullenweg.
For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.
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[00:03:15 ] – [First question] – What the internet felt like when he first started building Wordpress
[00:05:11 ] – What was wrong with his impression of the internet then
[00:06:50 ] – Being a connoisseur of things overlooked
[00:08:34 ] – How permission less publishing and open source software shaped the internet
[00:12:30 ] – Balance between centralization and decentralization and where we are in the cycle
[00:14:08 ] – The cycle between direct-to-consumer and having intermediary
[00:16:32 ] – New opportunities and challenges of the internet today
[00:18:49 ] – Potential of cryptocurrency to enable big changes on the internet
[00:21:22 ] – The idea of distributed work via the internet and the utopia of it
[00:24:31 ] – Advantage of having a team distributed across geographies and timezones
[00:29:12 ] – Landmines of distributed work
[00:31:13 ] – Interesting lessons learned building Wordpress
[00:34:55 ] – Company building as world building
[00:35:52 ] – Lessons from Microsoft on platform building
[00:38:53 ] – Key ingredient to world building within your company
[00:41:09 ] – Lessons from Wix and Shopify
[00:42:23 ] – How to decide what to do next in resource and capital allocation
[00:47:00 ] – How to engage with other stakeholders in a platform business
[00:50:06 ] – The continued connectivity created by the internet
[00:53:14 ] – Kindest thing anyone has done for him