Its name surely does not mean anything to you, but if we mention WordPress , then there is a certain interest rising in you. Because WordPress, it simply represents a third of CMS (content manager system) on the global Web in 2020. And it is a success that has lasted for fifteen years.
So, the man behind WordPress is named Matt Mullenweg . We will devote a long part of this article to this adventure combining the development of FOSS software (free and open-source software). But the Houston native is not just a genius computer scientist. He became a business creator and a listed Silicon Valley investor. In 2020, he has 6 jobs to his credit, nothing less, the most important of which are certainly his duties as CEO at Automattic and his role as principal for Audrey Capital.
The Creation of Word Press at 19
Mullenweg was born in Houston, Texas in early 1984. His father, Chuck Mullenweg, is a computer engineer, while his mother, Kathleen, is a housewife. Without taking the time to finish the university course he started in the big city of Texas, the young jazz and computer enthusiast that he is embarking on a project that will take him very far: WordPress
The WordPress adventure actually started because the development of an existing “b2 / cafelog” type blogging software had been Croatian Email List discontinued by its main developers. So in 2003, two young users of this type of computer code, Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little, decided to build a new platform in addition to the blogging software.
They probably didn’t know they were about to tackle a project that would ultimately benefit millions of users around the world, create thousands of jobs, and an entire industry of developers, bloggers. and web publishers.
It was on May 27, 2003, exactly, that Mullenweg announced to the public the availability of its first version of WordPress. Based on b2 / Cafelog but including significant improvements all the same, this first attempt included a new administration interface and could generate models compatible with XHTML 1.1.
The following year, the two friends released a second version of WordPress which allows its users to extend its functions. The platform is opening up to the world, unlike its rivals who subject the use of their product to the purchase of a license. WordPress thus tells us how open-source communities work together to make a project useful to all and free, without compromising the freedom of their software.
Since its inception, WordPress has continuously evolved to meet the needs of millions of web publishers around the world. The direction the CMS platform takes depends directly on the needs of the users.
As of 2020, as we’ve said before, WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system, powering 34% of all sites on the internet. But here is some additional data that clearly shows the success and importance of the tool devised by Mullenweg and Little:
- Over 500 sites are created every day using WordPress, compared to less than a hundred through other platforms such as Squarespace or Shopify
- WordPress has over 60% market share in the CMS sector
- Finally, WordPress is used by 15% of the best websites in the world.
Automattic, the Guardian of The Word Press Temple
That name, Automattic, is a play on words on its founder and CEO, Matt Mullenweg. The company actually created a few years after the launch of WordPress, in 2005 exactly. Automattic’s main role will be to develop and distribute WordPress under its commercial version, WordPress.com, but also under its original open-source version, WordPress.org. The difference between the two is that the first solution gives you a turnkey platform to launch your site or blog, without needing to be an expert in the field. While WordPress.org is a raw base: it is up to you to manage all the technical aspect of your site, as well as its maintenance. That said, this latest version gives access to more functionality.
But Automattic also markets other products and services, such as Askimet, Gravat, or Simplenote. The San Francisco-based company is also developing the open-source WooCommerce plugin, which has become a very popular e-commerce platform loved by online merchants.
The latest big blow from Mullenweg and Automattic is the acquisition of Tumblr in August 2019. Verizon Media has in fact sold the microblogging and social network application created by David Karp in 2007 for the sum of 3 million dollars. Mullenweg believes the future of Tumblr is bright, and he wants the once-valued platform at over $ 1 billion to return to the roots of what made it successful: the old-fashioned blog, optimized for phones. mobile and connected to an extremely dynamic fan base. The CEO of Automattic has decided to keep the 200 employees of Tumblr to build its future. And Matt Mullenberg to confide in a recent interview: “I have been a fan of Tumblr for a very long time. I use it pretty much since its beginnings, and besides,
A Generous Businessman Ahead of His Time
Apart from his activities at WordPress, Automattic, and Audrey Capital, the native of Houston still finds time to publish articles in his blog, entitled “ma.tt”. Lately the entrepreneur has written a few lines about telecommuting and he explains that in his company a “home office allowance” is paid to employees who wish to work from home, and that they can use this money to purchase the home office. equipment they need and make their home workspace comfortable and productive. This, whether you are a new employee or an executive who supervises a hundred people.
The former WordPress developer is also giving valuable advice in this special year marked by the Covid-19 pandemic. As he has introduced the practice of teleworking in his own company, he knows what he is talking about.
The brilliant businessman takes part in numerous conferences all over the world, where he humbly shares his knowledge and experience. No wonder for a passionate and defender of open-source.
Matt Mullenweg also supports many organizations such as the Free Software Foundation, Archive.org, or Electronic Frontier Foundation and participates in numerous campaigns, for example to facilitate the access of populations to drinking water in developing countries.
Since the start of his brilliant career, Mullenweg has taken part in more than 40 investments in a personal capacity and he has made around fifteen “exits”, the most notable of which concern Tilt, a platform whose function is to bring together investors. , VHX, a video site, and npm, the official package manager for Node.js., a free software platform.