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Interview with Matt Mullenweg

Today, I’m excited to finally have Matt Mullenweg join us on the Matt Report podcast.

We’re going to satisfy our typical entrepreneur appetite by diving into his day-to-day routine and we’ll learn what it’s like being the CEO of Automattic. Want to know where Mullenweg’s vision for WordPress is going to take us? No problem, we’ve got you covered.

For those of you interested in the nitty-gritty of the WordPress community, we’ll discuss his take on .com vs .org and our latest debate — the purpose of the Jetpack plugin.

My interview with Matt Mullenweg

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The WordPress Entrepreneur

Booking Matt on the show was a result from one of my more spirited comments over on WP Tavern’s piece, How important is Jetpack on WordPress’ road to 50% market share?

I’ve told you how to make it in WordPress and achieving Greatness here isn’t easy.

My thoughts expressed in this discussion with Mullenweg are a culmination of my experiences in the WordPress marketplace over the last few years. We all walk a different path in our professional journey and that’s what creates our unique finger print or identity.

My intentions in this episode are that of someone who continues to work hard to build a brand and attractive product offering for my customers. Though I love WordPress and it’s community, top-down decisions can be a bit scary for a bootstrapped business person like me and I suspect, some of you as well.

Remember, I grew up under the boot of General Motors.

Can you afford to give back?

Five for the future was one such topic that left me thinking like I was pulled from the game too early. Freelancers, consultants and boutique agencies are sure to feel the pressure of dedicating 5% when they are still very much feeling the growing pains of organic growth. Will Mullenweg’s response surprise you?

You will have to listen in. 🙂

On Jetpack and 50% adoption

According to Mullenweg, greater general adoption of WordPress will bring more developers to the platform. Fairly straightforward.

Is Jetpack the answer though?

My concern is the priority of Jetpacks distribution for every new WordPress site installed. Getting found in the .org repo is already a challenge and if Jetpack moves into, say, the famous five-minute install – what domino effect will that have on the rest of us?

In the interview I asked Mullenweg about that and generalized a scenario where a user chooses Jetpack forms over Gravity Forms. According to Mullenweg, plugin offerings like Gravity Forms have actually prospered since the release of Jetpack.

I reached out to Carl Hancock to see if he had any data that matched up:

As for Jetpack’s impact on Gravity Forms? I certainly wouldn’t say that Gravity Forms has prospered because of Jetpack.  I don’t think there is anyway to quantify or establish that as being true. While it is true our revenue has grown tremendously since Jetpack was released, our revenue had grown every month from the time we launched until the time Jetpack was released.  The growth simply continued it’s existing trajectory after Jetpack was released.

As far as the data goes I can tell you that last month was a record for us in terms of revenue.  Jetpack was released in March of 2011 and since that time our monthly revenue numbers have grown 5x.

Understanding that both Jetpack’s solution and Carl’s solution cater to two different markets, my concern still lies within distribution of plugins. At what stage could Jetpack start eating away at the bottom line of other plugins?

Perhaps we embrace it like Chris Lema advises and trust that reaching for 50% will provide us better opportunity than available now. In fact, I already have with my latest theme, Symphony.

Go far together

I really appreciate Matt taking the time to chat with us. If you enjoyed this interview, would you say thank you to him?

At the end of the day, what makes WordPress great is that we all have a chance to have our voice heard. It doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll get our way, but at least we can bring the discussion to the table. To have someone who represents one of the most influential pieces of software in human history, join your little podcast, is truly an honor.

Thanks, Matt.

I also realize that no one has given me the right to profit off of the WordPress platform. Nothing is guaranteed and as business builders of your own, I hope you don’t take our current state of WordPress for granted.

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

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