Matt Mullenweg on ChangeLog Podcast

Download the Matt Mullenweg podcast and learn more about the ChangeLog podcast.

Special Notes and Quotes from the Podcast

WordPress is a software which is reported to power about 25% of the internet (it appears to be 30.8% now). That’s an amazing accomplishment for a group of people.

“I think, if anything, it shows how much is left to do. Billions of people only have access to publish online through proprietary networks (Twitter, Facebook, etc…). People deserve their own home on the web. They deserve a slice of it which is just there. A place that isn’t tracked or has advertising or anything like that. Essentially, just like their home.” – Matt Mullenweg (paraphrased from 27min 27sec)

What is the business mode of Automatic and what is the business model of WordPress?


  • Doesn’t need a business model
  • No costs – No need for revenue
  • Open Source model staffed by volunteers and those paid by other organizations


  • For profit company with investors and more than 400 employees
  • We find a model in which we benefit the community and the community benefits us
  • We stay away from monetizing things which should be free
  • Jetpack and are supported by way less than 5% of the users
  • Automattic is allowed to invests 150-200 million dollars into


Not Locking in Users

“With, you can download and use your data elsewhere. With Facebook, you can download your data, but what do you do with it after that?” – Matt Mullenweg

Product Development and Responsibility Diversificiation

40 min 0 sec – They discuss how to motivate people in environments where all the workers are volunteers. In technology businesses, most engineers have the ability to work wherever they want. Therefore delegating responsibility and enjoyable meeting planning is critical to keeping people motivated to do their best work.

The next 4-10 minutes of the podcast discusses a nuanced difficulty in team leading and product development in large, remote teams. I’ll paraphrase what I’m hearing:

If we diversify responsibility or hierarchy across a group of people, the leaders involved in that organization will have more empathy for team members and team members will have more empathy for their leaders. Why? Because many people in the organization have had the experience of being in the position of the other person.

Moving on to a Developer Centric Conversation – Calypso

At 46:45 they start to discuss Calypso which is essentially the transfer of WordPress to 100% JavaScript and API communications. This is the section of the podcast for developers and those interested in getting involved in the WordPress codebase.

Matt Mullenweg on the Future of JavaScript

I’m happily betting on JavaScript. It’s hard to imagine a [future] world [without JavaScript]. Browsers evolved from being about documents to being about applications. JavaScript is the lingua franca of those applications.

Addressing Anxeity for Developers

Matt suggests listening to State of the Word 2015. I’ve embedded that speech in the link below, a 1hr and 40min talk that Matt gives. Here it is:

1hr 6min 30sec – If you’re building a plugin today, I believe you should turn your interface into JavaScript and embed it in WP-admin….


In the podcast, Matt says “[If you read one thing based on this interview, read]… an essay by Orson Wells, called politics and the English language.”

It’s likely that Matt made a mistake by saying Orson Wells, where he should have said, George Orwell. I’ve saved that old essay to this server and you can read the text via this link.

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