At WordCamp Europe Yesterday in Vienna WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg took the stage for a live interview and Q&A on WordPress. The interview was conducted by Editor of Post Status Brian Krogsgard and covered everything from how WordPress stacks up to other platforms like Medium to the REST API, the future of WordPress, and more.
— Matt Mullenweg (@photomatt) June 24, 2016
A Day In the life of Matt Mullenweg
Mullenweg doesn’t subscribe to the typical work-life balance mantra, but rather to the idea that your work and personal life should harmonize.
At work, he tries to make good use of his time by devoting roughly one-third to hiring people, one-third to product, and the other third on dealing with the fire of the day. Because Mullenweg’s attention is drawn in several different directions, he tries to devote his attention to issues that only he can deal with.
WordPress Vs. Medium
Krogsgard inquired about WordPress’s position against Medium, referencing ringer.com’s recent announcement to move to the platform. Mullenweg noted that ringer.com and the other big publishers moving to Medium are actually being paid to do so.
“Competitors have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to compete against WordPress,” Mullenweg said.
Mullenweg accredits WordPress’s success to its flexibility and to the community which manifests itself in plugins, themes, and improvements to the core software.
“Medium has a good WYSIWYG, but that’s it. It doesn’t offer the same flexibility as WordPress, ” he said.
Several questions focused on the future of WordPress. Mullenweg said that the way the WordPress interface is currently written is not what people will use to publish in ten years. The platform will evolve over the next decade, and according to Mullenweg, WordPress will take the shape of an operating system for the open web.
The platform will evolve over the next decade, and according to Mullenweg, WordPress will take the shape of an operating system for the open web.
“WordPress can be an operating system for the open web… As it grows, we shift the web to be more open, the APIs, everything,” Mullenweg said.
Jetpack, WordPress.com, And Woo
Krogsgard asked Mullenweg which of his projects, WordPress.com, Jetpack, WooCommerce, or .blog, is most profitable. Mullenweg believes that WordPress.com, Jetpack, and WooCommerce all have the potential to be multi-billion dollar businesses and .blog has the opportunity to be a 100-million dollar business.
“They are all complimentary to one another and to the community,” Mullenweg said.
Mullenweg went on to emphasize that each of these projects give more back than they make or take themselves, and he believes is central to the success of WordPress and the open web.
Throughout the interview, Mullenweg gave other key insights, including,
- Tumblr is the number one competitor to WordPress today.
- Responsive themes should be a requirement.