I first met Matt Mullenweg, founder of Automattic/WordPress, over a bowl of chili in Wyoming last decade. I don’t recall when I first met Raanan Bar-Cohen, SVP of business things at Automattic, but I do know we were already friends before traveling to Baghdad together in 2009, sharing an amazing week in Iraq. Toni Schneider, CEO of Automattic – well him I barely know but we’ve had nice conversations over the years and he is an exceptional gentleman. Unless that’s the way all Swiss appear at first.
Matt, Raanan and Toni, along with several hundred team members across the world, have created a company I admire, anchored by a platform I use for this blog: WordPress. I’m amazed that 19% of the web runs on WordPress – it’s quite an accomplishment – but I’m in even more admiration of the organization and culture at Automattic. A fully distributed team. An amazing community. A founder who will show up at WordCamps across the world but still find time to support great startups and contribute to the tech/art communities in SF, NYC and his hometown Houston. And he hangs with Jay-Z.
For all of those reasons, I was honored when Raanan asked me to join a small board of Advisors for Automattic. I know they have big ambitions for the next few years and happy to play a supporting role.
While I’m joining as an individual, I’m very excited about the chance to create stronger collaboration between our seed venture fund Homebrew and Automattic. Scaling product, business, community – these are strengths of the Automattic team and I the Homebrew founders will benefit from these ties.