So excited to be able to share the news today that we’ve acquired Cloudup, an amazing startup that makes it super easy to share “streams” of images, videos, audio, links and more — instantly!
I’ve gotten to know the founders Thianh Lu and Guillermo Rauch quite well during this process, and couldn’t be happier to have them now as colleagues.
Like Automattic, Cloudup is also distributed (1/3 of the employees are outside the US), uses IRC a ton, and are involved in some massive open source projects including
socket.io, mongoosejs, and expressjs.
Check out our announcement post on WP.com and the Cloudup post for more details and get ready for some seriously exciting stuff coming soon to your WordPress dashboard.
Scott Berkun, a former colleague of mine, has published a very interesting book about his time at Automattic / WordPress.com – and how we work in our flat and distributed way.
The book is called The Year Without Pants (an inside joke related to being able to work from anywhere in the world, including from home ), and is focused on Scott’s time at Automattic, and what it’s like to work at a company, that among other things, has no central office and doesn’t use email internally.
As Eric Ries mentions:
“Most talk of the future of work is just speculation, but Berkun has actually worked there. The Year Without Pants is a brilliant, honest, and funny insider’s story of life at a great company.” —Eric Ries, author, New York Times bestseller The Lean Startup
Scott has a few bits about yours truly, and my sleep deprived startup life:
The first striking thing about Raanan was that he never seemed to sleep. I didn’t understand if there were two or more of him who worked in shifts or if his genetics allowed him to work at twice normal speed, but he seemed to know what was going on everywhere, all the time … Raanan loved what he was doing. He’d joined in part because of the mission to democratize publishing.
A bit surreal to read about your own work, and I’ve found over the years that all my colleagues have a great work ethic.
What I like is that Scott hits on a point that I find very true — which is that companies that have big audacious goals such as ours, and give employees freedom to define the methods of achieving them – tend to attract people who are passionate and love what they do. And that combo tends to result in amazing outcomes and companies that have a culture that attracts fantastic talent.
So definitely a fun read, and if you want to check it out, it’s available on Amazon in both print and Kindle edition:
My favorite daily newsletter, NextDraft, from the amazing Dave Pell, is now on WordPress.com:
So here’s what this WordPress sponsorship means for NextDraft:
– You can now read NextDraft wherever you want, including on a blog that utilizes responsive design so it looks great on any device. It will be free. And it won’t include any intrusive ads.
– I’ve merged my blog Tweetage Wasteland into the NextDraft brand and those posts are now called NextDraft Originals. Expect some great guest contributors and a new series of interviews called NextUp.
– Each of the blurbs in each edition now has its own permalink and unique spot on the web. This has dramatically improved NextDraft’s sharing functionality. Each blurb can easily be shared with a click or two.
– NextDraft is now hosted and supported by Raanan Bar-Cohen and the excellent team at WordPressVIP, so it will be fast, scalable, and generally awesome.
Full announcement post here.
And if you never read it, go do it now, you’ll be forever more informed and amused: nextdraft.com
We shared some exciting news today that Tiger Global has made a $50mm investment in Automattic.
From our CEO Toni
Tiger Global has recently invested over $50M in Automattic secondary stock purchases. After many years of being backed by a great team of investors who have been with Automattic since the early days – Polaris Partners, True Ventures, Radar Partners, and the New York Times Company – Tiger has joined this illustrious group by purchasing shares from early Automattic investors and employees. Along with the on-going growth of WordPress (now powering over 18% of sites on the internet) and the amazing Automattic team (now over 170 employees), this investment is another milestone in our journey towards building a great company.
It’s noteworthy that Tiger has recently invested in companies like SurveyMonkey and Eventbrite, and before that companies like LinkedIn and Facebook. Those names provide a sense of how far Automattic has come and how we’re poised to enter an exclusive circle of successful software companies that are built to last.
And from our founder Matt:
Anyway, wanted to get in front of the news that will inevitably come out in the next week or two: there has been a large secondary transaction in Automattic stock, about $50M worth. “Secondary” means that it’s existing stockholders, like the earliest investors or employees, selling stock to another investor versus money going into the company (“primary”). It was led by Lee Fixel at Tiger Global, one of the behind-the-scenes quiet geniuses that has previously invested in SurveyMonkey, Facebook, LinkedIn, Palantir, Square, Warby Parker… Automattic is healthy, generating cash, and already growing as fast as it can so there’s no need for the company to raise money directly — we’re not capital constrained.
Plus always gratifying to see the reactions from our friends:
I gave a talk at USC earlier this week about Automattic and WordPress — something I’ve done for 3 years in a row now.
It’s always a ton of fun, and I make sure to do a survey (by show of hands) each time to see what these undergrad & grad students are using in terms of popular services.
Here are the results:
– WordPress: about 75%+ use WordPress in some capacity
– Facebook: 100%
– Twitter: about 75%
– Tumblr: 33%
– Note taking: Evernote vs Simplenote vs Pen & Paper: About 33% Evernote, the rest a combination of email, other apps, or nothing. And one person still using a pen & paper.
– iOS vs Android: 75% iOS, 25% Android
– SMS vs GroupMe vs MessageMe vs Snapchat: SMS still used by everyone, but the surprise here was Snapchat being used by over 50% of the class.
I asked the obvious question of what they were using Snapchat for – and the answer was that it was just a free SMS-like service, easy to send media, works all over the world and w/ friends overseas — and basically that everyone is on it. Was pretty clear it’s moved beyond the salacious roots (or at least how it was covered early on).
So a big thanks to Zach Posner for having me, and for his entire class for engaging in a really fun and interesting discussion – appreciate the tweets and Instagrams too 🙂
For this election cycle, both the DNC and RNC powered their sites with WordPress, and a good many candidates this year at all levels did as well. It’s a huge signal that among those building sites in politics who want to take advantage of great CMS capabilities, top notch social integration, and out-of-the-box search friendly content — that the natural choice is now WordPress..
For a bit more context, WordPress powered 40% of the sites involved with the US Senate races, 35% of Congressional races, and over 41% of Gubernatorial races. We just put together a great infographic, WordPress Powers Politics, that is worth checking out with more of these stats.
In terms of events, our WordPress.com VIP team was in Charlotte earlier this month at the Democratic National Convention. I was able to swing by for a couple of days of meetings and to get an overall sense on how our government is using WordPress.
This DNC was my first one, and I had also been to the RNC when it was held in NY in 2004 when I was working at TIME.
Here are a few pics that I took:
Really excited about this new feature that the VIP team built – and just in time for Apple’s September 12th announcement 🙂
More details on vip.wordpress.com/liveblog-add-on/
Thanks to my wonderful colleague Mo who reminded that I’ve now been @ Automattic for 5 years !
I can’t imagine having a better job and a better set of colleagues to work with — I’m looking forward to the next 5 years.
And as I did after my one year anniversary, here are some fun stats to look at:
Biggest traffic day:
May/June 2007 – 8 million pageviews
May/June 2008 – 35 million pageviews
May/June 2012 – 130 million pageviews
Number of blogs on WordPress.com:
May/June 2007 – A bit over 1 million
May/June 2008 – 3.3 million
May/June 2012 – 32+ million
Unique Monthly Visitors to WordPress.com:
May/June 2007 – 40 million
May/June 2008 – 168 million
May/June 2012 – Over 350 million
Over on W3Techs they do great work analyzing which platforms power the top 1 million sites.
It’s a fascinating bunch of stats and insights into what is going on, and WordPress as a platform has the top spot with 16.6% overall, and over 54% of the content management systems:
It’s hard to visualize that 16.6% number which is nearly 6 times larger than the next platform. It’s also very hard to know when you are on a WordPress powered site.
Unlike Twitter or Facebook which always have “twitter.com” or “facebook.com” in the address bar, tens of millions of WordPress sites are either self-hosted running their own domain, or on WordPress.com and running a mapped domain (as I do on this blog). So just because a site doesn’t live on “example.wordpress.com”, doesn’t mean it’s not using WordPress.
So how do you know when you are visiting a WordPress powered site ? You can view-source and look for some specifics, or check the http headers — but most of us won’t be doing that on a typical basis.
But there is an easier way. If you are running the Chrome browser, an extension called Chrome Sniffer will show you what is powering the site you are visiting by placing a small logo of that platform/service in the address bar:
The code for the extension itself is GPL and the project lives at nqbao.com/chrome-sniffer.
Here is what my address bar looks like when I visit my own blog after installed the Chrome Sniffer extension:
For Firefox users, a similar extension is available at wappalyzer.com. And if you don’t want to install anything, you can manually paste in web addresses into ismyblogworking.com and it will provide similar info plus a bunch of other useful bits.
So give it a shot, you’ll be surprised to see what powers the sites you visit each day.
Lots of coverage today on some excellent new hires that we just announced (General Counsel & CFO) and some revenue numbers that we shared.
Our very own Matt Mullenweg puts it well:
Liz Gannes writes for AllThingsD, Automattic Grows Up: The Company Behind WordPress.com Shares Revenue Numbers and Hires Execs. In addition to Stu joining as CFO and Paul as Consigliere/Automattlock, we’ve been on a hiring roll the past month or two with excellent folks joining at every level of the company, including two more Matts. If you’re passionate about Open Source and making the web a better place, like we are, there’s never been a better time to join. My favorite thing about logging in every morning is the people I work with. Friends say I work too much but it hardly feels like work at all. Update: Now in Techcrunch too