One of the main reasons I get excited about Internet technologies is that they amplify the power of the written word and other kinds of creative publishing. Modern online tools enable bloggers, software developers, poets, journalists, novelists, chefs, filmmakers, marketers, photographers, artists, scientists, organizers and many other kinds of people to bring their creations to the world, at a constantly decreasing cost. And even through all of the cultural transformations we've seen spurred on by the Internet, the power of the written word remains - publishing can still change minds, start movements, spark connections, capture beauty, reshape lives.
Next week I'm joining Automattic, Inc., the company that makes WordPress, runs WordPress.com, and provides a bunch of other publishing-related tools and services. I'm joining the WordPress.com VIP team as a full-time VIP Wrangler, where I'll be helping to provide support, hosting, training, and other services to some of the biggest and best WordPress sites on the web (NY Times, TED, CNN, Time and more).
There are many reasons I'm excited about this, including:
- Automattic's mission is to democratize publishing, one that resonates deeply with my own interests and passions around the technologies of the Internet.
- Automattic is a relatively small, fully distributed, radically transparent company that operates one of the top websites in the world.
- I've already experienced firsthand the power of WordPress software as I've helped people around the country build and deploy their WordPress sites. Now I get to keep doing that on a larger scale AND be in the middle of efforts to make it an even better platform.
- Automattic puts a lot of emphasis on excellence in communication, and I love good communication.
- I get to work from Richmond, Indiana or wherever else I want. With Automattic team meet-ups and other WordPress-related events happening all over the world, I'll have some great opportunities for travel and cultural exploration.
Then there's the good people I'll be working with, the interesting engineering problems I'll get to help solve, and the apparent pervasive use of humorous animated GIFs on internal company blogs, among many more reasons.
I know that I have a lot to learn and that there will be the ups and downs that come with any new adventure. As I can along the way I'll share some updates here about this work and what I'm experiencing. For now, here's the Automattic creed, which describes a professional "home" I'm glad I will be a part of:
I will never stop learning. I won’t just work on things that are assigned to me. I know there’s no such thing as a status quo. I will build our business sustainably through passionate and loyal customers. I will never pass up an opportunity to help out a colleague, and I’ll remember the days before I knew everything. I am more motivated by impact than money, and I know that Open Source is one of the most powerful ideas of our generation. I will communicate as much as possible, because it’s the oxygen of a distributed company. I am in a marathon, not a sprint, and no matter how far away the goal is, the only way to get there is by putting one foot in front of another every day. Given time, there is no problem that’s insurmountable.