Merchbar is an iPhone app that makes it easy to buy merchandise from your favorite artists. It also was the first investment I made through my Angellist Syndicate, and I’m excited for the team on its launch. (Although it’s good to remember that launching is a halfway point — you should expect to spend at least as much time as you did leading up to launch to get to something you’re happy with. Something I’m thinking about a lot in Automattic these days.)
Every second, somewhere in the world four babies and two WordPress blogs are born.
That great line comes from Shane Snow’s profile of myself, Automattic, and WordPress called “How Matt’s Machine Works.” If you’re interested in the latest on how Automattic works as seen from the eye of a journalist with a background in product and technology, check it out.
A few comments: Since it came out my colleagues have been making fun of me for “trolling.” The term “benevolent dictator for life” goes back to at least 1995 and is common in open source communities. Our lounge in SF is now much nicer than the one pictured. We mostly use Slack instead of Skype. I would say my management style has changed quite a bit since when Scott was at the company. The end of the article nails it in that as Automattic has scaled, to 272 at latest count, it’s really the over 40 leads who keep things running as smoothly as they do, and many people in similar roles on the .org side.
We’ve had some really good press the past week, the first I’d like to share with you comes from Aimee Groth writing for Quartz: The makers of WordPress.com learned years ago that the ultimate office perk is not having an office. The funny thing is I’m writing this from the once-a-year Automattic Grand Meetup, which is in Utah this year, there are over 250 of my colleagues here and it’s great fun meeting and hanging out with everybody.
“We were going to wait until he learned to talk to question him,” Secret Service Agent Edwin Donovan said in a statement, “but in lieu of that he got a timeout and was sent on [his] way with [his] parents.”
Pretty funny article from White House Goes On Lockdown After Sneaky Toddler Breaches Fence.
There’s been some great threads going around inspired by the book Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies, including Elon Musk hoping we’re not just a biological bootloader. Via Automattician Matt Mazur I came across this fantastic review of the book on Amazon that gives a great counter-balance and lots of additional information you wouldn’t get from the book itself, and also summarizes it quite well.
We’ve talked about the Fermi Paradox here and here before, my long-time friend David Galbraith, ever the architect, tackles the Fermi Paradox from the point of view of the natural limits of communication in Minimum & Maximum Viable Civilizations.