The John Biggs article on Why I’m Still Wearing My Apple Watch almost perfectly describes how I’m feeling about the watch right now. It is a very personal device, I’ve gotten attached to the little fellow, and I should probably start selling all my mechanical watches.
Emily Guendelsberger went undercover as an UberX driver in Philadelphia and wrote about the experience, particularly the economics of it. It’s a pretty fascinating and gripping longread, both in its content and it’s just well-written.
Mr. Zinsser was a prolific author, editor and teacher, but it was his role as an arbiter of good writing that resonated widely and deeply.
The New York Times obituary of William Zinsser is touching and fascinating. Clear writing and clear thinking go hand in hand, and Zinnsser’s work On Writing Well did more than any other to help me hone my mind.
For years, we’ve been working on democratizing publishing, and today more people have independent sites built on open source software than ever before in the history of the web. Now, we want to make it easy for anyone to sell online independently, without being locked into closed, centralized services — to enable freedom of livelihood along with freedom of expression.
It’s not a new idea: at a WordCamp a few years ago, someone stood up and asked me when we were going to make it as easy to create an online store as we’d made it to create a blog. Everyone applauded; there’s long been demand for better ecommerce functionality, but it’s been outside the scope of what Automattic could do well.
In the past few years, WooCommerce really distinguished itself in its field. Just like WordPress as a whole, it developed a robust community around its software, and its products meet the needs of hundreds of thousands of people around the world.
Woo is also a team after Automattic’s own distributed heart: WooCommerce is created and supported by 55 people in 16 countries. Added to Automattic’s 325 people in 37 countries, that’s a combined 380-person company across 42 countries — the sun never sets.* I can’t wait to meet all my new colleagues.
Just like us, the vast majority of WooCommerce’s work is also open source and 100% GPL. And just like WordPress, you’ll find WooCommerce meetups popping up everywhere, from Los Angeles to London, and its global and community-focused work together to make the users’ experiences the best they can be.
The stats are impressive: the WooCommerce plugin has over 7.5 million downloads and a million+ active installs; BuiltWith’s survey of ecommerce platforms shows Woo passing up Magento in the top million, with about triple the number of total sites. Even a conservative estimate that WooCommerce powers 650,000 storefronts means they’re enabling a huge number of independent sellers. They’ve added a tremendous amount to the WordPress ecosystem (alongside everyone else working in this area).
WordPress currently powers about 23% of the web. As we work our way toward 51%, WooCommerce joining Automattic is a big step opening WordPress up to an entirely new audience. I can’t wait to see how much more we can build together.
Automattic turns ten next month: another amazing milestone I couldn’t have imagined a decade ago. Today’s news is just the first of a number of announcements we have planned for the remainder of the year, so please stay tuned! There’s still so much work to do.
* Want to work with us? We’re hiring. Bonus points if you live in Antarctica, the only continent we don’t have covered.
Sometimes, you just want 2 chocolate chip cookies. This happens to me all of the time. I want a super indulgent, rich and buttery chocolate chip cookie, but don’t want to make the whole 36 of them which I’d inevitably inhale over about the same amount of hours.
As promised a few weeks ago, a new installment of the Wired Silk Road story is out and I wanted to share it, The Untold Story of Silk Road, Part 2: The Fall. This one is actually a lot more normal, with some surprisingly simple breaks leading to the downfall of Ross, but there’s an interesting twist at the end.