Happy Birthday Om!

Today the legendary Om Malik celebrates his 50th time around the sun. For many that know him, Om defies definition: He’s first a writer, and finally always a true friend, but in between he’s an investor, photographer, oenophile, closet Bollywood fan, critical thinker, and sartorialist. He’s also been my friend and confidant for over a decade now, and I cannot wait to see what his next 50 years bring for him and the world.

Here’s some snaps of Om over the years, from 2008 to just a few weeks ago when he was blonde for a few days. Happy birthday, buddy. 😀

MAT_2822MAT_3038MCM_5436MCM_9460IMG_4856MCM_5807FullSizeRenderIMG_8178IMG_9322IMG_2343IMG_4620IMG_9092IMG_9214OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIMG_2852IMG_4566Shot with DXO ONE CameraMCM_0056

I’m still catching up with things after the Automattic Grand Meetup, but excited today to be included on the Fortune 40 under 40 list, which I’ve graduated to after being termed out of the under 30 lists. I came in at #20 and it’s great to see lots of friends on the list as well.

Fun Shopping Finds

969D8945-1873-4C5C-AFB6-80360C430254_1024x1024.jpegIn midst of a crazy couple of weeks, some retail therapy and cool finds.

I’m most excited about The Napsack, a sleeping bag which you can also wear as a coat, from a company called Poler that has a lot of fun items, patterns, and colorways.

The Zolt Laptop Charger + Apple Macbook cable add-on is small and handy. The version I got previously from Kickstarter made a weird buzzing, this new model is quiet and works great. If you passed it before, worth trying now.

Snow Peak is an amazing Japanese camping brand. Some of their materials are so soft, and the titanium stuff is super light.

I’m always a sucker for the timelessness and quality of Will Leather Goods, some of their bags and backpacks are looking great these days, especially the Oaxacan line.

I’ve been liking this 3-port USB + USB-C charger from Aukey.

Koya Bound Kickstarter

In March I took a eight day hike in Japan with Dan Rubin and Craig Mod, which was definitely one of the more beautiful journeys I’ve taken, and I couldn’t imagine finer gentlemen to have embarked on it with. We trekked, ate, bathed, had long conversations about life, about our fathers. When I returned to Houston I was able to show my Dad some of the photos and they brought a smile to his face, a rare occurrence those days before he passed.


Dan and Craig are both Leica heads and shot largely on a Leica Q and M Monochrom on the trip. (Bonus points if you can identify Dan’s non-Leica film camera in the above photo.) After I left they camped out in an old house and put together their best work from the trip into what looks like a gorgeous book, which there is now a Kickstarter for.

There are some very cool perks on Kickstarter if you go back the book now, including a few special editions and some photo prints. I’d highly recommend checking it out!

What a Week: WordPress, Maeda, .Blog

I’m still overwhelmed from last week, which was full of major announcements. Get your Instapaper / Pocket ready because I have lots of links!

It started with a very smooth WordPress release, version 4.6 “Pepper.” A week later it’s had over 4,200,000 downloads and upgrades are rippling throughout the WP ecosystem with 13% of all known installs already on the latest. WordPress 4.6 was available on release day in 50 languages, which blows my mind.

The next big move was John Maeda joining Automattic as our Global Head, Computational Design and Inclusion. You can check out some of his talks on TED and his Twitter is always interesting. This was covered fairly well by mainstream media, especially with feature articles by Wired on the open source aspect, Fast Company on the inclusion side, and Techcrunch on the business side.

As often, the best stories are often personal ones: Om is a friend of both John and I, long-time Automattic designer Matt Miklic shared his “I will never stop learning” journey and and how he helped hire for this role, and finally John told his own story directly on Design.blog.

In the beginning days of the Web, Open Source was a human right.

You might notice something about that domain… it’s a .blog! We opened up .blog for early registrations and launched the first few founder domains like get.blog, design.blog, dave.blog, and of course matt.blog. More coming this week!


Design.blog also launched with great essays from Alice Rawsthorn, Cassidy Blackwell, and Jessica Helfand. It will be updated every Thursday with a new home page design and new round of great voices, so bookmark it and be sure to visit again in a few days.

Huge thanks to Judy Wert who led the search for the design role. Combined with Chris Taylor starting as Chief Marketing Officer at Automattic a few months ago I think we’re well-positioned to really boost the growth of WordPress in the coming years. You may have even started to see video ads for WP.com. We’ve had 90 people start so far this year at Automattic bringing our total to just under 500 in 50 countries, if you’d like to join the family we’re hiring for over a dozen roles.

As you can tell, things have been moving at a hundred miles per hour, and the momentum is carrying through the all-company Grand Meetup in Whistler next month and WordCamp US in December. I’m going to take a few days to unplug at Burning Man next week (photos from my first year), might even take a Real Camera to capture some of the art.