Leaving CNET

It was just about a year ago I blogged about leaving Houston and driving across the country to join CNET. It ended up being one of the best moves of my life. Since moving to the Bay Area I’ve had incredible oppurtunities and met a whole tribe of amazing people. For what I’m passionate about, I really believe this is the best place in the world to be.

For me the last year has really been about learning. From school in Houston to CNET to the explosive growth of WordPress and Ping-O-Matic, it’s been an incredible ride. There have been plenty of mistakes along the way, but all-in-all I don’t mind because that’s when I learn the most. At CNET I was lucky enough to be surrounded by veterans of the industry whose success and perserverance through the thick and thin of creating what we know as the web had a deep impact on me. CNET also gave me incredible flexibility to work on WordPress, and has embraced WP all over their organization, it was really the ideal gig.

However in the back of my mind I was wondering if I could focus on my passions full-time, to put more daytime hours into the community and projects that have changed my life already. I don’t need much, and working on WordPress full-time is my idea of heaven. I gave notice (they’ve been incredibly supportive).

I could say this was a hard decision, but the truth is I can’t imagine myself doing anything else.

Watch this space, I’ll have plenty more to talk about in the next few weeks. I’m very excited about the things happening with WordPress.com, WordPress.org, bbPress, a WordPress non-profit, Ping-O-Matic, and a few projects so shiny they don’t even have names yet.It’s a little scary to be leaving the safety net, but nothing worth doing in life is without risks.

My last day at CNET is Friday, October 21.

If there is ever going to be a time in my life to take big risks and reach for the brass ring, now is it.

103 thoughts on “Leaving CNET

  1. Dear Matt,

    I pay respect to you and your decision. Where most people set aside their own dreams and ideas because of the risk and loss of their so-called safe environment, it is only more to appreciate when one does what he believes in.

    One man can make a difference and for a revolution… 1 is the magic #.

    Good luck, I already look forward to what you will bring this world.


  2. Good luck Matt.

    I to have just left a job after 10 years to go it on my own, and so I can empathise with those ‘letting go of the safety net’ fears.

    Just believe in what thousands of people already know – that you are a talented little freak that will go far in what ever you do.

  3. It’s difficult to push at one boundary without the opposing pressure having an effect, so learning from the whole experience is a necessity, and it is to your credit that you take any failings on board and grow from them.

    There was once another youth who found himself in the vanguard of a revolution, a lad of great potential. His personal success, would never have been possible without good mentors. A good mentor has a lifetime of learning from the mistakes of many; find yourself a few guardian angels who understand your goals, and wring them mercilessly for every ounce of knowledge they can bestow.

    Have a great last day, and on Monday, have an even better first day.

  4. I just happened to read your post on the day you’re leaving CNET. Good luck in your future of dream catching! What a great thing you’re doing. Yes, the risks are worth taking!

  5. Dear Matt,

    Wishing you the very best !

    It must have been a difficult decision to make, but.. the below quotes from Confucius very very true..

    “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”


  6. Hi Matt,

    You’re still in your own “flow”. That is good, Keep making the right decision and surprise the world with even more nice and usable technology. We are happy with it ( http:/www.innberg.com/deli ) runs it and we hope to contribute shortly to the world with some of our own w2.0 concepts.

    I wish you all the luck.

    Regards from Holland!

    Eelco Voogd, innberg.com

  7. It definitely takes a great leap of faith to be so bold. We (the WP community) are lucky to have someone as dedicated and passionate as you are about what you do. Thanks Matt.

  8. Hey Matt. I too just quit what, a year ago, was “my perfect job” so I could do my own thing full time. It’s a big (scary) step…but there’s nothing more rewarding.

  9. Matt–

    Best of luck on this huge step. Here’s hoping it leads directly to more improvements in WordPress and related projects–I’m a huge fan!

  10. Hey Matt,

    Best of luck! You’re right, there comes a time when you’ve just got to take that leap and go for it. If you stumble, there will always be good companies to work with (or for), but if you succeed you open up an entire new world and make your own rules. Good luck πŸ™‚

  11. Matt,

    So few people can stare at their dream and then take the steps necessary to make it happen. I too applaud your cajones and intelligence at taking the chance. Aside from running your own business – and by extension your life – you’ll never have to wonder “what if?”

    As a published author and freelance writer, I’ve been doing the self-employed thing for nearly 14 years now and I wouldn’t trade away a day of it.


  12. Good luck, Matt!

    I know what it’s like to leave a decent job in order to pursue happiness. It’s scary, but sometimes you just have to make that leap of faith.

    Can’t wait to hear about the trail you’ll be blazing next!

  13. Matt

    Bayarea is just the place to take risks. As Mark Andreeson puts it “[Being in tech and not being in Silicon Valley] is like trying to be in the movie business not in LA or trying to be in national politics and not be in D.C.”

    All the very best for the future. Looking forward to see increased activity on your dream projects.


  14. As long as you’re not eating top ramen every night, I’d say that it’s good to follow your dreams.

    That’s wonderful for you that you’ll get to work on your passions full-time and wonderful for us (the community), because it will feed into WordPress and your other projects.

    Good luck!

  15. Good Luck, Matt. What seem to be tough decisions to others often are the most obvious to one’s self – I hope this is the case with you.

    To happiness!

  16. This is beyond creepy. Last night, I swear I was pondering what it would take to get you to essentially be a full-time WordPress “employee” and how awesome that would be for the project. That was at about 2am EST last night… about 45 minutes before you posted this. I have goosebumps, man.

    The obvious question is: how are you going to eat? They may be a bit personal, but I’m just curious as to how sustainable being a full-time WordPress contributer is for you, economically, especially in SF with the cost of living being what it is. Does WordPress generate enough revenue for you to live off of? Are you going to go the Kottke route? Are you going to take on part-time gigs to make rent?

    I’m really excited for you, and not just because of the benefits that WordPress and the WordPress-related projects are going to see. Doing what you love is an incredible thing.

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  18. Good luck to you Matt. I’m sure you have many exciting things lined up and look forward to seeing what you can do when you can devote your full attention to it.

  19. Best of luck Matt, I am sure you made the right decision. I along with others can’t wait to see what you have instore for the world πŸ™‚ Might I suggest world domination?

  20. Matt,
    I’m new to WordPress. I’ve been studying PHP and MySQL over the past year and implementing into my soon-to-be-up-and-running site. I stumbled upon WordPress a few days ago, since I hadn’t seriously considered adding blogging to my site until I learned how easy it could be. I’m totally jazzed about WordPress and what it has to offer over Blogger. So the idea of someone like yourself being committed to this open source project to the extent that you are is exciting and inspiring to me. Thank you so much for being the gutsy, passionate guy that you are.

  21. Good luck with the new ventures Matt! You’ve got a fantastic base from which to innovate further and I fully expect you to be in a position to fund the next Ning.com in 10 years time πŸ˜‰

    Also it was great to meet you at the geek dinner a couple of weeks ago.

    cheers, Richard

  22. Good luck to you Matt! What a truly exciting adventure for you. I just sent one of my kids off to college to start her adventure and I’ll just post here what I told her – do what you love. The money will come. Maybe not as fast as some other ways, but it will come. But you get to have your life with it as you go. You get to do what your passionate about and what makes you leap out of bed in the morning and go to bed super late at night. There’s no way to measure all the good that comes from that. Sure there will be times when you become disillusioned and wonder what you are doing, but just go grab some chocolate, go for a walk, and shake it off. You’ll be glad you followed your passion. You’ve touched alot of lives already and many more to come. By the by, as an old guy using WordPress I’m very, very impressed. I started with “gee this blogging thing would be fun”, moved to playing with Typepad (a very nice piece of software), got lucky and got a wordpress.com account, then found myself signing up for my own WordPress hosted account and editing html on my own WordPress 1.5 site! I’m happy to have found a venue to do something I enjoy – writing (we’ll let the jury decide on how well – but at least I’m having fun) – and WordPress made that more fun and possible for me. Thx and best of luck to you in your new adventure!

  23. Good luck Matt! Thanks for all of your hard work so far, and the work you plan to do in the future. It is greatly appreciated by many, including me πŸ™‚

  24. What they all said. And, you’re welcome back in H-town any time. Good on you for taking the leap.

    (So it was CNET that injured your thumb. Now it all makes sense….)

  25. I know it must’ve been a bit hard decision to make, but hey, its life!! Only those who dare to leave the safety of the cocoon deserve to be successful!! πŸ™‚ There’ll be sometime, someplace in future, again to be proud of!!

    Goodluck Matt in your next adventure!! *thumbs up*

  26. Hey hot stuff,

    I was, am, and always will be proud of you and have the utmost faith in your decisions. I won’t wish you luck because you already have the guts and heart and talent to do whatever you want in this world.