We just launched the Automattic Support Network which is a place for companies to purchase paid support for WordPress and MU. Originally I didn't think we'd need to do this, simply because the WordPress.org support forums are so amazing and there is such a good community around it. That hasn't changed, but some big companies and enterprise folks are uncomfortable with volunteer support, and want (and insist) on paying someone before deploying a product. Based on that feedback and a lot of input from Podz, we put together this new product, which is basically VIP support with a guaranteed response time. Toni has some more thoughts here. We also rolled out new pricing for commercial Akismet use a few days ago, and the response has been great so far.
There’s no correlation between hours worked and work done. I think this is why traditional corporate structures are starting to crack at the seams, and the distributed model companies like Automattic, MySQL, SocialText, and many others use will start to gain real legs and acceptance. The best example of this was at a place I used to work: after lunch everything seemed to shut down. Several people obviously got very sleepy after lunch and would spend 2-4 hours of the afternoon on auto-pilot. (This was me sometimes too.) It would have been infinitely better for them to take a one hour nap and get back to productive work than spend 3 hours in an obviously hampered state. Happy, healthy, well-rested people work orders of magnitude better.
Another nice birthday present! I have no idea (really) how he got this, but Om has the scoop on Yahoo VP Toni Schneider leaving to join Automattic. We were originally going to announce this at the end of the month when Toni actually left but I guess now is as good a time as any. 🙂 Toni was the CEO of Oddpost and after joining Yahoo led, amoung other things, their really cool developer network.
I first met Toni shortly after I moved to San Francisco and I’ve wanted him to be a part of Automattic pretty much since the idea first entered my mind. We’ve spent many long meals over the past year discussing the Automattic idea before it even had a name. I’ve been on cloud nine since (somehow) I convinced him to leave the incredibly cushy corporate job and rough it out in startup world again. I’m very very excited about some of the things coming down the line.
Update 2: It’s on Digg, and I’m curious what linking to the Digg story will do. Digg it if you think it’s interesting.
SiliconBeat has a good article on the launch of Automattic and the Yahoo deal. We also ended up in Infoworld. Scott Gatz wrote a bit about the Yahoo deal, saying “The Hosting team also did a similar deal with Moveable Type last week, so if you prefer that, its just as easy. (although I personally prefer the simplicity and extensibility of WordPress).”
Check out the new bundling of WordPress with Yahoo Hosting, which is why I was biting my tongue so much last week. 🙂 We’re sitting next to Movable Type on their blog page, but I’m completely comfortable with new users trying out both and making their decision from there. (I often recommend it.) The other part of why this is interesting is the Akismet angle, which I wrote more about here.
Automattic.com is no longer a placeholder, it now has a bit more info about the team behind WordPress.com and Akismet. This is what I’ve been working on since I left CNET. The site is still just a shell though, a lot more tidying up to do there. Your mileage may vary. (Should we call it Beta?) This week is pretty jam-packed with announcements, so stay tuned. 🙂