Technology

My passion for all things tech began when…

I was very young and my grandmother bought an Apple computer for her house because she wanted her grandchildren to learn technology. In the beginning, it was really the games that drew me in and later the ability to print things which I thought was pretty much the coolest thing ever.

I was inspired to develop WordPress because…

It was too difficult to have your own voice and home on the web. That is still true today — there are lots of places where you can be a page on someone else’s domain, but people deserve their own space, their own design, their own domain.

We stay in tune to WordPress users and improve their experience by…

Ensuring that everybody who joins Automattic, whether they’re a new CFO or an engineer, starts with three weeks of doing support for our customers and everyone in Automattic including myself rotates in and does customer support, at least one-week a year. This really connects you with the needs and problems of everyday folks and can often open your eyes to something you are taking for granted that people really struggle with.

Top 3 tips for entrepreneurs using WordPress…

  1. Install and set up Jetpack, VaultPress, and Akismet to keep your site fast, secure, up to date, and spam-free.
  2. Link to your WordPress from all your other social media profiles – your Twitter, your Facebook, your LinkedIn and put it in the signature on your email.
  3. When you do a new post don’t be shy about emailing it to people you think might be interested and be sure to respond to and follow up with any comments you get. Most experienced bloggers will tell you the comments are often better than the post.

The best way entrepreneurs can educate themselves about basic web development is…

Codecademy.com is a great way to learn development from the ground up. I recommend starting with HTML, CSS, and then Javascript.

As CEO, I inspire and motivate Our team by…

  1. Myself and everyone running the company try to create an environment where everyone feels like they’re really cared about. Everything from having great compensation, to sane expense policies, the best health care available and above and beyond benefits like long-term payments to family and children for employees that have passed away.
  2. I try to lead by example and do my personal best at everything that we want everyone to embody; like helping colleagues, rolling sleeves up and doing work, communicating in a way that’s productive and being impeccable in following up with things I say I’m going to do.
  3. I think it’s important to try and tackle big problems and many of our goals are very ambitious. It is often just as much work to try and do a big thing as a small thing, so you might as well swing for the fences. We strongly believe that good ideas can come from anywhere and everyone in the company can contribute an idea or conversation that ends up becoming a major priority on the roadmap.

Skills that did not come naturally to me as CEO were…

The ins and outs of finance and accounting. Luckily we have an incredibly strong team there that doesn’t seem to mind explaining things to me over and over.

The area of technology that excites me the most…

Right now I’m very excited about the use of targeted, narrow AI (artificial intelligence) to help you manage your life — tasks like booking travel, shopping, scheduling, even tracking when you’ve said you’re going to do something. It is very much within the near-term possibilities and I think is going to make lots of people happier, less stressed and more productive.

Tech trends that will shape the next 5 years are…

Bandwidth and connectivity is going to improve immensely, which allows for reach apps and streaming to be much better experiences. Sensors and smart devices will help our homes be more responsive, other sensors will help us monitor our personal health and encourage better behavior. And cameras in smartphones will continue to improve and allow us to capture and keep forever our most cherished moments.

Daily must-read websites…

My favorite apps are…

Calm, Spotify, Fitbit, Overcast, Swarm, Telegram, Pocket, Wunderlist, Simplenote, coach.me, Slack and of course, WordPress.

What I hope to accomplish next…

WordPress just passed powering 25% of all websites, right now I’m thinking about what can get us to 50% as soon as possible!