Matt Mullenweg stopping angel investing, closing SF Automattic office

I finally listened to the Stack Overflow podcast with Matt Mullenweg. In the second half of the show, I learned a couple of things I didn’t know:

  1. Matt said, “something had to go,” when he got back to being involved in the day-to-day of core development. The thing he’s decided to set aside is new personal investments through Audrey Company. Matt has made around 85 investments over the last several years, he said, and he’s no longer making new investments. He said his past investments had done “very well”.
  2. He also said that Automattic is considering shutting down their San Francisco office. It’s purely a matter of having a 15,000 square foot space in an extremely expensive city, but very few people spend time there.

Indeed, Audrey‘s website shows current investments in several well known companies, and lists 19 exits over the years. Many of his portfolio companies are still active and highly coveted startups that are sure to make a nice payday for him — no matter how small his stake — someday in the future. It’s ridiculously impressive.

Matt confirmed to me that they’re closing the Hawthorne office, but he’s, “not sure about a timeline yet.” The Automattic space has sometimes been used for meetups, and when Automatticians go to San Francisco they often drop by, but on any given day there are typically no more than a handful of people there, Matt said in the podcast.

It’s always amazed me they had a space that large, so the change makes sense. However, I have fond memories of when the community summit and WCSF after party were hosted there. I wonder what they’ll do with the awesome WordPress shuffleboard table. I think I could make room for it… somewhere.

The podcast is a lot about not much for the first half hour or so, but if you start around minute 29, the conversation gets pretty good. In addition to what I’ve noted, Matt talks to Joel Spolsky and the other hosts about a lot of random things, especially related to the older days of the web and various CMSs that existed, as well as Joel’s move to WordPress. He also spends a few minutes talking about the new release cycles, and goals for the editor project specifically.

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