LiquidWeb Acquires Modern Tribe

Modern Tribe has a statement posted on its website. It is literally titled with one word: "Statement." The statement says they have been acquired by LiquidWeb, but Modern Tribe "will continue to operate as an independent agency with its existing leadership." Most people in the WordPress space weren't too surprised but this acquisition because LiquidWeb already acquired Modern Tribe's flagship product, The Events Calendar, at the beginning of this year. The sale did reignite an ongoing conversation in Post Status Slack: is the amount and frequency of acquisitions healthy for the WordPress ecosystem today and in the future? Reid Peifer from Modern Tribe shared his feelings in the Post Status conversation:
"I think the macro and the micro view is pretty appropriate for us as a community. The macro lens β€” we’re seeing a lot of consolidation and movement. Skepticism of corporate motivations is healthy and keeping a critical eye on what’s surrounding you is just part of being a good community member and a good business person. When the WordPress community is really at its best, it’s balancing that macro view with the micro. In all of these changes are individuals with their own needs, wants, and aspirations. I love when we collectively can apply a critical eye to big broad strokes, but retain the respect and enthusiasm for everyone as individuals. Whether or not I just contributed to the stagnation of the broader WordPress ecosystem β€” it’s on me to prove otherwise. I’m actually pretty excited about that."

As a WordCamp organizer, I can’t help but wonder how many sponsors will be available at tables during in-person WordPress events in the years ahead. Corporate sponsors offer the most support to WordCamps after the WordPress Foundation. Acquisitions and mergers mean fewer deep pockets from corporate sponsors.

We still need to wait and see how this acquisition plays out. I don’t think “harmful” is the right term to use to describe the drive to consolidate that has been so strong this year. The space is definitely changing and growing. When change is happening, opportunities open up.

β€” David