Matt Mullenweg on everything WordPress, Automattic, and eCommerce

In this session, I talk to Matt Mullenweg about a variety of issues facing the WordPress community, as well as what’s going on at Automattic, with his podcast, and more.

Brian: 00:00:03 In this session of publish online. I’m with someone who needs little introduction but I’ll give him, I’ll give him one. Anyway, it’s Matt Mullenweg Co, founder of WordPress, CEO of automatic and podcaster. Got to add something to your, to your name there. I bought a fancy set up for you today just to ultra high quality. I appreciate it. We want to we want to, you know, give the best sounds possible to our viewers. Ears. Matt, how are you?

Matt: 00:00:32 I’m doing fantastic. I am in New York City for the first time with my sister actually. I know a lot of folks in the WordPress community and met my sister because she goes to like every WordCamp us and Europe and then we’re going to go to Berlin tomorrow. So very much looking forward to work camp Europe. That’s awesome.

Brian: 00:00:50 Spoiler alert. We are recording right before WordCamp Europe. And Charlene is wonderful. I still owe her a probably about 50, maybe 60 hugs from when I had a promised a hundred hugs to someone that would give me Ibuprofen. Huh. The day of my very first word, Camp San Francisco, which was probably 2011 or 2012. That’s when we met and she was my my headache fixer. So ever since then, every time I see her, she’s like, you got to hug it out cause I owe her a great debt. Awesome. Glad to hear it. Yeah. So I hope you all enjoy New York and and also Berlin, sorry to be missing it myself, but my son is turning four. So we’re, we’re gonna go watch toy story four and have a party instead.

Matt: 00:01:41 Oh, that’s right. A new story. So He’s coming out. I hear that one. Yeah. Let me know how it is.

Brian: 00:01:45 Yeah, I will. We’re going to the theater day one. So nevertheless, we’re here to talk about what you’ve got going on, which is a lot. I do want to start with the distributed podcast. If you go to distributed.blog, you’ve been interviewing some people about distributed work and I want to get your take on one, I guess, while you’re doing that. And what have you learned so far?

Matt: 00:02:09 Hmm, I guess I’m doing it because this is a relatively new area and I want to learn as much about it as possible. So it’s, that’s I mean there’s dozens of companies doing it with thousands and thousands of people, many of them larger than automatic actually. And so if there’s things in our future that we’re going to run into, want to figure it out as we realize, like the companies aren’t sharing as much as like the day to day how things happen. So I’m trying to dive in a bit more. So like you probably heard the upwork interview with the CEO with their head of HR and their CTO that’ll be on later. And so I found those actually far more interesting, amazing. But I like just really, really fascinating. Like particularly the HR one. Like it can get kinda tricky cross cultural cross country everything. My hope is that the podcast now we’re doing these longer articles attached to each episode and my hope is that this becomes the first draft of what could be collated into the book of backs.

Matt: 00:03:11 Best Practices. I’m not gonna make any promises on a book date, but I do hope to be able to publish something somewhat where over the next few years. That could be like that the, basically the manual for doing a distributed, a company of any sort, whether it’s a start up or anything. And in the meantime the Trivia type blog is meant to be like a great resource. Like something we’re working on soon is getting a, a gear, a post on there. So like it’s all the stuff we found. It’s really inexpensive, really helpful for for making remote meetings effective, all that sort of stuff.

Brian: 00:03:43 Yeah, that’s cool. I mean, I think a lot of people would consider you a really on the forefront of distributed work and I liked how you called it distributed and not remote because remote insinuates that there’s people that are not remote or local and but yeah, a lot of people will view you as a leader in that area. There’s not a, not a ton of you know, large startups, which I’ll qualify it now. You L or I know your over 800 employees. Is there roughly how many automatic employees are there now?

Matt: 00:04:14 Probably like nine. 29 30.

Brian: 00:04:16 Okay. So yeah, there’s not a lot of companies pushing a thousand employees where they are such a distributed first or distributed centric culture. Leads me to a question.

Matt: 00:04:31 By the way, I’ll say one quick thing on that. Yeah. All we’re doing is taking what’s worked in open source for several decades and applying more context. So I actually don’t think it’s that new and people working in WordPress are very familiar with working in distributed fashion. So it’s one of those things that it’s just something that’s in one area that hasn’t been applied to another area yet.

Brian: 00:04:52 Yeah, I think that’s fair. It’s it’s it’s something that it’s very it’s a first principle, I guess in the WordPress ecosystem and I don’t know that that would have been the case if if you didn’t kind of set that standard, but I’ve noticed how a lot of companies are really it’s almost expected, like if you’re looking for the top talent in the WordPress landscape saying, hey, that’s great, now come move to our city would be very strange. Like you’d be like, what are you talking about? Like this is, this is the WordPress world we work distributed, we work from anywhere and I feel like that’s opened up opportunities for employees. So

Matt: 00:05:33 Although there are two prominent companies that have a very strong office culture, I’d say a WP engine and Yoast, those are very strong cultures and addition to peopl , I would call them primarily centralized organizations.

Brian: 00:05:46 Yeah, absolutely. And I have a lot to learn from them as well. I want to get to some of that in a bit. My hypothetical here is how different do you think automatic would be if instead of going a distributed route, you said, you know what, I’m going to create a startup and it’s going to be based in Houston, Texas. Do you, how, how much do you think that would’ve changed the company from a culture perspective and maybe from a work product perspective?

Matt: 00:06:16 It’s honestly hard to imagine. Yeah. I think there’s only two of us in Houston right now. Maybe three. But yeah, it’s it’s just hard to imagine. I don’t know. I’ve always really enjoyed it. I guess we could have moved people out and Houston actually is one of the places. It’s very affordable city of great quality of life, great public schools. I really enjoyed growing up there, so it actually wouldn’t be a terrible place to, to headquarter. But I do think that ultimately if you’re moving people away from where they’re from, it’s tough. Well, on the other hand, Houston is the fourth largest city about to become the third largest United States. So maybe you can make it work just mostly with people that kind of live in that area. But I don’t know. It’s hard to imagine. I was just reading about epic games or a chat makes fortnight and if you’re the things and, okay. I used to play,

Brian: 00:07:07 You can say my lack of awareness shows my knowledge of gaming culture.

Matt: 00:07:14 I don’t gain very much anymore, but I used to a lot like, especially in the 90s and I’m fascinated by the game companies because so many of them have really interesting cultures. When you read about bow or epic or a, I liked the folks at spry Fox a lot. They just, they do things. It’s, you know, an intensely creative, highly Darwinian kind of software and an entertainment industry that I find it very, very fascinating. They make some really, really good work. Rovio over in, I think Stockholm made angry birds.

Brian: 00:07:47 When you say they’re highly Darwinian, do you think that’s due to the culture of like needing games to succeed and the pressure that’s put on them to always be putting out games that can stay on the forefront of popular culture?

Matt: 00:08:01 Yeah, I mean, one thing on the web is people are just a click away from your competitors, right? There’s very low switching costs. And I believe that games, you know, there’s the added, it has to be interesting. It has to be novel, it has to be entertaining. The Social Games your friends need to be honest. So there’s like, there’s a lot of barriers and it’s yeah, people are try out lots games and they see what kind of sticks. So that’s why I call it like a very downwind, it’s way easier to switch between games and switch between cmss. Right?

Brian: 00:08:31 Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. So something that y’all came out with recently that was a surprise to me. And I’m just curious what the, if it’s an experiment or where, where you’re coming from with this but happy tools, this is a, basically an HR tool as well. And kind of an internal tool for scheduling resources and collaborating. I was curious to see that you actually made it a sass instead of either releasing it as some kind of open source software or just say, you know, go do the, with this, with, with this what you will, why did you all, I can see why you built it because you needed it, but why did you decide to make it a SAS?

Matt: 00:09:14 Oh, we’re always experimenting with different business models, different technology stacks, everything like that. I think we don’t have as much experience distributed. It’s not so much happy scheduler, but really happy chat is kinda tricky to run. So, you know, cause it’s real time chat and all that sort of stuff. So we just didn’t, we’re actually, we’re gonna release happy chat first and end up doing happy scheduler first. And so the scheduling could probably be run easily anywhere. But the chat you kind of need, you guys need us to host at or like, it’s a little more complicated set up.

Brian: 00:09:51 I don’t know anything about happy chat. So is this going to be a part of the SAS offering from happy tools or a separate one? Yeah, we’ve talked a bit about it

Matt: 00:10:01 Publicly. We want to offer a whole suite. So like a company directory skills Matrix chats, a scheduling, a, some version of p two that’s like really kind of locked in and easy to follow, you know, search across everything. I think there’s a lot of, we’ve always at automatic had a fair number of engineers voted devoted just to internal tools. [inaudible]

Brian: 00:10:24 Are you using happy chat instead of slack or other chat offerings in house now?

Matt: 00:10:31 Ah, I should define what it is. So any of you can interact with happy chat today if you use WordPress.com sport. So the live chat support, Aha said, think of it as a support tool. Not for like a slack competitor or anything like that.

Brian: 00:10:47 I see. So it’s like one of those ones that you hit the corner of the website and pop up a support chat.

Matt: 00:10:54 Exactly. But it’s got some pretty cool stuff going on in the backend. Yeah, that’s cool. That we’ll talk more about in the future.

Brian: 00:11:02 Yeah, that’s fine. I was just curious about the business model perspective. I mean y’all are definitely experimenting a lot. Sometimes I forget what products you have. Like I went to the automatic website and I saw crowd signal and I was like, do I even remember re them rebranding pull daddy. But y’all have that and it’s a monthly build thing now. It’s a very, it’s a very different looking product than it was as pulled Daddy. Yeah, the teams, he’s

Matt: 00:11:32 Been doing a great job, you know, crowd sentinel. We didn’t have anyone working on it for a few years really. And it’s still just got a lot of usage and it still does some things that you can’t find from similar tools. So we have a great team working on it now and it’s I’m excited about the new functionality, the new cause we use it a lot, so it’s nice to see it all spruced up. Actually. I think it’s my favorite checkout page of any of our products right now.

Brian: 00:12:00 Really. I need to, I need to explore that. Cut out. Yeah, check it out. I was trying to avoid that. I appreciate you embracing it. Corny jokes are totally on the table, you know, it’s like, yeah. So let’s let’s go, let’s go in to checkout and an ECOMMERCE, we’ve talked about woocommerce a bit. Y’all been making, making some headlines there with your equity acquisition of prosperous and you’re working in this industry now, which is so cool. Yeah, I’m doing some contracting with Jilt and it’s been really interesting because not only because it’s fun to work on the SAS, but also our customer base is both woocommerce and Shopify and even EDD actually. So getting to see kind of some of the differences with Shopify customers versus woocommerce customers has been interesting. But they also make a lot of plugins, a lot of extensions for woocommerce. Yeah. Skivers does pross press was like the other like big extension maker in the space. Will Commerce subscriptions was the highest revenue extension in the directory, right? I think so. Yeah. So what led you to be motivated to make that acquisition?

Matt: 00:13:18 You know, we’ve always said that for any company in the WordPress space, if you’re thinking about a next chapter or an investment or anything taught automatic, all right, we have been investing in this space for,

Speaker 3: 00:13:28 Okay,

Matt: 00:13:30 Oh gosh, 1415 years now, a long time and know it really well and everything like that. So we want to support as many companies as possible and I think Brendon prospects were just ready for the next chapter to join up and shall we started having that conversation?

Speaker 3: 00:13:45 Yeah.

Brian: 00:13:46 One of the things I’ve noticed with subscriptions is I’ve had a couple of subscriptions through Shopify. They don’t do it very well. And there, there’s only third party tools. There are some isolated, you know, products where people can do like justice, justice subscription, but I do feel like it’s a feature differentiator for woo commerce. Was that a strategic thing for y’all to say that’s something that you want to be able to address as a first party e-commerce participant? Or was it just a benefit of them also coming to you?

Matt: 00:14:22 Yeah, I think what commerce is a marketplace. So what the some first party or third party, it can be a fantastic solution. Print built a really amazing team that was also distributed that had a culture of very much like automatics, a, a lot of familiar faces from around WordPress events and, and volunteers in the community and everything. So you’re joining up a much like one Wu itself joined automatic. Oh, it’s so natural. But if they were continuing on their own, I think that’d be totally fine too. So it’s one of those things where we’re trying to be relatively agnostic in a marketplace and just provide support wherever possible. There’s a lot of overhead to run an a company and that’s something we’ve gotten pretty good at over the years and, and you know, Kressley 900 people and everything like that. So we can take a lot of that pressure that an entrepreneur or CEO, my feel from the kind of day to day grind, the unfun part of it allow people to focus on the fun part, which is the product, the users, innovation, you know, all the, all the things that for a lot of people is what, what gets them out of bed in the morning, including myself.

Matt: 00:15:27 And we have a lot of people at automatic whose passion really is creating amazing HR, you know, amazing accounting systems localizing, like all that other stuff. Some people are passionate to wake up in the morning excited about that. So you just got to get those together. And for those people, scale is kind of more interesting at a 20 person company, it’s only so once human resources to manage a full time HR person, but we can have not just one but a bunch. And so they have a community, they make each other better, they coach each other, they cover for each other. So those sorts of things can really become centers of excellence.

Brian: 00:16:06 Well, they are a, a fantastic team. Brent’s always been one of my favorite people in the space. He’s been doing woocommerce stuff for so long. I think it’s was eight years or so in business, which is a long time as you know to be in business doing anything. And yeah, there

Matt: 00:16:22 At first so many of the companies in the WordPress ecosystem and I’m looking forward to opportunity to be able to get to know and work with. Great. More closely.

Brian: 00:16:30 Yeah. you talk about woocommerce as a marketplace. How, how, how is that different I guess from say Shopify? I think it’s pretty clear. I think you’ve expressed this before. Shopify is a terrific platform. By far the greatest competition for woocommerce. They have the fat part of the tail and I think woocommerce is really good at the long part of the tail. What role does it play you think in selection of ecommerce platforms that woocommerce is a marketplace rather than a wholly centralized ecosystem?

Matt: 00:17:08 I think it has some pluses and some minuses. So, even though like subscriptions or you know, one of those topics, tensions, you’re talking about a relatively low number of subscribers in the world relative certainly to what we know is the number of new sites and certainly what we know is a total ecommerce potential on the web. So I think we have to do a lot better job at figuring out what’s that kind of magic package or set of things that appeals to the widest number of people. Because ecommerce is a problem area, which I mean, content management is hard. ECOMMERCE, I would say one to two orders of magnitude more complex, deeper. And so, you know, for commerce to be the product, I think the web deserves as something that can democratize commerce. Like WordPress is democratized publishing. We probably need one to two orders of magnitude more people working on it.

Brian: 00:18:08 Hmm. Is it your largest revenue stream yet? It’s not yet, but it should be, right? Yeah. Yeah. I think we talked before about how you expected it would be someday.

Matt: 00:18:20 I think the opportunity there is as large as everything else automatic does combine it actually. So, yeah. But I’ve really want to invest as much into growing that team and getting hundreds and hundreds of developers working in all parts of it including making it a better platform for third party developers to build on, including open up the marketplace more, may have marketplace has been very curated only in a few things. I want everything that works with woocommerce to paint it. So these are things that we need to work on and it’s just it’s a long path, but we’ll get there one step at a time. If we can jog rather than walk even better.

Brian: 00:18:59 One of the critiques I’ve seen a of woocommerce is a, that people sometimes feel like they get kind of onesies and twosies as in like you’re having to select all these different extensions and you end up getting build five or six different times, you know, from the woocommerce website or whatever and it just kind of drags at you rather than saying, you know what, I pay $59 a month, or like some subscription basis. Have you all considered bundles or like normalizing the costs to some kind of monthly subscription but still maintaining the you know, the obviously self hosted nature of the product in order to, I guess Mesh better with some of the other e-commerce pricing models out there.

Matt: 00:19:44 Yeah, xfinity something that’s been on my mind and I think you’ll start to see more host offers, some of those bundles in the future. But I think fundamentally what we need to do is make, you know, commerce is primary developer tool right now. I think we can make it even better for developers. I think we could make it more scalable. I think we can make it much easier to use and administer. And I think that especially working with kind of the wider WordPress ecosystem, we can make a lot more accessible as not really a that I don’t think it’s fair to expect some someone coming, you know, and just clicking around with commerce, be able to set up a storage aside they need, it’s not there yet. Yeah. Yeah. Make the analogy is kind of where WordPress was in like 2007, 2008 like the early days. And

Brian: 00:20:36 I’m trying to remember what that version is. This you’re already getting into my next question. [inaudible] I don’t remember. I don’t remember what year it was. It was pretty soon after. I think y’all acquired will commerce and you compared it to WordPress 1.5 and I looked up the date for when you called it WordPress 2.7 which was late 2017. So now we’re working on almost two years since then. Do you think WordPress 3.0 was a big deal? So do you think we’re close to kind of a work WordPress 3.0

Matt: 00:21:06 Type of a [inaudible] we’re getting a lot closer. I personally feel like

Brian: 00:21:12 There’s some of those data, there’s some of those architecture issues. I feel like if they can get truly ironed out, maybe that would be the 3.0 moment of opening up woocommerce to a even greater scale so that you don’t need some of like top tier consulting agencies to take it to that next level. And that’s where I really personally see some differences.

Matt: 00:21:36 Yeah. Ideally the top tier consultant could use these can work on the hardest things. Yeah. The sites that really, really need it. Versus right now sometimes you need them just to do something more simple or that should be more out of the box or be fair that maybe a competitor does more out of the box. I do think have so much better than Shopify for anything services related, subscriptions related if you want to do any sort of deeper customization. But Shopify but just going to sell physical things or drop ship things [inaudible] really, really nailed that use case. So that’s something we need to get a lot better at. While keeping in mind what you brought up, which I think is a very good point. And what, in my opinion, what kind of killed drew a Joomla, which is, is this nickel and dime thing [inaudible].

Matt: 00:22:17 So the you get kind of this tragedy, a different kind of tragedy of the Commons where the economic self interest of everyone in there is to build these, you know, 50 a hundred k your businesses sell in some little thing and you can do, you can create a nice little business there, but you’re ultimately hurting the platform as a whole with that thing not being built it because you’re, you’re extracting value in places that might not be where people perceive it or opening up a competitive opening a place for a competitor to essentially commoditize that or make that really integrated.

Brian: 00:22:56 Yeah. One of the interesting ways Shopify does that is they have their baseline price and then for the type of functionality that woo commerce would say, Hey, this is extension territory. It’s kind of, it’s just adding to your plan, but it’s still just a monthly, a monthly hit that you get. It’s not a, it’s not this like once a year type of boom, here’s 99 or $199 or whatever is, here’s on here, same bill. Right? It’s not, yeah, it does. Yeah. So that’s how, that’s how guilt is in the guilt is in the Shopify app store as an example. So if someone signs up, then they are bringing, they’re pulling in this Shopify jilt integration for all their ecommerce email marketing and when they start paying, it’s $29 a month or whatever, but it’s in the, it’s directly in the app store and a lot of them, your old employee [inaudible] month for the baseline. And actually there’s been a lot of interesting drama between a Shopify and MailChimp. So jolts has had some, some growth where anyway, yeah, it’s you can, you can plans as low as $29 brought to you by June. I think

Matt: 00:24:05 Fire is going to create a lot of interesting opportunities for woo commerce because they’re, they’re definitely, they have a lot of expectations and need a lot of growth. What’s other things you think with the woo commerce or WordPress community should learn from the Shopify community now that you’ve been diving in there more?

Brian: 00:24:20 Yeah, there’s one, one thing I wanted to bring up to you. So one, there is a couple of differentiators to me. You’re flipping the interview. I appreciate that. That’s good. So the fulfilled by Amazon type of integrations are terrific with Shopify. And one of the things I’ve learned from Andrew Youderian who runs ecommerce fuel is Amazon is a huge piece of any e-commerce store business. And to ignore it or to underserve it makes it a harder platform for them to use. Another thing would be

Speaker 4: 00:24:58 That that

Brian: 00:25:00 Barrier to get started. I created a a dummy Shopify store and it looks like Shopify first experience. Boom, here you go. And I was really impressed with the way they just kind of made some decisions for me and they said, hey, here’s your homepage. And it gave me some ideas for what customize could look like in WordPress because it was like here’s as much as maybe it might be cliche or whatever. Like people want similar things often, so it’s like here’s your cover image, here’s your text that overlays it, here’s your like info box and about and featured products and it just kind of lays out that whole front page and then it says come in here and fill this information out and that gets you started. It gets you going along the way so that your site actually looks like some of those demos that you see. And I think in WordPress generally we really struggle with it and I want to know from you like how can we, how can we work with that? Whether it’s from woocommerce with stores, whether it’s with the customize site layouts in general.

Speaker 4: 00:26:02 Okay.

Matt: 00:26:03 I think we have an opportunity with Gutenberg to make this a lot easier on people. That’s my whole police. I mean if you really dive into regular users and regular user tests and like the things that people run into that making my site look like the demo is a top two problem. Yeah. Like it’s, it’s really all the way up there. It is very, very challenging. So I do think we have some work to do to make good Berg more intuitive as well. Right. I think it’ll actually help when we’re able to show your entire site as blocks. And so as you learn to directly manipulate those and how to manage that, you’re also then learning how to just do the normal content stuff that we do and I in a regular editor part of things. So phase two, even though it, it adds more, I think we’ll actually make WordPress a lot easier to understand and accessible to a much wider audience.

Brian: 00:27:05 Yes. Would you say phase two opens up Gutenberg to be a page builder, like a proper page builder rather than an editor with some page building capabilities, but all on the inside?

Matt: 00:27:22 I mean, then you’re just arguing a definition of some words everyone made up that don’t actually exist in like a platonic ideal or since. So I do think that today you can build awesome page layouts and awesome single page sites with Gutenberg. And we’ve seen some really, really fantastic implementations, particularly on the enterprise side. I’ve been so impressed with the enterprise adoption of Gutenberg. I expected that they were kind of pulled back a little bit. In fact, they’d been some of the earliest adopters, a really creating like awesome Laney pages, awesome marketing sites and awesome everything. Gutenberg, what I think we need to do is show and ship, you know, really editing an entire site with a, with blocks.

Brian: 00:28:08 Yeah. This is something I’ve actually been trying to do recently. And so I’ve built some sites where the prerequisites where I want to use some kind of baseline theme that’s Gutenberg. First I need to learn from the way people that are experts at this, how they’re implementing Gutenberg from a site layout perspective. So I built a couple of websites. I’ve got a couple more that I’m working on. One of them I used Justin Tad lock’s new exhale theme. Justin Tyler has been in the theme world for so long. Has so much experience. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And so seeing how he does it was a learning experience for me. The other one was theme beans to bore or not toward being beans. There were recently the same the same folks created code blocks. And GoDaddy acquired that. Yeah. Rich Tibor.

Brian: 00:29:05 Okay. Thank you for last name. Not First name. So rich, some cool stuff. Rich created the Tibor theme, which is I think that was the closest to what I would want from a WordPress default theme that I’ve ever used. And it’s really worth checking out and it’s a free theme and everything. But what I really appreciated was when I was like, okay, here’s Justin’s theme and here’s you know, Rich’s theme. I just switched. And like all that stuff that I did in Gutenberg, Gutenberg stayed there. And I think that’s a really underrated feature because now my theme is a layer, but my structural elements are handled in Gutenberg. And to me that’s one of the reasons why maybe especially these enterprise solutions are really you know, really appreciating that. And I think we can dig deeper there, I guess is where I’m, where I’m getting at.

Brian: 00:29:59 Yeah. If you’re switching between Elementor beaverbuilder Devi visual composer alike, things would not have continents easy. And some of those are pretty good actors and some of those are not. Well I think to the scent there, they’re solving user problems. They’re all helping and it’s all built on WordPress. I agree with that. But I do believe that one of the reasons WordPress has been successful is this kind of user centricity. And so making it so that, you know, when you switch themes, all our stuff comes over. Yeah. I think that’s both very simple to say. And so hard to do, you know, requires a lot of work. And I’m glad that we now have the Gutenberg framework that all of these, you know, creative minds, great developers, great designers can build on top of great experiences on top of that. And it provides us like a Lingua Franca that we can provide some data portability across everything.

Brian: 00:30:55 There’s a couple of specific situations that I feel like are really beneficial and the Gutenberg has a lot of potential for some of it. I can kind of do a, but one is straight up exporting and importing full Gutenberg layouts from one page to the other, one site to the other. That could be from development to live for example. Or it could be from one site to another where I just want a similar layout and it’s like, Bam, here’s that export from Gutenberg. I’ve seen some page builders that do this quite well. A Gutenberg, you can kind of sort of do some stuff, but then there’s things like, you know, importing images lose, you know, everything goes away or you know, some stuff that gets a little, a little funky there. But it’s really, it’s a really important process I think in terms of enabling the people that are spending the most time with their WordPress websites to quickly manage that content and create that content and use this, these baseline layers.

Brian: 00:31:53 And another firm that would be just saved patterns, right? That’s right. To save the whole thing as a template and you can break down almost every site design, so like groups of patterns. So if we make it easy to create and share those patterns and edit them that gets you 90% of the way there. It doesn’t, it’s the kind of the this component idea, right? Like web components really became a thing. So, you know, let’s take search or let’s take this hero thing and Gutenberg blocks are kind of getting at that. How far do you think we are from really going that extra mile to making this something that really truly increases the speed of going about this process? I think it happens this year, this year. That’s good. I have admit, I I really struggled trying to build out these pages for what felt simple. Now this is a kind of first world problem struggling because it was still quick. Like, I probably spent less than a day on two or three small pages, but I have expectations for WordPress that are greater than that, right? Like, I want to be able to get together a two or three page business site and less than a day. And that includes doing all the Gutenberg type of things, you know, dragging around myself and some of that.

Matt: 00:33:13 Totally, I think, you know, what’s cool about the WordPress world is you are a commentator and a journalist and also a participator. All right. So as you dive into that, I’d love, I think you have a very keen sense for how these things can work. Yeah. Share that with a good merch team.

Brian: 00:33:30 I am I’m actively working on that. I have a mega post and that’s what happens sometimes is like you try to, you try to get all this information and you’re like, but I need to do this first. So I have a lot of stuff that I’ve put together from this that I want to present in a way that’s constructive and helpful.

Matt: 00:33:51 And let’s get that into get hub issues and let’s get people working on it and then let’s ship it. Yeah, that’s the beautiful, this is just software.

Brian: 00:33:57 And one of them did. One of them did come up and I hope that it actually got comes to fruition. I found this an interesting accessibility thing.

Speaker 4: 00:34:08 I mean I’m not, I’m not, I’m, I’m

Brian: 00:34:10 Well abled to like use a mouse and a website and I really struggled just moving blocks around and like on nesting and renal testing and pushing them up and pushing them down. And what it led me to be curious of is like, what kind of testing are we doing for enabling the usage of Gutenberg with people that are, are differently abled than I am. You know, like somewhat like I imagine how could someone with a heavy arthritis use Gutenberg? Like all the buttons are really small. The padding is really, really tiny. So like manipulating those experiences, I feel like you need a 32 inch screen and like a really nice touch pad and like acute awareness of where you are on the screen. You know what I mean?

Matt: 00:34:57 Yeah. We have been doing testing there. Yeah. They still want a weekly test. And they’d been doing some work too. It was a smaller, it’s harder to get testers that have some of those challenges. So you get it. You can see thanks. So they’re doing some work to, to find more of those folks and reach out to the Morrison. So the things you said, one, I think we have the interface fairly zoomable and and out, so that needs to continue so that people can choose a scale which is comfortable for them. The animations when things move around. We found, actually she might have seen like some, some tests. There are some patches. I actually helps hugely for people who understand what’s going on x when it just kind of flips. There’s just something mentally like what just happened. There’s a bunch of places where we don’t, we just do things magically and we don’t say what’s going on.

Matt: 00:35:56 Don’t label some things I think we can label. Hmm. It’s a little tricky because the ideal way, it is one of those things where I think the best way to do it is to have like some texts that kind of pops up on the screen, but that’s not great for screen readers. For example. [inaudible] Is the same thing we have where I think why the biggest usability issues recruiting Bergen right now, just full stop is to functioning of tap the tap button. So pretty much everyone in the world that’s Beck’s tapped to indent analyst or make a tab for accessibility because of the accessibility team’s feedback. We have that where it takes you kind of between blocks and and kind of takes you out of the context which I think is more challenging just to everyone. So if we can figure out a good keyboard navigation there, that will also help sort of all the audiences that you talked about.

Matt: 00:36:51 Yeah. These are just, I mean we’re n in some ways this is a novel interface. So there’s not necessarily established conventions for exactly how to do these more complex manipulations. It’s not like there’s a right way to do it. And there’s a wrong way to do it. There is really smart people passionate about this area that have different opinions. [inaudible] There’s end users that prefer completely different things for how to navigate and use keyboard navigation or all almost everything. So I think it is an area where there’s going to be trade offs and just like most designed decisions, some people will like it and some people will not. But it is very much at the forefront of the conversation and very much on the team’s mind. And they work on it a ton.

Brian: 00:37:44 I don’t, I don’t envy their job. I know it’s enormously difficult. I do think we’re, we’re not there yet from a, from a sense of being able to effectively use Gutenberg. That’s like a delightful experience. And that’s obviously I have plenty of my own feedback that I, it’s my responsibility to bring that to a team and to like try to raise awareness on constructive ways to improve that. But it’s, it’s still hard to me. But I do, I do from my experiments. I, and this is specifically trying to create pages, like full on pages, dynamic stuff with lots of blogs. Has really taught me a lot in terms of what it’s really good at and then where I feel like it’s struggling. Something I feel like a, and I tweeted about this yesterday but I feel like WordPress should be really good at something and it’s not, and I’m curious if it’s just left behind or what.

Brian: 00:38:50 So like I guess I disagree with the premise. Okay. so, you know, it’s a really good, great publishing tool, but it’s, I think it’s primarily a great publishing tool for that first experience. And one of the places where I really struggle with WordPress is what about the next iteration of something that’s already published? And especially, what’s that? You mean like editing or, yeah, so like take a, take a landing page, you know, the, the automatic homepage or you know, like some kind of, some kind of landing page. Well, if you want to go in and you want to iterate on that, we don’t allow you to say, set the current one as the one that’s live, but then give me this po potential to go edit, preview, make all these changes and then go live all at once. With this new version, I had to delete an x, I had to like create a page in a different page and then delete the other one and replace it. And in order to just, you know, prevent like significant downtime I guess for that landing page. And that seemed really disconnected to me. And it’s like almost like this forgotten kind of forgotten thing from our land of blog posts where things are more like defined in time, you know, rather than living documents. Do you think that that’s something we should be better at?

Matt: 00:40:15 I see what you mean now. I think this is why I have a lot of people use staging for, so the fact that so many of the hosts have really great staging features is part of providing a workflow that addresses this. Because you do it a, it’s a difficult mental model to change some things, but not others and have some things be alive and not others. Like, like let’s say you’re changing the title of your site, which is a side option. Sure. And that’s part of a design change. Like how do we queue that and allow it to be previewed and allow it to be, or some other setting like length of excerpts or something like that, which might be sort of a site setting. How do you bundle that with all the other things that might live in and pages and post and widgets and custom post types? I do keep kind of a knowledge of all of that state and staging is probably the cleanest way to do it. Other than interest is other issues with like sinking content back and forth.

Brian: 00:41:20 Yeah. Your staging content and your staging kind of templates and stuff. It does, it certainly gets complicated. It just struck me as the type of thing, and I wonder if you think, do you think we’re missing some of these issues? I guess with the way that we’re focusing on WordPress development,

Matt: 00:41:37 I think that we added some of this including like scheduling customizer changes to go live and some recent releases and I was pleasantly surprised by using some of our existing data structures, how that feature wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be. And so I do think that this is something that particularly as we get widgets, et Cetera, all in the Gutenberg, there’ll be, there’ll be much easier to address this, but our near term problem is reducing the mental models that people have to figure out to use WordPress. So the navigation, widgets, short codes, etc. Like we’re still flattening all that into blocks and that is by far and away our biggest problem and our biggest priority should be our biggest priority.

Brian: 00:42:21 What do you mean when you say a flattening that you mean like the number of places you’re managing that or like the preferred place to manage it or just purely making it a block that you can move around and put it anywhere you want.

Speaker 3: 00:42:33 Okay.

Matt: 00:42:35 Yeah, I mean if you’re writing a tutorial or recording a tutorial for WordPress, you’d have to show people how to move things around on the widgets page and the customizer, which is page and a blocks. Right. So there’s the same thing. Moving these little chunks of functionality around you have to teach someone to do three different ways. Hmm. That should just be one way as one example. [inaudible] And there’s so many hurdles.

Brian: 00:42:59 Yeah. What about the Admin more broadly? Are you happy with where the Admin is or do you have it off?

Matt: 00:43:11 I feel like every time I look at let’s table any lists, table powered page, I’m like, ah, pardon me guys a little bit like this. I would love for us to move to more card based interfaces, which is much richer in terms of half presented everything. We’re currently putting those tables.

Speaker 3: 00:43:25 Okay.

Brian: 00:43:26 What about the, in the sense of making WordPress more like a single page app or like kind of this live reload concept? I feel like one of the features that sticks out in WordPress is that when you’re in the Admin, so many things are available from one click away and it makes me think it’s probably the case because loading these like PHP pages used to be such a time consuming process. Whereas now we have more of this technology to where, you know, opening a little tab and clicking like making two or three clicks can be relatively fast. Whereas it used to be like, now you wait, you know, but now we have so many, it is

Matt: 00:44:03 Pretty fast. What’s that? WPI Men’s pretty fast. Especially at PHP seven two cause all the database queries in there are pretty optimized. There’s very few remote loads and because it’s all happening on the PHP side versus being like 1215 API calls or having go across the network it’s all super fast forward presented. So I mean, best practices in a single page app is to do that pre rendering to bundle things. And it does that really well. Well, if it almost estimate

Brian: 00:44:38 Does that, maybe that makes it even better because I notice, and I’m still approaching trying to approach this from a user perspective. I’m obviously fairly comfortable. I’m writing a post in WordPress and I see all this other stuff, but a lot of people, you know, they go there and maybe you can go to full screen mode or whatever, like if you intentionally go do that, but when you go and start writing or creating content in WordPress, like you have tools and settings and products and

Matt: 00:45:06 I think, I think we’re going to hide that by default if we haven’t already. We’re Gutenberg’s full screen. Yeah, I think that would be really great. That sounds good. I think that’s a good idea. I thought we did it already, but maybe not. So check it out there. It’s, it’s true that those things are there, but we also should think that users are dumb. Yeah. It’s just there’s, it feels nice when you get comfortable and a for interface like WP admin and the Cinco. I mean we did the single page app thing with Calypso and I think that part of what we learned there is that that on its own is not compelling. It doesn’t give you a reason necessarily switch from WP admin order break backwards compatibility number with Gutenberg I, I said this is going to break backwards compatibility but it would be worth it [inaudible] I think it has been angry or demonstrating that’ll be even more worth it by what it’s enabling.

Matt: 00:46:04 But for a lot of these other pages, yeah, I mean wouldn’t be hard to create like a fully API driven version of it in react, but would it actually be that much better from like a speed or like really real time usage, especially for how much it’s used versus content editing, not not a two or three time spreader. It might be like 10 or 20% better and then sometimes not at all if you don’t bring over all the functionality I got. Actually, I’ll tell you a frustration I have with clips the other day. Sure. How there’s no, there’s no facets or filtering on the user’s page. One uses, I think it’s called people. I was like, well, why is it called something different? Let’s just, if people’s better words, let’s do that everywhere in the WordPress world. And then to, there was no way to filter a search and that’s not hard. It just like whatever the team that was working on that hadn’t ported that over yet or hadn’t really done that feature. So I found myself going to WP Admin, which I almost never do these days to filter a large list cause we had like five or 600 users on this this WordPress. So

Brian: 00:47:09 When you say you’d never do, you’re is, you’re primarily writing through Calypso, still using the Gutenberg interface, but via Calypso?

Matt: 00:47:17 Yeah. Well what I love is with clips, so I can manage all my word presses in one place. So I have, for me that’s a killer feature. I, cause I work on a lot of different sites and so being able to have them super fast all on one interface I’m either in glyphs or the mobile apps a lot. And what and I haven’t, it’s usually on our testing Gutenberg actually.

Speaker 3: 00:47:42 Okay.

Matt: 00:47:43 Or I find a gap in functionality with this users page. I was like, I just need to change the role of one person and I didn’t want to scroll for like ever defined that.

Brian: 00:47:54 Yeah, no, absolutely. I want to spend a minute on leadership and WordPress [inaudible] it’s been evolving. There are new positions of leadership that you opened up and one of those within six months it’s already had a change where Yo Slovak was nominated to be or appointed to be a kind of a director of marketing efforts in WordPress and he recently stepped down, wrote a blog post about his reasoning. From your perspective, I mean we, we got Yossi a take on what happened there and why he made that decision. From your perspective, how could it have been a better experience and been more successful and what do you plan to do with that position now?

Matt: 00:48:46 That’s a good question. I think, yeah, we have been doing lots of experiments here and I experiment with like, or councils of leaders, you know, over the growth councils appointing people. I th and we’re gonna do a lot more experiments. Like I think this is an area where over the 16 year history of WordPress, we’ve had lots of great models over the years and some of them are worked better than others and I’ll say some work with some people, like some people work really well on one structure and on another. So part of it’s figuring out like who’s around the table, you know, who has the time passionate commitment to really contribute to work cries and what’s a structure that works well for them. I think, and I can completely understand where you’re coming from because I wear two hats as well. Yeah. He runs a very successful company and the model and what you work there, especially being like more of a CEO or you know, that he was for many years is very, very different from the model of working in open source.

Matt: 00:49:51 That’s probably the easiest way to put it. Like it’s completely of someone else. Like you have to be a completely different person. And it can be, I know personally for myself, very frustrating and in theory I’m in charge of the whole thing. If there can be a lot more steps that could be, I know, you know, when we announced Jostes, yeah, we had members of the marketing team step down because they didn’t like that this position existed or that, you know we’ve had, so almost every move can come with a lot of scrutiny. Criticism. And I think that we’re super fair when he ran into, and when I really wanna fix is, you know, he has shown and many leaders have shown an ability to move really fast with a product like Yoast SEO. They can iterate really quickly. And at the speed at which we were able to move in a kind of six months, he was working on some problem areas inside of WordPress.

Matt: 00:50:41 A was way slower. And so why is that? Why can’t we make the kind of open source side of things just as fast? And I do think that some of that is unhooking, needing the kid, everyone’s buying and approval for every little change to think, sometimes you just need to say, hey, you’re in charge of this and just run with it. And so that will mean some disempowerment of some volunteer groups or things like that. But hopefully some faster results that we can all be happy with and more some more autonomy for the leaders in a given area. The other thing that I think that would be interesting to do more of or that you and I talked about, which is a different idea of what a marketing was. So as one example that I think came up in his post was like the about page for a new release, which then is copied into the blog post.

Matt: 00:51:39 I think he thought there was like a group or myself or it yourself. I did that and he was left out or something like that. And I remember he’s like, wait, how did this happen without consulting me? Or it wasn’t like that, he said in a much more reasonable way. But he, even though he’s contributor to WordPress for long time, didn’t realize that that was all created on track. And so that there was, you know, 30 comments in 20 things and the illustration there like, so it happened there and I had never thought to say, hey, if you want to be involved in defining the about page, which I totally agree is something that a COO of WordPress would do or the new release announcement, this is the place in ways a way to do it. So that’s probably another good example of a place where there was a process in WordPress.

Matt: 00:52:24 That process actually thinks pretty good now that it’s, it’s much better than than one night. It was just write that in private or elite diva avs which has kind of write something and then publish it on the blog. And then there was no internal about it. Like I think it’s way better than it used to be. But but I just, even someone who very familiar with WordPress didn’t know that’s how it was done. So it was kind of missing that process. And in fact, maybe many people listening now will not know. That’s how the blog posts and the, and the sort of release page for every word press release gets created. So now that you’ve got is a relatively recent change. Now we’ve done that at least 10 releases. 10 Oh, I’m just trying to think. I’m just trying to think. I know there’s, excuse me definitely on that about page because you can see it in Betas and stuff too. But [inaudible] the a, there was always some mystery around like the releases itself and you know, naming the, and some of that and

Brian: 00:53:26 Some of that has been put into a more structured public relations push than it used to be, which I’ve enjoyed. But yeah, I do

Matt: 00:53:36 The way it’s that ticket number 26, seven 3.88, a slick about page reported by Matt or by Mason. And so 3.8 was the first release about six years ago. But had this more open about page and announcement process. And since then, even when the blog post has my name on it, like it’s really a group effort. In fact, I think I’ve asked for not to be solely attributed to me cause people were thinking I was writing the whole thing. It really is a result of this kind of track process that started six years ago and we’ve done it every release since.

Brian: 00:54:12 Josepha Haden was named as the executive director of WordPress and it seems like she’s really taken to the role and is doing a lot. So we’ve got to think. Awesome. Yeah. Yeah. Do you think there’s something that caused this divergence of these two experiences? You know,

Matt: 00:54:35 Something a, I’ll say it’s totally my fault. So I think that I’ve been communicating more, which was tougher than I did with Yoast. And so I am certain I could have done things differently that would have made him a lot more successful in that role. And so as we evolve marketing in the future, we’re gonna learn from that and try better and try to make new mistakes and really enable, because really the problem there, what he, I had many people in WordPress really passionate about are we’re not putting our best foot forward. WordPress.Org in particular does not talk about WordPress wall or a seller sells well and that’s just silly. You know, we have one of the most special communities and software and everything in the world. They are things that other companies charge millions of dollars for. You can add a click of a button, get for free on WordPress, and we could just do a much better job telling that story.

Brian: 00:55:31 Is the team lead interest post? Is that the next iteration of trying to develop the same type of leadership but further down the line within the WordPress ecosystem?

Matt: 00:55:44 I think one of the things we’ve learned in this recent iterations is that when there’s a single person in charge of an area, young companies, they often call it a dri at directly responsible individual. That’s where the best stuff happens. And with a lot of the previous team structure and when we’d have teams of 10 people that had six team reps or 18 months, so you know where like entire team as a team. So then who is the lead and then there was, there’s questions about that like is this person that head of this team or not? Or what does that mean? Is being a rapid lead, is it not? You know, and so that created I think a ton of challenges. So what we’re trying to do is have honestly a clear hierarchy, a that’s really upfront and understood and transparent as just a different way of working.

Brian: 00:56:32 What is the role of lead WordPress developers today? It’s one that has gotten kind of continuously grayer for me of not understanding their responsibilities or the presence necessarily. Sometimes for the lead developers, the people that were named lead developers, in fact, I’m not even sure if I can find them on the website as easy as I once could.

Matt: 00:56:54 Oh maybe we need to make the website better. I mean are the keepers of core and out there is a core software that powers 34% of the web and it’s Kinda like a, what they call it and Lord of the rings like that we need to protect a shire. Like yeah, we’ve got this huge responsibility and making that software secure, performant, accessible for shipping updates to it in a regular basis in a way that doesn’t break the whole Internet. Yeah, that’s it. That is one of the more interesting jobs I think on the Internet today. And so these are to people for whom they have the biggest impact on that. And I think that’s incredibly powerful. We’re doing a lot more with component leads and we’ve had a real re-invigoration with Gutenberg brought a ton of new contributors in. I had really upped our javascript game as well, or we’ve been a little weaker in the past.

Matt: 00:57:52 So there’s, there’s a lot going on there, but you know, what, the nice things you would think that 16 years into that we’d be running out of things to do. But you and I could go sit down for another hour and list a bajillion things we could improve about WordPress. Right. I see you thinking of it right now. You’re like, ah, this could be so much better. We’ve covered a lot of it in this interview. I’m sure everyone listening has some personal areas where they feel like word press could be a lot better. And I find that incredibly engaging there is, I mean, look at what we’ve been able to do so far, past few years. We’ve grown like three or four Drupal’s worth of market share an hour and just a few years. And actually one of the things I’m proud of spouse taking back over the lead developer role is we’ve been able to re accelerate that growth.

Matt: 00:58:45 So we had been sowing down for a while, we picked back up on market share adoption. So a lot of what we’re doing is working and we’re very hard on ourselves. The WordPress community, we are probably harder on ourselves than anyone else could be. We’re certainly harder on ourselves than we’re harder on any other CMS or, or SAS service in the world. And that creates oh, maybe the thing to say there is that sometimes nice to zoom out a little. Yes. It’s that stability where could be better. I completely agree. How does it compare to the accessibility of other people trying to solve the same problem we are trying to solve? Guess what? It’s a way better. I would put it against any of the Sasser’s is and put it in Shopify, put against anyone else out there. So, okay. Let’s give ourselves a hard time. It’s also know that we’ve done a lot of work and because of the hard time we’ve given ourselves, we’ve made a ton of progress. And if we do things like Gluten Blur, Gutenberg blocks, right, we can build things in there. Like for example, highlighting when you have low contrast colors with block interactions that actually can help people make better more to make the web more accessible and in a really a substantial and prevalent way. So it’ll be everywhere.

Brian: 01:00:07 You’ve long been committed and this is one of the things I admire most about you to WordPress’s role and an open web and the importance of things like self hosting and owning content and you know, the open source licensing that supplied to WordPress and making it an equalizer rather than, you know, figuring out how to differentiate and own a market and all that kind of stuff. Like we see from a lot of the big companies in the world today. I can’t help but feel in some ways those isolated systems are still winning. WordPress has a huge market share of content management systems have websites, but I don’t know that websites have a, have a growing share relative to the attention of the average person from what they’re putting into Twitter and Twitter threads and Instagram and Instagram posts and these isolated communities and Facebook and some of them are making what seemed to me concerning efforts to wall those gardens more. How worried are you about that and how can, how can WordPress, cause this is something I feel like, you know, the project is uniquely positioned to do. How can we do more to enable people to get outside of those walled gardens and to embrace some of these ideals that you’ve you know, propagated within our ecosystem.

Speaker 3: 01:01:41 [Inaudible]

Brian: 01:01:42 Can I give you a more parts in a question or we just have to solve the future of everything? Yeah, that’s it.

Matt: 01:01:52 I mean there’s what, 2 billion people online this 24 hours in a day, 48 billion hours being spent every single day. On various activities. I would happily put the one’s powered by the web against any of the social networks and I think if you really dug in to like time spent in the Facebook app, a lot of it or Twitter app, a lot of it’s spent in the browser. You know, all of these have like built in browsers that we spent a lot of times being linkedin things and reading through articles. I think that’s, you know, an advantage of some of the

Speaker 3: 01:02:31 Mm

Matt: 01:02:31 Aggression of particularly Facebook and trying to bring some things in, has broken a lot of publishers up to why they need to, to own their own story, to have the domain to like have a direct relationship with their users. The creative revolution happening. Podcasting is a great example of that where you have creators really in control and doing some incredible things and very rightly skeptical of unlike a, was it luminary or something that comes in trying to like really mediate that relationship between the listener and the publisher. You know, when someone’s trying to get in between you and your customer, you should really ask why and really think like as the value they’re providing the right thing longterm for me, including Amazon, including everyone else. I do believe that one of the best things we can do in the open web is be really successful.

Matt: 01:03:27 So it puts the pressure on these closed networks to open up. I’m actually really excited about the sort of tech legislation that’s coming because some of my favorite companies in the world, including really privacy centric ones like apple still just do some totally boneheaded things with regards to like allowing default apps on the iPhone. You know, let me launch a different email client, let me launch a different maps app. Let me launch a different calendar. This is not, you know, they solve such hard problems at that company, such amazing technology and it can, I have such deep respect for what they do. And it’s just, I think arrogance that they don’t let you launch a different calendar app when you click on something, you know, there’s just like little things. They’re so annoying that that they would be fine as a company. It’s like hard to imagine the most profitable company basically in history of any company. Not like, you know, extracting dead dinosaurs to to be worried about me launching a different calendar app, you know, or worried about these other things. I do hope that this coming Europe and other places, legislation around tech is gonna drive. It’s gonna drive more user choice. And I do hope that WordPress’s continued growth.

Speaker 3: 01:04:51 Ah,

Matt: 01:04:52 You know, WordPress as a whole, the ecosystem is so much bigger than all of these proprietary alternatives. Even Shopify, I’m just doing a billion in revenue this year. We’re press ecosystem is at least 10 billion. We just don’t work together well enough. So we really need to work together better and then we will be able to create the thing that’s open and is, has the best user experience of anything else out there. By the way, I would love to see a day at wix and Squarespace or running WordPress on the backend or using paper. I would happily, I would love Anthony over it at Squarespace. It’s brilliant. It’s one of the best product people or the past 20 years. Like how cool would be to work together a bit more on solving some of these saves user problems. Yeah, of Drupal adopted Gutenberg more. You know, Theresa and I have kind of a pretty open adoration for each other publicly.

Matt: 01:05:44 Like we both really like each other a lot. Would it be cool that even though we have this like PHP platform that would be difficult to bridge the gaps between something like good burger blocks. It’s definitely get our communities working together on like we’re trying to solve the same problems. I would love to see the WordPress community more work together, better with ourselves, which we could do so much better on. And then longterm, like, you know, it’s a big tent. Let’s include our circle to include even these other CMS and other ecommerce platforms, other ways that enable people to have a voice online and connect with the world in a way that’s not mediated or controlled by a third party that has different interests than you. Let’s get those flourishing cause that’s really the future that we all want to be in. I know you believe in this. I believe in this. I think everyone in the WordPress community has a bit of this in their hearts. We just we can get cynical, we can get frustrated ourselves. We can get really hard on myself.

Brian: 01:06:43 I think a lot of it too is just that people are trying to make a living, you know, and trying to figure out the best path and way to do that. And that leads you towards sometimes that leads you towards cooperation and sometimes that leads you against it.

Speaker 4: 01:06:57 And that’s so true. Yeah.

Brian: 01:07:02 There’s so many things I still want to talk to you about. We’re a bit over time already. We’re over time. So I’m just gonna go easy. I won’t ask you about when automatic’s going to have an IPO. I’d like to know the answer. I’m ready. Right? Yeah, that was question. Sorry.

Matt: 01:07:20 Oh, everyone ever see. Okay. It’s the same answer.

Brian: 01:07:23 Instead, I want to know what has been your, your favorite new gadget of 2019. I don’t know that you’ve done, you’re like backpack, a blog post in the past six months or so. So what’s, what’s been your favorite new tool or gadget that you’ve, that’s been making your life a little better?

Speaker 4: 01:07:40 Hm.

Matt: 01:07:42 Yeah, the gearhead in me has had a lot of fun with all the podcasting stuff. Yeah. Like, you know, and also because I have a background in music, I love listening to things. I’ve been really, and the team’s been so good about making sure the audio quality of the distributed podcast has been really good. And so I would just become, to really appreciate when I listen to other podcasts, for example, including ones like some of the true Carmen’s just listen to one call to live and die in la or they’re in the field and do it like some actually pretty good audio like that, like walking around like with, I just almost want to see what he’s doing when he’s talking to these people. Yeah, that’s been pretty fun. And I guess related to that, because you know, music and and audio is such a sound, it’s probably the best way to put it is such a key part of my life is actually these monitors I’m wearing right now where you can see them. Yeah, I can.

Brian: 01:08:35 Oh Wow. Yeah, it’s like a full wired thing.

Matt: 01:08:38 I just recommend if you to try it out, you can go to any audiologists. So you got to go to one of those hearing aid places. They make a mold of your ears, they send it off and then you can order kind of custom fitting in ear monitors and they’re really comfortable. They block out a ton of noise and the quality is better than, you know, headphones I’ve listened to that cost sometimes 60010002000 dollars you know, and they’re small. They weren’t great on planes. You can sleep with them on like there’s so much. So I’m kind of encouraging everyone to visit your local audiologist actually making them olds only takes like 10 minutes. They just kind of put this thing in your head, Gel on your earring, they’d take it out. You get to see what the incentive your ear looks like, which is always kind of interesting because ears are such fascinating.

Matt: 01:09:24 The way they’ve evolved is so fascinating. If you studied sound and ears across animals, it’s like the wildest thing. How like ears work on fish versus humans versus elephants. I, I dunno, we could talk about this through a whole podcast on this, but a, so try this out and particularly you, Brian, I will say this for you personally, a go to it. Everyone has hearing aid places everywhere because we’re all going to eat here at NGS at some point. And so there’s one probably within like a 10 minute drive of view or timid or walk of you and and it’s probably like 20 bucks to make the impression it’s very, very inexpensive and a lot of them will also sell you like the ultimate ears of the sure. Or that whatever it is. And the actual headphones themselves are not that expensive, especially when you compare them to like the latest fancy beats or Bose headphones.

Brian: 01:10:09 Yeah. That’s cool. I need to do that. I’ve been using airpods for a long time and they’re good. Airpods direction. Yeah. My only beef, I’ll tell you my only beef, if I was listening to the distributed podcast while weed eating, if I was doing it while mowing, I could turn the volume all the way up if I was doing it while weed eating, it’s a little higher pitch. It’s a little louder and I wouldn’t be able to hear it. So I love listening to podcasts while I do yard work and these, they don’t quite block out enough sound. And it makes it a little harder in those kinds of high noise situations. There’s certainly no noise canceling and that type of thing. But from a pure habit on you, like this is standard in my pocket all the time now. So I think that’s a feature of it. I’m

Matt: 01:10:56 Actually like, if I’m walking around the city with these things on, I could get run over by a car. Like they block out way too much noise. Yeah. Nice. On the subway where like the sort of, there can be these high pitch wines and really unpleasant noises, but they you know what I, I just actually just arrived in the mail today. I’m really looking forward to try now as the

Brian: 01:11:13 New true wireless beats. So it’s kind of like the airpods. He’s a lot of the same tech, like the Bluetooth W2 chip or whatever it is, but it goes over the ear. Oh, that’s cool. I don’t know if you exercise with your airpods. I jog with mine, so I’ll go running and it works fine. 95% of the time. And then every once in a while one falls out and like, you can’t get in a fly 20 feet. Yeah. About to go towards the grades and they’re like, oh no. So I’m looking forward to trying these as maybe my walk around audio. The true wireless is, is pretty amazing. Yeah. That’s cool. I’m going to take you up on that. Get some or check out a audiologist wouldn’t have expected that one. Matt, thanks for joining me. Love to talk to you more. I know you’ll have more to say at WordCamp Europe. People watching this already. Know what all that was. And we’ll catch up soon. Everybody go to MHI t t and go to distributed.blog. I really have enjoyed listening to it and hearing you both hear from people supportive of distributed work and also talking to critics of it. I’ve found that really interesting. So thanks for doing that. And a welcome to the podcast and club. Thank you so much. All right. We’ll catch you next time. See you next time.