What it means to build a billion dollar business….

Matt, Ryan, Andy and Donnchas’ little startup made the news today: About 8 years to 1.16 billion dollars, and I am being specific because at a billion, even the thousands are a big number.

I am going to be nostalgic and remember the almost beginning… Which for us started when Cisco was having layoffs and we were praying that Ryan would be given a severance package with his pinkslip. Automattic was bootstrapped so no rockstar salaries and benefits, rather the severance package allowed you to pay rent for those first few months. I was working full time for salary and benefits while Ryan changed the world through blogging those first few years. Automattic was so proud when they could offer medical benefits, that was a big moment for them as a company.

Lots of code was developed around our kitchen table. The guys now with Toni and Barry (who was still waffling about joining the crew full time) would come down from San Francisco in the Chevy Lumina, making a pit stop at Costco for the extra large packs of steaks. Steaks, liquor and blueberry pie was for dinner. There was quite a conundrum when the first vegetarian joined… What were we going to feed him?

The original Wordcamp at the Swedish American Hall, where we all had to leave the the conference every 45 minute to feed quarters into the meters…. And Chartreuse was the featured presenter. I can not even imagine where that man is now.

Fast forward through formalized Wordcamps at the Bayview Conference Center, parties at Automattic lounge at Pier 38, and all of those team offsites.

So many things have changed, but I am glad that as the company grew, as WordPress became a mainstream platform for web publishing, we still have WordPress devotees coming to code on our porch, around the kitchen table, and all over the property.

I am so proud of all of you.

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1 Comment

  1. aggiezoe

     /  May 9, 2014

    Gave me a good feeling to read this.


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