Matt Mullenweg, the founding developer of WordPress and the founder of Automattic, joins Basecamp co-founder David Heinemeier Hansson for a spirited debate about tech monopolies, power in open-source communities, and how to be good stewards of the modern web that they helped build.
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Coder, writer, composer, and founding developer of WordPress Matt Mullenweg is Jeffrey Zeldman’s guest.
Open Source will save us. The WordPress 5.0 rollout. When Matthew met Jeffrey. Browsers in the age of Blink. AMP & HTML. Gutenberg: blocks and key commands. IE5. Box models. Google: still doing no evil?
“We want to make the best tools in the world, and we want to do it for decades to come. I’ve been doing WordPress for 15 years, I want to do it the rest of my life.”
The last time I chatted with Kara was in 2013 in the back of a pedicab in Austin. This time I got to sit in the red chair at Vox headquarters in San Francisco, and per usual Kara was thoughtful, thorough and to the point: we talked about WordPress and the future of the open web, the moral imperative of user privacy, and how it all relates to what’s going on at Facebook.
(As it turns out, Facebook also is turning off the ability for WordPress sites — and all websites — to post directly to users’ profile pages. The decision to shut down the API is ostensibly to fight propaganda and misinformation on the platform, but I think it’s a big step back for their embrace of the open web. I hope they change their minds.)
Kara and I also talked about distributed work, Automattic’s acquisition of Atavist and Longreads, and why every tech company should have an editorial team. Thanks again to Kara and the Recode team for having me.