When Matt Mullenweg developed his first version of WordPress in 2003, no-one could ever believe that within a couple of years, one out of every six websites on the web will be built based on WordPress platform.
Right now, WordPress is definitely the largest self-hosted blogging tool in the world, used on millions of sites and seen by tens of millions of people every day. Automattic’s enterprise option, WordPress VIP, is now the default digital publishing tool for major media companies such as Forbes.com and CNN.com.
Actually, nowadays WordPress is not only considered as a powerful blogging tool, but also a flexible content management system (CMS).
It took more than one year for the first WordPress version ready to be used with plugins, and one more year to include theme concept in its core engine.
According to Mullenweg, version 1.5, released in February 2005, received over 900,000 downloads. In a recent survey, the company found 20,000 people across the globe offer hosting services, design websites and offering maintenance services for WordPress users
You may suppose that Mullenweg is a member of the technology millionaires clubs. But in the beginning of the fourth decade of life, Matt Mullenweg, still prefers scale over profit and gives away so many tools and information for free.
Mullenweg’s real WordPress-based business started by providing cloud services for WordPress customers. Automattic (we usually know it as WordPress.com) helps people to go online and create a professional website without worrying about hosting cost or server setup.
WordPress is still facing the challenge of sustainability. Right now, just about 1% of Automattic users pay money and donate for the survival of the company.
Amazing is the fact that most of the people who meet Mullenweg in the seminars (called WordCamps) are not members of this 1% community!
But seems that Mullenweg is still happier to protect his open source policy and reach more users instead of thinking about building a rich future for himself.