I'm thrilled to announce that our first guest is a man whose company we rely on pretty heavily here at PandoDaily: Matt Mullenweg.
Mullenweg started WordPress as a project in 2004, and its road has been anything but conventional. It has a bizarre structure, as Mullenweg is one of those rare guys whose sole focus isn't building a $1 billion company. He's turned down acquisition offers that could have made him rich, and has historically had a Craigslist-like resistance to maximizing revenues. That's starting to change revenue is doubling annually, and WordPress has bulked up on "grown ups" including a new CFO and chief counsel.
Will a new more businessy WordPress retain its street cred? The company's hippy past created sort of a cult around WordPress throughout the world. There is on average one WordCamp somewhere in the world every week. Mullenweg travels to many of them where he's frequently greeted like a rosy-cheeked, wavy-haired deity.
The company powers more than 15% of the Web and more than seventy million blogs, including nearly half of the top 100 blogs in the world. And yet as a company, it's fairly modest in size. It's raised just $30 million or so in venture capital, brings in a reported $50 million or so in annual revenues and employs just over 100 people. Will that change with the company's renewed focus on business?
We'll talk about how a 19-year-old Texas boy wound up being the default content management system for old media and new media alike, and whether he's under threat from new, sexier systems like New York's own SquareSpace.
Mullenweg splits his time between San Francisco and New York these days, so we thought he'd be an ideal first guest as we start to branch out to the Big Apple. I'll be curious to hear what he has to say about the cultural differences between the two scenes and which one he feels more at home in. Mullenweg is quirky and funny, and I'm sure this will be a great conversation.
We have various creative programs for companies to sponsor the event. Please contact jeanne [at] pandodaily [dot] com if you are interested in sponsorship opportunities.
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