Simplicity and Start-up Alchemy: An Interview with WordPress Creator, Matt Mullenweg (Plus: 4HWW Party in SF and Stunt Competition)

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mull1.jpg
All your blogs are belong to Matt. ((c) misterbisson)

Shame on me.

I don’t know how to code. I should, but I need to get my Indonesian and Arabic fix before I can tackle Python and Ruby on Rails and Sugar-Coated Sugar Bombs.

That is part of the reason that I love WordPress, the blogging platform this blog runs on. The simple-to-use and open-source WordPress, or WP, is a favorite of diehard bloggers, and its 22-year old lead developer, Matt Mullenweg, is #16 on The 50 Most Important People on the Web list by PC World. Damn. That’s bad-ass.

More proof: I met his girlfriend at SXSW, where she threatened to kick my ass after we both had downed a few drinks. I thought that was the greatest thing ever, we had some laughs, and I decided then and there that I had to track Matt down. In this interview, Matt and I explore the concept of simplicity and some of the key decisions from his WP experience…

Who were your most influential mentors or role models while developing WordPress?

Jeffrey Zeldman had an astonishing ability to craft a seductive coolness using educated references, dry humor, and retro/organic imagery. The way WordPress was originally presented to the world was a pale imitation. Zeldman also introduced me to web standards.

Philip Greenspun had a huge impact on me. He was the first person I knew of that embraced online communities, created a real business around open source, gave back to the community through education, and inspired me to explore photography.

Many years ago Tim Berners-Lee penned an essay called “Cool URIs don’t change.” It’s a simple goal to have the addresses you create today be addressable in perpetuity, but it has broad implications. Permanence forces you to approach the world differently. You have to imagine how people will interact with your creation in 20, 30, 100 years. If you do your job, they will be. Of course, immunity to obsolescence is the only obsolescent-immune conceit of the past millennium.

Until relatively recently, I had no direct contact with any of these people. It was purely the strength of their writing that influenced me. I’m honored that two of the three now blog with WordPress.

What were the biggest mistakes you made along the way?

1. The misguided “hotnacho” monetization on WordPress.org.
2. Not centralizing the plugin and theme directories from the beginning.
3. Thinking we were immune to spam. [Note: Matt's company Automattic makes the anti-spam Akismet, which I use for this blog]
4. Trying to do too much myself.

Why is simplicity important?

Because it is scarce. Our age is defined by, as Bruce Sterling puts it, cognitive load and opportunity cost.

However, I think the current 37signals-inspired trend of “less software” is a red herring, the manifestation of cyclical infatuation with complexity. True progress isn’t doing less, it’s doing infinitely more without creating cognitive bloatware like Word 2003. Think of what happens when you do a search on Google.

Do you have any personal examples of where simplicity has helped or complexity has hurt?

It’s a false dichotomy and a leading question. [Editor: Doh! Got me there.]

I can think of many examples where the creators of objects or services haven’t fully anticipated usage or iterated on observation of their creations, but I believe this is orthogonal to simplicity or complexity. Complexity sells, so I think the inherent conflict of that and an elegant user experience is fascinating to watch companies navigate.

What are the top 3-5 principles you focused on that made WP successful as a product?

Besides timing and luck, I’d say:

1. Minimizing startup costs — focusing on the out-of-the-box experience, minimizing switching costs [from other blogging platforms to WP] with robust importers. The underlying principle was time is precious.

2. Being adaptive to user-led changes in product direction. The underlying principle is we will not and cannot predict far in the future.

3. Articulating the broader philosophy around where we are and where we want to go. The underlying principle is people want something to believe in, not just use.

4. Aligning the economic and social incentives of businesses around WordPress. Capitalism is a lever.

What are the top 3-5 principles you focused on that made you successful as a developer?

1. I try to imagine code like the poetry of T.S. Eliot, where words can work on many levels but their economy is paramount. To remind me of this, I sometimes code in a large serif font like Georgia rather than the traditional fixed-width font.

2. At the same time, I’m happy to ship a crude version 1.0 and iterate. I find my time is more effective post-launch than pre-launch.

3. Eliminating distractions.

Of course these are aspirations, many times I have fallen short, but I keep trying.

Where have you seen simplicity make the biggest difference?

Simplicity can have a negative impact when it’s the crude reduction of nuances beyond appreciation, a Matisse presented as a 16-color GIF. Politicians campaigning for presidency have simple messages, but they’re not intrinsically better, except at creating polarization.

The simple things in life are not. When simplicity is the result of careful thought and consideration it multiplies growth. Some direct marketers understand this.

[More simplicity to come, next time from my conversation with one of the greatest athletes of all-time!]

###

4HWW Party in SF, VIP Invite, and Stunt Competition:

Join me on 8/25, this Saturday, in San Francisco!
Come party with me and my friends beginning at 9:15pm at Dolce in SF. If you’d like to attend a private VIP party (open bar) with me and some of SF’s hotshots from 8-9pm at a secret location TBA, just be the first person to give $1,000 or more to this mentorship fundraiser. Send amy-at-fourhourworkweek.com the confirmation via e-mail and you’ll get the location and secret handshake. [Note: This spot is now filled. Congrats and thanks, Aaron!] Even if you can’t make the party, consider earning some positive karma (I know what you do when I’m not looking) and avoiding reincarnation as a dung beetle—give a few dollars to this mentorship program. It’ll make you feel good.

Stunt Competition and Free Planet Earth DVDs:
Here’s the deal: Labor Day is coming up, and I need to think of a killer PR stunt of some type that will get major media attention (think TV and big newspapers). What’s your best idea? What would the headline read in the media? Leave your thoughts in the comments, and the best suggestion gets you a free set of the incredible Planet Earth DVDs, shot over 5 years with 40 cameramen in 200 locations… all in HD. It’s by far my favorite DVD set of the last two years. Go nuts and hope to see you this weekend!



Posted on: August 21, 2007.

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106 comments on “Simplicity and Start-up Alchemy: An Interview with WordPress Creator, Matt Mullenweg (Plus: 4HWW Party in SF and Stunt Competition)

  1. Tim,
    Nice post! I guess “Bad-ass” sums it up. It’s also interesting to follow the recent development in the WordPress community, where they are trying to move towards a more portal’ish look, rather than the classic entries sidebar layout. I think it started with http://www.revolutiontheme.com.

    (There’s a (slightly amusing) typo in your second paragraph: “Matt Mullenweg, is #16 on The 50 Most People on the Web list”)

    ###

    Hi A!

    Oops! Nice catch! I’d like to be one of the “most people” on the web ;)

    Tim

    Like

  2. Pingback: Zenbu
  3. Buy out a lot of old computers and tape their motherboards to various buildings in Boston.

    Maybe with a copy of your book glued to each one.

    Hey, you never said it had to be *good* PR!

    Like

  4. Go on a muse creation spree creating 4 new muses with only 40 hours of work and detail the process for each one proving how much you can do in only as little bit of time. Headline would read “Entrepreneur creates 4 successful businesses in only 40 hours” I think it would be an awesome PR stunt and an incredible inspiration.

    Like

  5. “I can think of many examples where the creators of objects or services haven’t fully anticipated usage or iterated on observation of their creations, but I believe this is orthogonal to simplicity or complexity.”
    That’s funny! :-)

    Like

    • The reality is that the establishment in the Senate HATE CCB, modest as it really is and see the new Boehner plan as an out, since they figure they will get Reid to make a compromise since it is only 22 Billion in cuts.,

      Like

  6. This is a great interview with someone who has helped to change the landscape of blogging! Thanks for showcasing Matt. I have used a few blogging systems and wordpress is definately the cleanest and most user friendly. Not sure how he is making money on it, but certain hope that he is!

    http://www.jbrides.com

    Picked up 4-Hour and have sent a couple to friends…now I just need to read it! Thanks Tim!

    Like

  7. I plan to join you at Dolce this Saturday. As a 26 year old female in the big biz entrepreneur world, I often don’t feel a strong connection to the business books I read. But yours was the most enjoyable book in any genre that I’ve read since Think and Grow Rich.

    Look for an email to Amy from me.

    My partners and I work with the Fortune 500 and Baxter’s billionaire boys but no one can match your vision and verve and with what we’re manifesting, we know you’re the one to talk to. So I plan to steal your ear for ten minutes this Saturday.

    This is just to whet your appetite enough that you request to read my email I’ll send through to Amy. =)

    I’ll share the rest of the details there.

    Like

  8. Wow, does Matt need to read Zinsser or what?

    But this is not about Matt. This is a real coup for Tim. There is an entire book in your blog strategy – I can’t wait to read it – so I will have to watch and learn :)

    Dan

    Like

  9. Cool interview.

    But the permanent link to this blog is *really* long ;)
    You do know that you shorten the slug, right?

    ###

    Hannes!

    Thank you. This is great advice. Now I just need to figure out how to edit the permalink this way :) I’m still a novice, but I’ll check it out…

    Tim

    Like

  10. Great interview. WordPress can be credited with changing the web, really. Tons of bloggers like myself use their software, and it’s incredibly easy for anybody to use. My blog is the basic core blog even– no specialized template.

    Thanks for the good interview-

    Like

  11. Great to see you get creative in helping a local non-profit raise money!

    I wish I could buy you a drink at Dolce- Let me know how it goes.

    Like

  12. Thanks for information Tim, I have just implementing my blog using wordpress, super package -! I used previously a lot of packages for CMS and this is the best i think due to its modular structure and due to expandability, besides it lets you to code your own code in PHP and doesn’t limit the functionality of scripting languages. Otherwise its too narrow in structure field by I think we will overcome this in near future/

    Like

  13. your interview was great.

    your pr stunt should focus around the fact that labor organizations are dying and useless.

    labor day created in 1880 to boost the morale of labor and trade unions is a note worthy but worthless holiday. (wikipedia)

    are their trade organizations and workers movements in call centers in india? don’t know don’t care – would be a good case in point if not.

    go in front of the knights of labor (union that organized the first labor day) hall in nyc and declare the modern union dead.

    author of the 4-hr work week and (insert accolade here) declares the modern union movement dead and cites rapid industrialized growth in other nations. at least in india that have degrees … what do our unions promote?

    apprenticeship?

    Like

  14. How about drawing from your martial arts background and the concept of 4HWW of breaking the labor tradition and actually break some stuff? 100 boards in a minute or something like that? Makes for good tv, it’d be fun, and it has a message.

    Like

  15. Tim,

    Love your book & blog. It’s so refreshing to have something that’s so practical & how-to, instead of just regurgitated rah-rah inspiration (which has it’s place too).

    As for the PR stunt, you should flex your influential muscle and challenge Gov. Arnold Schwartzenegger to an arm wrestling match. People could make bets (votes) on the winner for a small fee online or by phone with the money going to charity. You could challenge the Governator to bring to the table new reform policies on extended mandatory holiday time and improved labor policies in California. Headline might read “Wrestling the state for less labor days”. Maybe even do it at half-time of one of the big football games.

    Ah-nold’s been kicking butt with new environmental standards and stem cell research policies for his “nation state”…why not extended holiday for everyone as well! Then hopefully it would spread to the rest of the country (and hopefully here to Canada too :-).

    Alternatively, you could take him inside the cage for a good ol’ fashioned death match and see how rusty he’s gotten since the Running Man. He might be too chicken, but either way the real winner will be your chosen charity and overworked Americans all over.

    As for your interview in this blog, I found it ironic that it has an underlying theme about simplicity with so many $10 words. Or maybe I just need to read less Esquire, more Economist.

    I look forward to meeting you someday. I’m hoping you can participate in my own upcoming experiment called Project Gearshift (rough manifesto at http://www.AintoG.tv). The idea is similar to RoadTrip Nation, but instead of curious, clueless college students, it will be about (clueless,curious) me leaving my job & hitting the road with my wife & kids. It’s about getting out of self-imposed ruts (aka boring,unfulfilling jobs) and doing something remarkable. Like yourself, my goal is to interview as many uber-successful change-makers and mentors as possible. Maybe we can be a case-study for your next book.

    We’ll be heading down there in late Sept/Oct. Hope we can catch you before you head to Dubai.

    Best of luck with your PR stunt. I’ll be watching. Hope to speak with you soon. I’d call you, but you’d probably get it by email anyway (or rather your VA would). Looking forward to getting your auto-responder.

    Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.

    Hasta la vista baby,

    Craig

    Like

  16. Tim – I wouldn’t recommend changing the slug afterwards because people (like Matt) are already linking to this blog post and those links would point to a non-existent URL (Error 404 page) if you change the slug.

    But next time you write a blog post with a very long title you should look for the “Post Slug” box to the right of the editor. There you can write something like “this-is-a-shorter-slug” and that will be used in the permalink instead of “this-is-a-really-really-long-title-of-a-yet-another-great-blog-post” :)

    Like

  17. This article was timed perfectly. I recently switched to WordPress on the advice of one of my clients, an SEO/blog guru. He told me Typepad was lame and WordPress was the way to go, especially since I could use my own Web site domain name.

    Anyway, I outsourced the set-up to my virtual assistant, of course. She couldn’t figure out some stuff, and neither could I, so I told her to find out the answers from WordPress support.

    She said she went to the WordPress site and it said that support is currently closed. Then it lists the support hours as 9-5 PDT. I just checked and it still says that support is closed. What’s that about? I’d pay for support, but I guess that’s not an option. I know we could look up the FAQs, but I’d like to have the support option.

    Like

  18. Tim,

    Quick question: why do you feel like you “should” know how to code? What will coding enable for you that you don’t already have? Coding seems like a prime example of the kind of thing you should outsource. Saying you “should” know how to code sounds like a case of “knowing for the sake of knowing.” Either that or you’re trying to gain credibility with the techies around the blogosphere. ;-)

    The comment struck me as odd, and seems like it goes against so many of the principles I found in your book. I need to develop a website of my own, and have SOME HTML/CSS experience, but not a lot. I’m thinking about tackling a CSS-heavy website and learning to code it myself, but the motivation would be solely monetary. Paying someone to code a site I design would be ideal, and would free up so much time for me to focus on other aspects of the business that deserve my attention… and is probably a much better way of getting an “in” with the blogging community.

    Anyway, can’t say enough good things about the book. It’s currently making its rounds at my office.

    ###

    Hi W!

    Ha.. the dreaded “S” word! It’s not guilt-driven. I actually really want to learn a programming language just because I’m interested in learning computer syntax/diction, etc. and comparing them to natural languages.

    Cheers,

    Tim

    Like

  19. Great post – Matt is a few years younger than me, but his wisdom and insight leaves me for dead. Love it when someone streches your mind like that – thanks for making the interview available Tim.

    I too have recently made the swap to WordPress.
    There were a couple of things I wasn’t too sure about but found answers came quickly on their forum (that might be of help to you or your VA Margie?)

    Tim – if you’re ever in Sydney or Melbourne, I’d love to host one of your 4HWW parties… know quite a few young (and young at heart) entrepreneurs and adventurers who would make it a great night.

    Cheers
    Tara

    Like

  20. Matt should keep coding and stop talking. As an English major and a normal human being, I find him arrogant and nauseating. I use WordPress and was excited about this interview until I had the misfortune of reading it.

    Like

  21. Jim,

    I’m curious what you found nauseating about Matt’s interview. As an English major myself, I appreciated a coder’s connection to poetry and the economy of words that is lost on so many of our verbose brethren.

    If it’s your opposition to the multitude of big words when more simple words would do…you should connect with more programmers and developers. They aren’t being arrogant; they’re simply fascinated by complexity (I know, we were targeting simplicity here). And the fact remains that most coders (at least that I’ve worked with) enjoy the nuances of etymology, numerical and coding syntax, and even sacred geometry.

    So I would say, before we judge someone as arrogant, we should consider that perhaps he is simply passionate.

    Like

  22. Hi Tim.

    maybe we just saw each other in berlin, today, 11pm Tram M10, blue adidas shirt, green gym bag. If so I assume this was not by chance but a hint for something to explore. Interested?

    Like

  23. Tim,

    Here’s your PR Stunt:

    Skydive into a live Good Morning America segment (maybe while playing a tuba or juggling or something like that.) Explain that these are all skills that you learned literally minutes before (from a master skydiving tuba instructor in India via live webcast over your iPhone while waiting on the circling plane above) thus efficiently utilizing your extra 36 hours a week by utilizing 4HWW principles. Teach Robin Roberts to Tango in 3 minutes. And if you have the time, kick Sam Champion’s butt with some brutal Muay Thai knee strikes. Triumphantly high-five the cheering crowd while handing out 4HWW books to the adoring throng.

    It doesn’t get much better than that!

    Okay, I know it’s a bit unrealistic, but could you just try and fit in the Sam Champion thing with any of your other PR stunts? I really wanna see that. Pretty please?!

    Gotta run now. I’m batching my emails in 3 minutes.

    Good luck on your stunt!

    Like

  24. Hey Tim – the best I am coming up with is, drop some vouchers from the sky over major metro area(s) for a free copy of 4HWW, that say something like ‘happy labor day – stop laboring’ and give them a timeframe to get to a local B&N…

    Media can be ‘freedom falling from the sky?’ or something to that effect…

    Like

  25. “It’s a false dichotomy and a leading question.”

    How about releasing the broomstick from the sphincter death grip. Nice interview Tim, but whenever I read anything by Mullenweg, he comes off like the biggest primadonna poindexter this side of the moon.

    Like

  26. Let’s all take a minute to appreciate the irony of these boys using the highly-refined WordPress blogging platform’s comment system to blindly insult it’s passionate, well-intentioned, creator.

    I had a chance to hear Matt keynote at the 2006 San Francisco Future of Web Apps conference. He was exceptional and impressively followed up some excellent speakers.

    Direct MP3 link, for those interested: http://media.libsyn.com/media/carsonsystems/Matt_Mullenweg.mp3

    Like

  27. Here is my idea for your PR stunt:

    Offer all the profits of your #1 best selling book from now on to go to Charity. To get users involved, allow visitors on your website to submit and choose which charity they think the money should go to, then give to that charity the percentage of votes that it has earned. Send out press releases to all the major TV, newspaper and other contacts you can think of.

    Like

  28. WordPress continues to astound. I’ve built our new site entirely on WP with some fantastic plugins (click my name to check it out) and I’m launching my ‘day job”s corporate blog on wordpress. And my blog’s on wordpress. I owe this man, and the team a lot. It’s a fantastic platform, kudos!

    Like

  29. Tim,

    I have a stunt suggestion:

    72 hours of streaming video, showing you in the process of starting, organizing, and automating a new business venture. Show off to your fans just how easy it can be to get a new business venture off the ground once you’ve done some market research.

    In one weekend, you can start with an idea and a little research, then move into obtaining rights to a product, developing your marketing, hiring the outsourced workers, getting the product distributed, automating the system, and.. well, all the other great info you cover in your book :)

    For an extra media-attention-grabbing challenge, do it on budget that is within most peoples’ reach, say $500. Traffic on the website to watch the video could be huge, and serve as the start-up marketing for whatever product you launch.

    Like

  30. Tim,
    A word from up-north (Montreal, Canada).
    Learning to program is good because it will open up new horizons for you – same as learning to drive. Sure, you could hire a driver (admit it, you can even afford it now :), but knowing how to drive gives you “freedom”.
    Same with knowing how to program. Knowledge is power !!!

    I’d suggest installing python and going through the “excellent” tutorial that comes with it – see http://www.python.org. Python was developped initially to introduce kids to programming (if I recall the story correctly). Mission accomplished.
    Oh yeah, and your book has changed my life, in a way, by helping me adding another layer of “freedom” to it, so I guess I should say thanks. I instinctively wanted to do it myself, but knowing that some other did it and it works, clearing the path of imaginary mines, helped.
    Here’s an assignment for you, after completing the python tutorial: translate the WP code from php to python. And sending me a copy, because I’m too lazy to do it myself. I know, you’ll love it :)
    No, really, you will.
    Eventually.

    Like

  31. Great post Tim! Thanks for continuing to inspire and motivate me to get going on my own projects. I’ve recommended your book to literally dozens of friends and colleagues, and have begun working on some Muses with 3 friends already. Kudos again on your no-nonsense, “let’s change the world by working smarter” approach!

    Going on the Labor Day theme:

    1) Brainstorm 4 ideas for a new venture and post them on this site for readers to vote on this week, deadline Friday.

    2) On Labor Day, “live-blog” taking the winning idea to completion with 4 hours of your time, using principles from the book.

    3) Donate all proceeds to buying copies of your book to donate at libraries across the nation. Alternatively, pick a charity tied to Labor issues.

    As a “PR guy” by trade, I like some of the other ideas too, but PR for it’s own sake is beneath the point of your book (and the “4HWW movement”) IMO. Do something tied to reality and to demonstrate how workable and easy the practices in your book are, and it will reap huge benefits and make a difference. Isn’t that the whole point?

    Can’t wait to see how things shake out!

    Like

  32. Posted this once, but now it’s gone. Hmmm. My suggestions for the PR “stunt”:

    1) Brainstorm 4 ideas for a new Muse, post them here, and let the community vote for the winner.
    2) On Labor Day, “live blog” the creation of this new venture, using no more than 4 hours of your time, plus the recommendations from the book.
    3) Donate proceeds from the creation of this muse to getting copies of your book out to libraries across the country, or to a labor-related charity.

    Good luck! As I mentioned previously in my missing post, beware “PR stunts” for publicity’s sake — IMO that’s counter-intuitive to your book’s message. As a PR guy by trade, my suggestion is to go for something meaningful to you… the media can generally see through self-serving stunts, and even if they bought a “stunt”, it would likely do more harm than good if there wasn’t some steak included with the sizzle.

    Like

  33. Tim,

    It seems to us that your PR Stunt has to have certain elements:

    1. Draw the masses (i.e. be really fun and entertaining)
    2. Possess a great story or spin to draw massive PR coverage
    3. Drive home the importance and possibility of pursuing a 4 hour work week

    So here’s the perfect PR stunt for Labor Day Weekend:

    Host a beach party on Mission Beach strip in San Diego where beach-goers can have alcohol and activities. Because of that, this is an extremely popular destination for Labor Day Weekend so you can leverage its popularity to draw a wider audience. You can thank Jason Moffatt (JasonMoffatt.com) for telling us about this great beach. Go here to learn more and request a permit:
    http://www.san-diego-beaches.com/public-places-for-parties.html

    However, this is no typical Labor Day Party. No, this is the 1st Annual Creative Life Design Party that challenges anyone who desires or doubts a 4 hour work week to come down for 36 hours (a typical 40 hour week minus the 4 hours of work. We suggest 8am-8pm Sat., Sun., and Mon.) of creative life design. Attendees will experience how fulfilling your work model is by sampling various passions they may like to pursue, given the free time. This will inspire a newfound drive to outsource their work and reduce their hours.

    If you can pull it off in the next week, we would recommend reaching out to your star case studies to come out and teach their own passion, such as surfing, tango, break dancing, language, cooking, etc. Party attendees, for free, can sample these various passions to see which ones strike a chord with their deeper self.

    You can also host various areas that encourage one to let go and open up to new possibilities. For instance, you could include round tables where volunteers take attendees through your creative life design worksheets to help them plan out what they want and how to reach it in record time. Round table participants can then keep in touch and help each other reach their goals.

    We will be in San Diego and are happy to help orchestrate this event (including drumming up some volunteers).

    We wish you the best,

    Jaime & Rachel

    P.S. It was great meeting you at Dolce.

    Like

  34. Tim, thanks for putting such a great book. I read it while I was on a mini-retirement in Europe. We toured Nice, Monte Carlo, Zurich, and Belgrade. It was great taking a month off and just having fun.

    I ran both of my business from Europe via a cell phone, Internet Cafes, and Google tools (no laptops, they are too heavy).

    I’m just finishing putting together an ebook on how assemble websites based on The 4-Hour Workweek template you defined. It uses WordPress, plugins, and themes to build these sites. I will drop you an email when they are done.

    Thanks again for showing me how to build a 4-Hour Workweek!

    Steve

    Like

  35. Tim,
    I like to use WordPress for the same reasons as you described. It’s easy and I set it up in about 10 minutes. I’ve read an am implementing many of the 4-hour workweek ideas.

    Hope SXSW was fun, I’ve alwasy wanted to go. Someday….

    Your book can be read on many different levels, thanks for writing it.

    Will

    Like

  36. Tim,
    You took great decision to fix your Indonesian (and Arabic) first before moving on with Phyton and those time consuming language. You don’t even need to code by yourself, do you?

    Approaching Indonesian beauty should be done by you. Yourself. If missing the experience won’t bother you, you can give the task to any VAs you can find ;-)

    Matt mentioning Philip G. reminds me his quote: “The future of internet is so bright you should wear your sunglasses!”

    Thanks for the interview, Tim.

    PS.
    I can teach you “off the book” Indonesian if you want to ;-)

    Just buy me a beer for that…

    Like

  37. Tim,

    I love the book! Thanks for writing it. It is funny. I have done a ton of the things you talk about in the book. I wanted to learn about theatre lighitng design so, Why not learn from the best. I went to NYC for a week and took a Master class with about 20 Tony Award winning designers. There I took a class on Intelligent lighitng equipment (rock concert stuff). Loved the class but didn’t have access to any. So I just emailed folks and started asking to borrow equipment for a show I was working on for a local HIgh School. Wihin a month the I had over $40,000 of hot off the production line equipment being shipped to me for free (the shipping alone was thousands of dollars). I borrowed all this equipment (moving lights and a top of the line control board), for free for a month. (then I wrote an article for THE international magazine for Lighitng design http://livedesignonline.com/mag/lighting_varilites_go_high/)
    But that wasn’t enough. I heard that a Tony Award winnning designer was coming to town to design for a show at the 5th Avenue theatre in Seattle. So, I found his email and asked if I could just come watch (of course I think he thought I was hitting on him to begin with). He said yes and I took a week off work to learn one on one with one of the best designers in the world.

    As you say in your book the FACT is people are just people and if you just ask you can get just about anything. Most of the other people just don’t show up.

    Now if I can just build a business that works by itself… Thanks for the tools. If you are ever looking for someone to work wtih as a new case study I would love to talk about the projects I am working on to work on my lifestyle design plan.

    Thanks Tim

    Peace
    Joseph

    Like

  38. Matt does come across a bit nerdy, but it sorta comes with the territory.

    WordPress can be absorbing, I find it motivating me to learn php so I can do more than cut and paste stuff into my themes blindly.

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  39. What to do if you have an idea that is 100% needed especially in the justice dept but do not know how to market it. This is not another toy, game or gadget, although we can use many, nonetheless this is something that concerns what we lack in the most, justice, courts are way behind and crime is way ahead this will help with both, more jails only holds crime in one place until time to release, community services only scolds the conduct, more laws will mean more law enforcement and the circle continues round and round

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  40. I’m interested in knowing how Matt (or someone like him) actually makes money. How does he make money out of WordPress? It’s all free, and someone has to develop it. So how does he make money? Surely someone has to pay for all this stuff – the hosting, the developing, the fixing of the bugs, the administration, etc. Open source really amazes me that they manage to make money out of this business model – very interesting!

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  41. Have to agree with shopping how does anybody make money out of opensource? It is fascinating. I haven’t got the faintest idea what a lot of the stuff being talked about means but who cares? Its only like listening to somone in education or medicine going off on all the acronyms.No what I want to find out is how to make money legally and ethically from home without getting into cash gifting or such like….

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  42. Is there a way to report online harassment?!?Like from WordPress? I know a wordpress site who’s creator likes to insult children and attempts to “play” with them if you know what I mean. Is there a site where I could report him to the police or FBI or some form of law enforcement?

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  43. Having read the 4 Hour Week book and using WordPress for my websites I can see why the two came together. It really is all about simplicity and not wasting time with things others can do for you. Matt created WordPress with tons of complex code for me that I don’t need to know with others developing websites tools I didn’t need to know either.

    I like the though of what will the web look like with all the trash we will leave once we are dead but our thoughts are still littering the internet.

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  44. The reality is that the establishment in the Senate HATE CCB, modest as it really is and see the new Boehner plan as an out, since they figure they will get Reid to make a compromise since it is only 22 Billion in cuts.,

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  45. I hate to see us lose your input but I wonder if simply publishing articles with no comments enabled and having a members-only forum wouldn’t be a good compromise. There’s something about the immediacy of the response form and the lack of accountability available from anonymity (oh, hypocritical me) that seems to encourage people’s awfulness.,

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  46. It’s entirely possible that I copied that individual number across incorrectly (and that the index was correct), but when I did the query just then it returned a Technorati Rank of 37, so as you say there would be no change in the rank, but an improvement in your index.,

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  47. I see two basic options for you: Reduce visibility and do something completely different, or stay visible and continue publishing your own stuff under your own name. All the options you cite can be assigned to one of these two categories. I dearly hope you go with the second option, even though I would totally understand if you decide otherwise.,

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  48. Just look at the difference just 20-30 rock solid Tea Party conservatives have made in the House already. They’ve turned “1/3 of the government” on its head and started a war between the establishment party and the Tea Party.,

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  49. I think greater interaction among groups would result (mix up the tech bloggers and the marketers and the VCs and the usability people and, hell, even the sex bloggers) ;) and really spark some awesome conversations.,

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  50. It makes sense about not continuing with “business as usual” ? I couldn’t do it, either. But I can’t see ghost writing as being satisfiying for someone with as strong a voice as yours. Being an evangelist for the likes of Apple or Adobe might be cool, but would that let you continue with the stream of consciousness riffs that have obviously been satifsying for you ? and been so energizing for us, your readers? Don’t know.,

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  51. What is really infuriating is his denial that he was attacking the Tea Party. He was “only reading a WSJ article” on the floor of the Senate. Hannity could have done a better job of hammering on THAT giant piece of brazen hypocrisy.,

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  52. The reality is that the establishment in the Senate HATE CCB, modest as it really is and see the new Boehner plan as an out, since they figure they will get Reid to make a compromise since it is only 22 Billion in cuts.,

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  53. I was thinking the same thing about Alexa as there was quite a lot of movement. They might have readjusted their adjustment for “technology skew” – or what ever it was…,

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  54. It makes sense about not continuing with “business as usual” ? I couldn’t do it, either. But I can’t see ghost writing as being satisfiying for someone with as strong a voice as yours. Being an evangelist for the likes of Apple or Adobe might be cool, but would that let you continue with the stream of consciousness riffs that have obviously been satifsying for you ? and been so energizing for us, your readers? Don’t know.,

    Like

  55. I see two basic options for you: Reduce visibility and do something completely different, or stay visible and continue publishing your own stuff under your own name. All the options you cite can be assigned to one of these two categories. I dearly hope you go with the second option, even though I would totally understand if you decide otherwise.,

    Like

  56. It’s entirely possible that I copied that individual number across incorrectly (and that the index was correct), but when I did the query just then it returned a Technorati Rank of 37, so as you say there would be no change in the rank, but an improvement in your index.,

    Like

  57. I see two basic options for you: Reduce visibility and do something completely different, or stay visible and continue publishing your own stuff under your own name. All the options you cite can be assigned to one of these two categories. I dearly hope you go with the second option, even though I would totally understand if you decide otherwise.,

    Like