When we launched WooCommerce back in 2011, WordPressonly powered 13,1% of all websites online, but it has almost doubled that since then, and now powers a whopping 25% of all sites on the Internet.
I think open source generally grows stronger and more secure the more popular it is and more people it has working on it. We all benefit from a common platform we can build on and then differentiate on top of it, instead of reinventing the wheel over and over again for no good reason.
Back in 2012 we had a talented designer do some posters for WooThemes dubbed WooVille, and this is one of my favorites. I’m in the process of getting our WooVille comic series printed as posters for my home office. Sitting at 25 people, we managed to double in size over the next three years before we were acquired by Automattic.
Mark (my co-founder at Woo) spoke at WordCamp Europe on the story of WooThemes. If you are interested in how we grew Woo from 3 to 55 people in just under seven years, and how we were eventually acquired by Automattic, then take a look at the video of the presentation.
I had the chance to visit the beautiful British Columbia on my last fishing trip. We flew from Vancouver to Smithers, a cozy little town over the mountains, and we fished for Chinook (King) Salmon on the Kemano and Skeena river. During the week we saw a lot of big bears, and even had a few close encounters with some grizzlies.
If you like the video above, feel free to check out my other Vimeo videos.
Going through due diligence with Automattic meant learning a lot about the company. One of the amusing things to discover was all the acronyms used, and the first time I saw “a8c” I had no idea what it meant.
Was it a code word for some secret project?
Did everybody else but me know what it meant?
@JohnB@andmiddleton a8c = Automattic, a11n = Automattician, a12s = Automatticians. because we're a bunch of nerds. 😀
After several months of due diligence, we inked the deal in the middle of May and were waiting for closing items to be completed. One of the biggest items on the closing agenda was the approval from SARB. For those fortunate enough to have dealt with the banking system in South Africa, you’ll know that timeframes are very hard to establish.
We had pegged 1 July as the start date for all employee contracts but weren’t too optimistic about getting a response by then. To our surprise, we got the approval on Monday so we could go ahead with the last closing items. We worked frantically for two days to tie all loose ends and finished our accounts for June in record time to allow us to be able to keep the 1 July date.
9th of July would have marked the seventh birthday for WooThemes, after creating it with Mark and Adii back in 2008. It has been one hell of a life-changing journey to be part of, and I’m so happy that our team of 55 people (minus 2) are joining us in this next adventure as part of Automattic.
Today marks my first day at Automattic, and however overwhelming it may be I’m really excited for what the future holds.
To begin in a new company can be overwhelming, especially Automattic which hires only the brightest people. Feelings of not matching up to you new colleagues are often described as impostor syndrome, and this presentation gives a fun explanation of it.