If you’ve ever blogged, chances are you’ve used WordPress, the free and open-source content-management system used by more than 60 million websites. The project was co-founded by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little and initially released in 2003 when Mullenweg was just 20 years old. Today, Mullenweg is founder and CEO of Automattic, a distributed company that includes the WordPress development team and supports a host of mostly open services, including the ubiquitous blog tool. Automattic has raised $317 million and acquired 17 companies over the past decade, according to CrunchBase. Its current valuation is reportedly $1.2 billion. Born in Houston, Texas, Mullenweg dropped out of college and spent just a year working for CNET before devoting himself fulltime to developing WordPress. Not only does the guy have some serious entrepreneur chops, he’s wise beyond his years. A couple of years ago he was asked for advice on starting a profitable business during a reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything). I thought his response was insightful, somewhat counterintuitive, and mostly consistent with my own outspoken opinion on the subject. His five-part answer is in quotes; the rest of the commentary is mine.
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