Matt Mullenweg: is the founding developer of WordPress and the founder of Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, Akismet, and more. He blogs at ma.tt.
Matthew Charles “Matt” Mullenweg (born January 11, 1984) is an American online social media entrepreneur and web developer living in San Francisco. He is best known for developing the free and open-source web software WordPress, now managed by The WordPress Foundation.
After dropping out of the University of Houston, he worked at CNET Networks from 2004 to 2006 until he quit and founded Automattic, the business behind WordPress.com (which provides free WordPress blogs and other services), Akismet, Gravatar, VaultPress, IntenseDebate, Polldaddy, and more.
In January 2003, Mullenweg and Mike Little started WordPress from the b2 codebase. They were soon joined by original b2 developer Michel Valdrighi. Mullenweg was 19 years old, and a freshman at the University of Houston at the time. He co-founded the Global Multimedia Protocols Group (GMPG) in March 2004 with Eric Meyer and Tantek Çelik. GMPG wrote the first of the Microformats. In April 2004, with fellow WordPress developer, they launched Ping-O-Matic, a hub for notifying blog search engines like Technorati about blog updates. The following month, WordPress competitor Movable Type announced a radical price change, driving thousands of users to seek another blogging platform; this is widely seen as the tipping point for WordPress.
In October 2004, he was recruited by CNET to work on WordPress for them and help them with blogs and new media offerings. He dropped out of college and moved to San Francisco from Houston, Texas, the following month. Mullenweg announced bbPress in December, Mullenweg and the WordPress team released WordPress 1.5 “Strayhorn” in February 2005, which had over 900,000 downloads. The release introduced their theme system, moderation features, and a redesign of the front and back end. In late March and early April, Andrew Baio found at least 168,000 hidden articles on the WordPress.org website that were using a technique known as cloaking. Mullenweg admitted accepting the questionable advertisement and removed all articles from the domain.
Mullenweg left CNET in October 2005 to focus on WordPress and related activities full-time and announced Akismet several days later. Akismet is a distributed effort to stop comment and trackback spam by using the collective input of everyone using the service. In December, he announced Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com and Akismet. Automattic employed people who had contributed to the WordPress project, including lead developer Ryan Boren and WordPress MU creator Donncha O Caoimh. An Akismet licensing deal and WordPress bundling were announced with Yahoo! Small Business web hosting about the same time.
In January 2006 Mullenweg recruited former Oddpost CEO and Yahoo! executive Toni Schneider to join Automattic as CEO, bringing the size of the company to 5. An April 2007 Regulation D filing showed that Automattic raised approximately $1.1 million. Investors were Polaris Ventures, True Ventures, Radar Partners, and CNET.
Mullenweg runs an angel investment firm Audrey Capital, which has backed nearly 30 companies since 2008. In 2011 he backed Y Combinator startup Earbits.
In January 2008 Automattic raised an additional $29.5 million for the company from Polaris Venture Partners, True Ventures, Radar Partners, and the New York Times Company. According to Mullenweg’s blog, the funding was a result of spurned acquisition offers months before and the decision to keep the company independent. At the time the company had 18 employees. One of the reported plans for the funding was in a forum service called TalkPress.
Awards and recognition
In March 2007, Mullenweg was named #16 of the 50 most important people on the web by PC World, reportedly the youngest on the list. In October, Mullenweg acquired the Gravatar service and was rumored to have turned down a US$200 million offer to buy his company Automattic. In 2008, Mullenweg received the Information Technology Innovator Award – presented by Temple University’s Fox School of Business and Management to those who have applied Information Technology to create new business opportunities
mullenweg has contributed a lot to the world of Web Development, What’s your Own plan to the Next Generation, Write it in the Comment Section