"We focus on two things when hiring. First, find the best people you can... And second, let them do their work. Just get out of their way."
- Matt Mullenweg
In the previous post, we discussed the influence of Steve Jobs on John McDonough in achieving “The greatest change in sports business of all time,” as stated by Forbes. But there’s another successful individual who also shares the key insight of Steve Jobs and John McDonough: “Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.” ~ Steve Jobs.
Matt Mullenweg, the founder and developer of WordPress, states: “We focus on two things when hiring. First, find the best people you can… And second, let them do their work. Just get out of their way.”
He resonates with the lesson left as an example by John McDonough, President of the Chicago Blackhawks: “Hiring is the most underestimated executive skill that exists. If you hire well, you have a chance that really good things will happen”. Furthermore, he advises: “Step back and allow these brilliant people you’ve hired to do their work. Ask really good questions, make sure they know you’re supporting them, and let them do their thing. And… at some point, the students leapfrog the teachers. The reward for that is immeasurable.”
“Two things we focus on when hiring. First, find the best people you can. . . And second, let them do their job. Just get out of their way.” – Matt Mullenweg
What were Matt Mullenweg's achivements?
Co-Founder of WordPress: Alongside Mike Little, Matt Mullenweg co-founded WordPress in 2003 as an open-source blogging platform. Over time, WordPress has become one of the most widely used tools for creating and managing websites worldwide.
1. Creation of Automattic: In 2005, Matt founded Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com and a range of products and services related to the WordPress ecosystem. Automattic has grown to become a company with significant impact in the web and technology industry.
2. Contribution to Open Source Software: Matt Mullenweg is a passionate advocate of open-source software and has actively contributed to the open-source community over the years. WordPress is built upon open-source software, enabling its expansion and constant evolution.
3. Development of the WordPress Community: Mullenweg has played a pivotal role in building and growing the community of WordPress users and developers. He has been involved in organizing WordPress events and conferences, as well as promoting collaboration among community members.
4. Innovation and Continuous Evolution: Under Matt’s leadership, WordPress has evolved from a blogging platform into a versatile content management system used to create a wide variety of websites, from personal blogs to corporate websites and online stores.
5. Impact on the Web: The influence of Matt Mullenweg and WordPress extends beyond individual websites. His emphasis on usability, accessibility, and simplicity in design has shaped how websites are constructed and experienced.
6. Advocate for Remote Work: Matt Mullenweg has been a vocal advocate for remote work and workplace flexibility. His company, Automattic, operates primarily in a remote fashion, and he has shared insights on fostering an effective remote work environment.
How did his statement "We focus on two things when hiring. First, find the best people you can... And second, let them do their work. Just get out of their way" drive Matt Mullenweg to achieve his accomplishments so far?
This statement reflects a leadership and management philosophy that has been pivotal in Matt Mullenweg’s success and his impact on the development of WordPress and Automattic. This philosophy has influenced several aspects of his journey:
1. Empowerment and Autonomy: The philosophy of “letting them do their work” implies a high degree of empowerment and trust in team members. Mullenweg applied this idea in creating WordPress and Automattic, giving developers and collaborators the freedom to innovate and make decisions within their areas of expertise.
2. Talent Attraction: The first part of the statement, “find the best people you can,” underscores the importance of having a highly talented and skilled team. Mullenweg may have applied this idea in seeking out individuals with exceptional abilities and a passion for web development and technology.
3. Culture of Collaboration: The philosophy of “get out of their way” suggests that Mullenweg values collaboration and interaction among team members. This culture of teamwork was likely essential in fostering creativity and joint problem-solving in the software development environment.
4. Innovation and Experimentation: By allowing individuals to work without obstacles, Mullenweg may have encouraged experimentation and innovation within his team. This was crucial for the ongoing development and evolution of WordPress and its features.
5. Flexibility and Adaptability: The philosophy of “letting them do their work” also suggests that Mullenweg values adaptability and flexibility in his management approach. This mindset likely enabled his team to quickly adapt to industry changes and explore new directions.
6. Confidence in Diverse Perspectives: By supporting individuals in doing their work without micro-management, Mullenweg likely valued diverse perspectives and approaches. This is essential in technology development, where innovation can stem from different viewpoints.
Overall, we could say that Matt Mullenweg’s philosophy regarding hiring and management, as expressed in the statement, helped drive his success by fostering an environment of empowerment, collaboration, and creativity. This mindset allowed his team to create and develop WordPress and Automattic in an environment that values individual talent and collective contribution.