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Tim Ferriss Podcast Notes #190 – Matt Mullenweg

Matt Mullenweg is founder and CEO of WordPress. 

  • WordPress powers 26.5% of the Internet. 
  • Successfully runs a globally distributed company. 
  • To find common direction in a company, write a press release for the project just when it’s starting. 
  • At their annual company retreat, every person  gives a five minute “flash talk” 
  • Travel tip – get PreCheck. 
  • Uses GoogleFi internationally, costs just ten dollars per gigabyte. 
  • With consistent Internet, work travel becomes easy. 
  • Does an annual blog post of what’s in his bag. 
  • The best way to scale an organization is good hiring. 
  • Vulnerability is a key to success. Especially as a leader. 
  • Key entrepreneurial skills – resilience, personal balance, empathy. Know at least a little of every part of your business. 
  • Hire people with work ethic, taste, integrity and curiosity. 
  • At one point Elon Musk knew nothing, but with the above 4 things he grew. 
  • What you hire a person for today is likely not what they’ll be doing in a few years, so hire the right people first. Is this the person you will want for a long term relationship? 
  • Upcoming concept – Bliki – Blog plus Wiki. A page anyone can edit, but with a moderation queue. 
  • Forums will change and grow soon with his lead. 
  • And commerce needs an update. 
  • When meditating and can’t settle the mind, he grabs a piece of paper and let’s himself write on the bigger issues in his life. Purge the mind and focus the thoughts. 
  • Meditation is developing the muscle that catches yourself before reacting. 
  • Pause, do nothing, have zero inputs, and just think about how that makes you feel. 
  • He doesn’t consider himself successful because most of his ideas still fail today. 
  • “It’s not how many times you fail, it’s how many times you get back up.”
  • Huge companies fail all the time. Design your systems to assume failure and have contingencies. 
  • Most AI is marketing and vaporwear. It’s not actual AI.
  • Machine learning much more promising than the ambiguous AI. 
  • Using machine learning to help their customer support team with responding to customer. 
  • He he was starting over professionally, his first step would be to get a job surrounded by a great group or a company he’s interested in. Learn from them. 
  • You never want to be the best musician in a band, because you don’t have anything to learn from anyone. 
  • If he was starting it all over, he would look for an area that was hot 3-5 years ago, but no one is talking about now. Invest in that. 
  • The Internet is tiny compared to what it will be soon. What will living digitally look like? 
  • Payment systems will need to change. 
  • As humans we’ll need to develop antibodies to disengage from technological addiction. We’re up against machine learning, that understands our behavior better than we do. 
  • Boot camps prepare coders much better than  universities and colleges do today. 
  • To get experience and show it, if you don’t have coding work experience, contribute to the open source project. 
  • Use open source to show your real work and collaboration with people. 
  • Web developer demand will grow. The basics of web development to require less technical knowledge, but more sophisticated coders are becoming required for the new challenges beyond. 
  • Recognition and prizes make him work harder. If the world has given him something, he wants to give back ten times that. 
  • Pomodoro technique – schedule mandatory breaks in your work. For him it’s 55 minutes on, 10 minutes off. 
  • Having a technique or routine will help you get through ruts. 
  • Technical problems are challenging but can be persevered. Human interaction is much harder.
  • Matt Mullenweg Morning routine – read 30 minutes, take supplements, basic exercise, stretches, meditates for ten mins using Calm, blog. That’s a perfect morning. 

Buy Tim Ferriss’ latest book, Tools of Titans. 


Also published on Medium.

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