Category : events

Meeting Automattic’s CEO in Tokyo and learning about the “Future of Work”

Last night was a very special evening to finally meet Automattic’s CEO Matt Mullenweg in a productive event “A Conversation with Matt Mullenweg: Automattic & the Future of Work”, held at Roppongi, Tokyo. Automattic is the company behind WordPress, Woocommerce, and Tumblr, as well as other products where they are passionate about making the web a better place. In this event, Matt Mullenweg talked about the distributed work model they follow in Automattic, along with four Tokyo-based Automatticians who shared their experience with this work model.

I currently use Automattic’s wordpress and woocommerce for an online-shop / website helping farmers in IIde, Yamagata to increase their visibility and sell their produce all over Japan. We use modern applications such as Slack and Line to coordinate with customers, work together as a team and coordinate with farmers in Yamagata. Working together as a team fully online and using wordpress and woocommerce, I was very keen to learn more about Automattic and Matt Mullenweg’s concept of the Future of Work.

Matt started his talk by explaining the difference between a distributed team from a remote team. He explains that both of these can have a team working across different countries around the world but distributed teams are different from remote teams as remote teams have offices around the world and a headquarter office while distributed teams do not have a main office and team members can work together anywhere in the world at any time.

Matt then shared how he co-founded Automattic and talked about the history of Automattic and WordPress. While giving a story of how he started WordPress back in 2003, he made an analogy of WordPress to an automatic car, where it is more convenient for drivers as they do not need to change gears manually, is similar to WordPress where users can focus on writing their blog without writing some HTML, CSS or Javascript codes. With his dedication to making the web much easier and better, he explained how they came to add more products such as Woocommerce, an e-commerce platform, and Tumblr, a social media platform.

Four Automatticians in Tokyo then shared their experiences working with Automattic and the distributed work model of Automattic. I’ve learned from them how they find Automattic’s distributed work model to be the best work model for them and how it made them more flexible in terms of their work and lifestyle. One of the Automatticians mentioned how it was easy for her to change the country she chose to live, while another shared his story of being once a teacher commuting in crowded trains every day for more than an hour and now working conveniently at home with his family.

Matt also shared some tips and tools they use to work productively as a distributed team. It was my first time to hear of Happy Tools (, one of their newest product designed for distributed teams to organize their available schedule while working smoothly as team. He also shared P2, a tool for where you can create your own social network via wordpress to share updates, organize projects, or build a community.

The event ended with a networking session where I was able to hear more how other attendees use Automattic’s tools and also have a rare opportunity to talk with Matt and shared how we used WordPress and Woocommerce in Japan and how their tools became a part of our daily lives.

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