During a PandoMonthly fireside chat this evening, WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg discussed the reasons for building a distributed company.
“I would say going into the office every day is a productivity loss,” Mullenweg says. “Most offices are fairly soul-crushing environments. I think part of the reason is that they’re… his goes back to political science. You have an amount of finite space, and this weird sort of thing happens when you’re in such a small amount of space. When everyone can work from their own castle, it’s all about output and productivity.”
This doesn’t change the fact that Mullenweg traveled nearly 250 days last year, but he wouldn’t have it any way. The founder firmly believes that his company benefits from accessing talent across the world.
It’s not about cost-saving. Add in the expense of travel to bring people together a few times a year and its pretty much a wash according to Mullenweg. What matters is that unlike Facebook and Google, to use Mullenweg’s examples, he believes that 99 percent of the talent in the world is either outside of or unwilling to move to Silicon Valley, New York, and Austin.
What matters is getting outside of the Silicon Valley (and even American tech) echo chamber. WP employees skip the martyrdom and brogrammer culture that “has nothing to do with ‘work hard and get shit done.’”
“As human beings we’re hardwired to take things in and pass judgment on them,” says Mullenweg. “They actually have very little to do with our efficiency and who we are. It’s just all about the output. You only care about the results.”