“If you’re a business for whom talent is a key differentiator,” said Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg this week on Cheddar News’ Closing Bell, “then I would highly recommend you learning how to evolve your business to be fully inclusive of remote people.”
Whether making their start as a solo blogger on their own beat, or growing up in a thriving newsroom, journalists must forge their own unique work life as they write the first draft of history, as Matt says in the latest Distributed podcast episode with Erica Pandey, business journalist and writer of the What’s Next newsletter at Axios. This fast-paced conversation covers a lot of ground, from Erica’s own journalism career, to how she works with her Axios colleagues across bureaus. She balances Axios’ Smart Brevity style with authoritative reporting on complex topics, seeking multiples perspectives, from data to experts to people on the ground. Says Erica, “One of my greatest joys is being able to talk to people.”
The lively conversation centers on how we’re all returning to work after so much change and adaptation, including the rise of hybrid workplaces.
“The way that we run our company – which is very asynchronous, people in timezones all over the world – written communication is very important. We maybe over index in our hiring process for people who are really clear writers, which I think sort of begets clear thinking,” said Matt Mullenweg, when asked about managing…
Matt Mullenweg joins Shane Parrish on The Knowledge Project podcast to talk about companies that are distributed from the beginning, and some of the benefits that means for its people. “Part of our model of distributed work also provides a fair amount of autonomy in how people get their work done,” Matt said. “I like that it creates a lot more objectivity and focus around what the actual work is.”
Matt welcomes Sid Sijbrandij, Co-Founder and CEO of GitLab, another pioneering company with Open Source origins and a long-running commitment to a completely distributed workforce. Sid and Matt settle into a conversation about how GitLab’s six values are reinforced in 20 ways at the fully-remote company. GitLab, now with more than 1,300 employees, updated its values over 300 times in the last calendar year. “They have to be reinforced,” says Sid, “and be alive in that way.”
The values, how they are experienced, and most other details and data about GitLab’s processes are publicly shared in a 10,000 page Handbook. “Transparency is sunlight,” says Sid.
“Why would the best employees in the world choose so little autonomy in the third of their day or more that they spend working?” Matt Mullenweg asks Jason Calacanis in a recent appearance on the long-running This Week In Startups.
Automattic’s General Counsel, Paul Sieminski, recently joined the Technically Legal podcast to talk about how legal work can thrive in a fully distributed company. “It’s aimed at a legal audience, and I love to remind my fellow layers how much value we can add to a distributed organization,” said Paul of his appearance on the podcast.
Matt shares several such pivotal moments in an episode full of stories and insight from the growth of Automattic, and of his own journey and leadership evolution, with Mike Maples Jr., host of the Starting Greatness podcast.
Today most companies are approaching a year of distributed work and looking ahead at another. While the dust has started to settle for most companies, new questions are emerging––from who shoulders tax burdens for remote employees, to what ongoing support looks like for employees and their families.
Join us for the latest episode of Distributed, as Matt Mullenweg interviews Jack Dorsey, co-founder and CEO of Twitter and Square. They discuss how both companies have embraced remote collaboration, the underrated value of deliberate work, and how questioning preconceived models from the get-go can change everything.