Viewing: Notes » No particular place to go.

No particular place to go.

(2 minute read.)

There's no 'there' there.

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And I'm even more cheered that even now they seemingly rarely bother to use it.

As they're considerably richer than us (having rejected a buy-offer of $200 million, at least $199,999,998.50* more than we're probably worth), they must have good reasons for such deliberate hobo-ishness and wanton vagabondery.

[*Entirely inconsequential update… apparently they're now valued at $1.16 billion, but I've used that example for years and it's still a good way to make a serious point.]

And indeed they do, as this clip from BusinessWeek makes clear:

Visitors to the San Francisco headquarters of Automattic, the company behind WordPress blogging software, inevitably ask themselves: 'Where is everyone?'

The office is ostensibly home to WordPress.com, a service that powers 32 million blogs. In short, the company is a key part of the Internet.

Yet on a recent Monday afternoon, the office is nearly empty… as is usually the case. Only eight employees sit around a table amid a sea of empty desks and chairs.

This is the realization of an unusual business philosophy implemented by Toni Schneider, Automattic's chief executive. Automattic is known as a distributed, or virtual, company.

Instead of requiring employees to come into the office every day, he lets everyone work from home. Home may just as easily be Bulgaria, Vietnam, or Alabama as San Francisco. He doesn't care where his employees are, just that they do their job.

Says Schneider: 'The first few years, there was lots of pressure on us to change and grow up. I should have kept notes on how many people claimed that this wasn’t going to work, and that I’d have to move everybody to San Francisco.'

Hhhmmm… maybe at some point we'll need to get a place with a door onto which we can nail our sign. But certainly not yet.

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