Happy 40th PhotoMa.tt


What do you get the guy who has everything?

Matt Mullenweg is turning 40 and wants blog posts for his birthday present.

Great! Happy Birthday, Ma.tt! Here’s my gift to you.

I was living in the SF/Bay Area during the early days of my freelance web design business. It wasn’t long after setting up that I decided to commit and invest in the WordPress ecosystem as the foundation for this new venture.

As a native Texan himself, Matt might find it interesting that I first discovered WordPress while living out on the 3rd Coast. But moving back to the Bay Area (where I grew up) brought me within BART proximity to the heartbeat of Automattic and WordPress.

This provided me with the opportunity to visit the Automattic HQ while volunteering for the last couple of WordCamp USs that would be held in the City by the Bay.

Yes Matt, you and I met and chatted briefly at one of the volunteer parties held at Automattic.

I’ve run into Matt over the years at various WP events in SF and San Diego. When I do, he’s always smiling, approachable, unassuming, and genuinely nice.

In my experience, Matt Mullenweg is a sort of WYSIWYG human.

A Key Takeaway

In his post today, Matt admits…

Specifically, my failure mode is I share too much. I’m too generous. I like to err on the side of open.

Matt Mullenweg

If I had one key lesson I’ve learned from digitally observing Matt, it’s this ‘flaw’ of transparency, generosity, and authenticity.

I tend to be the opposite and hold things close. I’m primarily concerned with privacy and security – especially on the interwebs. It gets easier each day to dig my heels deeper into the mire of skepticism and mistrust of society and its leaders.

But right now, especially among those in positions of leadership and influence, transparency, authenticity, and generosity are desperately needed in a tumultuous sea of uncertainty.

I, for one, appreciate Matt’s failure mode.

This is a topic that continues to challenge me.

A Key Giveaway

Lastly, I wanted to leave a little bonus gift for Matt. Also expressed in his post today is Matt’s reluctance to accept gifts…

But accepting is really hard, too! Gosh! Let it in.

Sometimes we don’t let the gifts in.


Matt, I don’t know whether or not you are aware of or have accepted the ultimate gift. With that in mind, it would certainly be unloving and not very generous of me to withhold critical information that I believed to be true – and of priceless value to you.

At this stage in life, thoughts of what lie beyond the horizon tend to become more frequent. It feels closer. At least it does for me. One quote (Mark 8:36) that I have been mulling over asks… “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?”

Erring on the side of sharing too much, I’ll leave you with a last quote (Romans 6:23)… “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

I hope that you enjoy these simple, but heartfelt gifts from those you have impacted in a meaningful way.

Happy Birthday Matt!