Like many tech businesses, Automattic, the company that operates WordPress, the world’s most popular blogging software, is headquartered in San Francisco. But the company’s founder and creator, 32-year-old Matt Mullenweg, calls Houston home.
Mullenweg spent about eight years in California, where he turned WordPress, which he co-created at the age of 19, into a content management system now used by more than 60 million websites. Then he returned to the city where he was born and raised. Houston is now home base, though he often makes trips to San Francisco and New York City – he estimates that he traveled roughly 400,000 miles last year alone.
“I found I could get a lot of the benefits of San Francisco being there a few times a year, and I didn’t feel like I needed to be there every day,” Mullenweg said. “I missed my family and my friends and everything in Houston.”
Mullenweg graduated from the Houston Independent School District’s High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in 2002. There, he studied music and jazz saxophone. In his teen years, he also began building websites. He decided to combine his love of music and tech skills.
“Some of the first money I made was building websites for musicians around town,” he said. Mullenweg said local jazz musicians such as David Caceres, Warren Sneed, Woody Witt and Kelly Dean were a few of his first clients.
Business Insider names Mullenweg one of the top 10 most influential people online for changing the face of the internet.
Caceres also was one of Mullenweg’s music teachers. He describes him as a “wunderkind” who always knew about the latest technology and always wore a smile on his face.
When Caceres said his computer started getting older, Mullenweg suggested that instead of purchasing a new one, he could help him build one.
Now, millions of musicians all over the world use WordPress to publish their own websites.
By Anita Hassan