News: I have a new job (Automattic)

Many of my friends make fun of me when I complain. They tell me I’m living the dream. And in ways I am. I do what I love, writing and speaking, and make a living from it all on my own (thanks to the help of readers like you).

But as an expert for hire type guy, one natural concern is how few experts actually do the things they write and talk about. Many famous gurus in many fields haven’t done the thing they write or speak about in years, if they ever did it at all (see how to call bs on a guru). I’ve always thought it’d be smart at some point to get back in the middle of something for awhile – do a sanity check on how much of the advice I give to other people I practice myself.  Plus learn new things, face new challenges, to boldly go where… and most important perhaps, work as part of a team of people where I have something deeper at stake in the outcome. Wisdom accrues when you have the guts to dive into the thing you keep wondering about and see what happens.

As of this week, I’m an employee at Automattic – the company that hosts and maintains a popular instance of WordPress, among other things. I’ll be working as a team lead on (one of the top 20 websites in the U.S.). I’ve had sweet offers for jobs here and there over the years, but nothing came close to these folks, which is why I said yes. If I’m going to jump back in for awhile, these are the best people in the world, and one of the most important projects, I can imagine doing it with. It’s a distributed company so my dogs won’t even notice the change.

This news won’t change your experience here or, hopefully, what you think of me. I’m still a writer, and I’ll still be writing and speaking, and new books are in progress (I still have a shelf to fill). Of course everything I write here is entirely my independent opinion. But transparency is good practice and I wanted to make sure I shared all this with you.

Hope you’ll wish me well.

50 Responses to “News: I have a new job (Automattic)”

  1. Sean Crawford

    I bet you were thinking of the business writer you highly respect, Peter Drucker, who said that people (executives) shouldn’t have staff (support) jobs for more than a few years before getting back into “operations” jobs. And people should be proven in operations (as you were) before even going into staff work.This was in Frontiers of Management.

    I respect you for making the change, and I’m sure it will help your writing. And yes, I wish you well.

    1. Scott Berkun


      Indeed. Drucker is a hero – but I’d forgotten he’d said this. Excellent! thanks.

  2. John Weldon

    Congratulations Scott… I’m sure it will be a great opportunity for you and Automattic both.

  3. Michael Sean Wright

    May you do bold work at Automattic. WordPress is on the verge changing the entire socialnet. I believe we’ll see some major moves forward with you joining the team. All the best.

  4. Steve L

    So many haiku
    On the Automattic page.
    Sounds like a cool place!

  5. Paul Kim

    Welcome to Automattic, Scott! I’m excited to work with you. :)

  6. Bernhard

    Congratulations, I bet there will be a lot of inspiration from working within such a team.

    Maybe you could write a book a virtual/globally distributed teams – Automattic certainly has the right environment.

  7. Jason Crawford

    Congratulations, Scott! And good for you for stepping back into the game and getting your hands dirty (to mix a metaphor). The best theorists are those steeped in practice.

  8. Percy

    Congratulations Scott and good luck with the new job.

  9. Miguel Angel Diez

    Good Luck, Scott

  10. Veronica Sopher

    That’s great to hear, Scott! I admire your thoughtful approach to this decision, and look forward to hearing about the cool stuff you’ll do at Automattic. Congrats!

  11. Tara Becker

    Awesome! Congrats.

  12. Tobias Lehtipalo

    Congratulations. That sounds like a good deal for both of you.

    I´m curious to hear about your experience as a team leader for a distributed team once you been at Autommatic for a while. Conventional wisdom seems to suggest that co-located teams are the best. That´s the spirit of the agile manifesto and I remember reading something similar about the early philosophy at Microsoft.

  13. Cassle

    Very well done and a great congratulations! You really deserve it! :)

  14. Divya

    Wow! Sounds great! Congratulations and best wishes!

  15. Tony Wright

    Congrats, Scott! WordPress is one of the best companies on the planet– Matt and Toni are crazy smart. I hope you write about the experience– I’d love to hear your thoughts about the virtual workplace– I assume you’ll be staying in Seattle?

  16. Vivek Aseeja


    Wishing you good luck with everything. I have liked the work done by both you and Automattic, so happy that you are joining them!

  17. Sze

    Congrats on your new job. I thought writing books was your job.
    Were you “unemployed” before Automattic?

  18. Kaleem

    Scott, a heartfelt congratulations to both you and Automattic!

    You mentioned that you’ve been approached with job offers in the past and you’ve highlighted an important notion: working on important, challenging projects with the best people in the world. It’s something that we all aspire to and some of us are fortunate enough to find it, or have it find us.

    I don’t know anyone who’s independent who wouldn’t return to life as an employee given those circumstances and I’m glad that you found the right place for you in Automattic. I can’t wait to get your perspective on the shift.

    Congratulations again!


  19. Kimm

    If agreement in your thought process is any indication, it seems to me to be very sound thinking indeed. It will be interesting – and informative, I’m sure – to hear more about your experiences going forward. This is the sort of hybrid that creates value as well as enjoyment for all. Have fun storming the castle!

  20. Beau

    Great to have you on the team Scott, and I’m looking forward to our team crushing it ;)

  21. Livia Labate

    Congratulations, sounds like a great place to be. Looking forward to see what you do there :)

  22. Peter Boersma

    View > Source > CTRL-F wp
    okay, you’re cool :-)

    Congrats! Enjoy the dirty hands :-)

  23. Tony DaSilva


    Cuz you lead by example (and that’s rare) you rock! Good luck in your new job and gather up some more war stories to share with us; preferably in real-time without getting fired :)

  24. Mike Nitabach

    Dude, that is totally awesome! I think this is gonna inform your thinking about team leadership and project management in ways that are very different and complementary to what you learned from your experiences at Microsoft.

  25. Jeff Slobotski

    Scott – Big congrats! Great company and look forward to you ripping it up in the WordPress world!

    Take care, chat soon and best of luck! You’re going to do great things!!!

  26. Daniel Howard

    I’ve had a crush on Automattic for years. I hope the new job works for you. Congratulations!


  27. Chaminda

    Congratulations Scott on your new job.

    Are you telecommuting?

    I know you were stay home writer for few years. now that you have a job, what are the things that you need to adjust or get used over again?

  28. Leila Boujnane

    Congratulations mate! Great to see you get back into the fold of things. Your work will continue to make your writing relevant :)

  29. Everett McKay

    Congratulations, Scott! With all you are doing, I hope you are getting enough sleep.



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