[wp-hackers] General consensus of "Premium Theme" concept

Matt Mullenweg m at mullenweg.com
Fri Mar 21 16:06:06 GMT 2008

Callum Macdonald wrote:
> So I don't think anyone can fault your 
> ethics if you choose to profit from WordPress.

There's nothing I love more than meeting people whose living is derived 
from WordPress -- it's a true testament to what we've all created that 
so many can provide for themselves and their families. The best of these 
people invest back in the underlying platform so in the long-term their 
business is stronger.

> Automattic's primary motivation, by definition of being a business, is 
> to make money.

And it does, but Automattic is set up in a way to align the economic 
incentives with community benefit, and the way we do this is through 
embracing the GPL. The benefit to you is millions and millions of 
dollars invested into development of the platform we all use for free.

Ask yourself: Is WordPress better off than it was two and a half years ago?

A GPL software community is like the environment. Yes you could make 
profit building widgets in your widget factory and not pay any heed to 
the forests you're clearing or the rivers your polluting, but in a few 
years you're going to start to deplete the commons, and your business 
and public perception will be in peril.

(We can all think of "open source companies" who have done this.)

Contrast that with sustainable development, with giving back to the 
community that sustains (and ultimately consumes) your services and you 
have the makings of something that could be around for generations to come.

The vision I have for WordPress is the latter. I want the software to 
flourish across the web and beyond my lifetime.

Matt Mullenweg
http://ma.tt | http://automattic.com

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