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Photo Matt » Meaningful Overnight Relationship

Photo Matt » Meaningful Overnight Relationship

Almost a month ago, one of the original creators of WordPress speaks his mind about the press and being part of an, as some would say, “Overnight Success Story”.

Here are some of the best comments:

Niall Kennedy
10.05.2007 @ 2:45 pm

I think it is possible to be an “overnight success” even if the path leading up to the success moment was years of hard work in the making. Bands immediately come to mind who played the same instruments with the same group of guys for years, trying to perfect their own view of music, and then success hits.

Maroon 5 was previously known as Kara’s Flowers, a band some friends formed in high school (young founders) and played their first gig in 1995. Perhaps the genre of music just wasn’t right, or they needed a new instrument somewhere, and Maroon 5 is somewhat of an overnight success in 2002 with the release of Songs About Jane.

I’m sure Oprah could mention her favorite back scratcher and it would turn into an overnight success.

Good post with insight into your unique life and view on things. Thanks.



Scott Berkun
10.05.2007 @ 3:54 pm

Good post – Related story. I had a conversation once with a journalist: that 70 minute interview turned into a 5 word mention in an article, about another topic. His response was essentially this: “I’m paid to write several stories at the same time – if a story doesn’t fit into a pattern, no matter how amazing it is, I probably don’t have the time to write it.”

It wasn’t his fault exactly – it was how journalists are typically rewarded for their work.

He would have loved to tell more interesting and truer stories, but unless he could pitch the new pattern to editors, it was hard to justify the time on a tale that might not resonate with people. The old patterns, magic hero tales, are yarns that people always like to hear and always will – they’re easy to write and easy to sell, making it awfully tempting to play on those patterns – same goes for TV, movies, novels, you name it.

The upside is that WP and tools like it eliminate middlemen in writing – so writerly types have fewer excuses if their stories play on myths, rather that realities.

Teresa Valdez Klein
10.05.2007 @ 6:00 pm

“I’m not a millionaire, and may never be.”

You deserve to be, Matt. You’re a better man than I.

Chris Messina
10.05.2007 @ 6:14 pm

It’s true that the inside stories are always the most interesting, and are the ones that those of us on the inside who do know the real deal will recount when we’re old and gray and sitting in rocking chairs drinking crystal by the case.

But, there’s multifold danger to this kind of story archetype — one that you allude to — and another that I wrote about of similar impact — where all the founders are not only young but also typically white men.

I’ve certainly seen some improved coverage of minority-lead efforts, but certainly not equal to the percent of actual minority-lead initiatives in the wild. And this both belies the reality of what’s going on today but also discourages folks who really should be trying to break out but see no role models with whom they can directly relate.

And, well, I guess that’s kind of been something that WordPress has been about changing from the beginning right?

I certainly appreciate your perspective on this — and knowing you from when you first moved here, have quite a sense that WordPress is not in the least an overnight success!

That was a most interesting read. I rather enjoyed myself reading the original blog post as well as the articulate comments. It was a little bit inspiring as well. Success is something you create and it most certainly take you to places you never thought you would be (for better or worst). Nevertheless, with time, you can brings an idea to life. Well, that is some of what I get out of this.

By the way, this was a featured blog article on the main page of and it currently has 108 comments.


June 9, 2007 - Posted by | Blog Post Review, Business, Career, Tech, WordPress

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