More than 20% of the web is built on WordPress. Fortune 500 companies like Best Buy, UPS, eBay and The Wall Street Journal all use WordPress in one manner or another to host digital content. It’s safe to say that it’s almost impossible to surf the web without landing on a site built on the blogging platform.

As a web developer, my first few years were spent extending the WordPress platform into full-fledged content management systems for dozens of clients. Its easy authoring interface meant that even the least technically savvy client rarely needed to call and ask for support, keeping me in the code as opposed to on the phone.

My history working with WordPress is why I was so excited to sit front and center for the most recent LinkedIn Speaker Series featuring Matt Mullenweg, CEO of Automattic and Co-Founder of WordPress, in conversation with LinkedIn co-founder, Reid Hoffman.

matt mullenweg and reid hoffman

Matt discussed topics ranging from Automattic’s plans to shift their focus towards revamping the WordPress reading experience to the remote working culture of Automattic given their locale-agnostic office structure.

His most compelling thoughts revolved around how we should change our approach to developing software. Software is governing more of our lives through phones, tablets, and the myriad of other devices we use. Matt stressed the importance of developing software using a “bill of rights” to help keep our software from “running us”.

Matt began by elaborating on the four fundamental software freedoms made popular by computer programmer and software freedom activist, Richard Stallman:

  1. The freedom to run the software, for any purpose
  2. The freedom to study how the software works, and change it
  3. The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor
  4. The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others, giving the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes

Watch Matt’s intriguing thoughts on the future of online publishing, and his compelling argument for developing “free software” in the replay of his LinkedIn Speaker Series appearance below.