✍️WordPress is part of a $7.5B family


August 20, 2021

The Hustle

On Tuesday, we asked if any of you secretly work a 2nd job. Thank you so much to all who answered. You shared some crazy stories, and we dropped a bunch of them down below.

Today’s rundown:

  • Automattic: How WordPress’s $7.5B parent company is building beyond WordPress.
  • Visualized: MacKenzie Scott’s billions in philanthropy.
  • You answered: Readers open up about their secret side hustles.

Let’s do it.

The big idea
Automattic HQ

Automattic, the parent to WordPress, is a private company you should know about

A long list of tech companies entered the public market in 2021, but Automattic, the parent company behind WordPress, is private and thriving.

Earlier this week, CEO Matt Mullenweg announced the company’s latest move — a $250m share buyback valuing the firm at $7.5B.

The buyback offers current and former employees a chance to cash out some of their equity holdings and increases the value of the company’s shares.

Just because they haven’t joined the IPO blitz…

… doesn’t mean they haven’t been busy.

The firm has been growing on all axes in 2021:

  • Fundraising: In February, the company raised $288m in a new round
  • Hiring: The company has had 371 accepted offers through August
  • Acquisitions: The firm scooped Parse.ly, Day One, and Pocket Casts

These moves are helping Automattic build beyond WordPress

Automattic, founded in 2005, was ahead of the curve on trends like remote work, open-source, and freemium pricing strategies.

Counting WordPress, the company has a dozen products under its umbrella, including:

  • WooCommerce: Flexible, open-source ecommerce platform
  • Longreads: Online publisher curating the best long-form stories on the web
  • Simplenote: Synchronized digital note-taking app
  • Gravatar: Free service offering digital avatars to use across the web

Along with the 3 they’ve made so far, the firm expects to add more acquisitions in the coming months.

Automattic offers a strong rebuttal to the argument that blogging is dead. But with an ever-expanding portfolio, they’ll be prepared if and when that day comes.

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SNIPPETS

Toys R Us returns! Sort of. The brand plans to open 400+ interactive shops inside Macy’s stores starting in 2022. #ecommerce-retail

Under the sea: California startup Bedrock uses electric, self-driving submarines to map the ocean floor to find sites for wind farms. #clean-energy

Bedside android: Grace is a nurse who takes temperatures and helps diagnose and treat patients. She’s also a robot. #emerging-tech

TikTok wants to collect your biometric data. Some US senators want to know what for. #privacy

Aspiration, a green fintech company that promises your money won’t be linked to climate-damaging projects, plans to go public in a $3.2B SPAC deal. #fintech-cryptocurrency

Busted: 5 ex-Netflix engineers and associates allegedly made $3m+ in an insider trading ring, sharing confidential info about the streaming service. #big-tech

Gary Vaynerchuk on investing in people: “There’s something about a human’s ability to will their way to the success even if they have to completely change the business model halfway through.” #mfm

Visualized
MacKenzie Scott philanthropy

MacKenzie Scott has given out billions to charity. Recipients think it’s a joke.

In a mere 12 months, MacKenzie Scott has dished out $8.6B in philanthropic grants.

A recent Bloomberg investigation tracked down 375 of those grants, worth $4.3B.

For ~90% of the recipient organizations, Scott’s donations were the largest they’ve ever received — ranging from $750k-$60m.

Some recipients thought emails from Scott’s team notifying them of the gifts were phishing scams — which, to us, sounds like a completely reasonable thought.

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You Answered
moonlighting

We asked readers if they secretly work 2nd jobs. Their answers are incredible.

Earlier this week, we asked if any of you secretly work a 2nd job — and you shared some crazy stuff. We dropped some of your stories here, lightly edited for clarity.

  • “I’m a full-time health care business analyst moonlighting as a restaurant chef. I’m doing video conferences with colleagues around the world (camera off) while taking lunch orders.”
  • “I’m a director of sales for a software company. I’m the only employee in my state and most of our business is inbound… This has given me the flexibility to build up my side gig: a bartending company for bachelorette parties.”
  • “I work as a youth pastor full time. I’m not fully remote, but I can be and am most of the week. I also spend Thursday-Saturday running a swimming pool repair and maintenance business.”
  • “I’m a software dev, working 3 W-2’s at around $120k base each. Thursday at 9am I have 2 stand-ups going at the same time. I usually have 1 meeting on my phone with a single AirPod in 1 ear and another meeting on my laptop.”
  • “I work a part-time position at the local post office for insurance benefits. I also have my own company for website design & social media management, plus I edit books for 1st-time authors.”
  • “I’m the COO of a cannabis company in California. I also own a saltwater aquarium business in South Florida, so I’m now a remote COO that balances Google meetings with water changes for 20-25 aquarium clients.”
  • “It’s really easy for me to keep my 3D printer going while I’m doing my full-time remote job, so I started a side hustle making 3D-printed parts for 1996-2002 Toyota 4Runners. Over my first 6 months I did about $10k in sales.”

Thanks to all who answered, and keep an eye out for more upcoming community polls.

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AROUND THE WEB

🎺 On this day: Long before its use in dozens of TV shows, films, and fireworks extravaganzas, Tchaikovsky’s bombastic “1812 Overturedebuted at the 1882 Moscow Exhibition. The piece commemorates Russia’s defeat over Napoleon.

💡 How to: Trying to think of a unique name for your business? Check out this step-by-step TED talk from branding expert Jonathan Bell.

🥁 Cure boredom: Incredibox lets you design your own music loops. Just choose your musicians, then drag and drop different beats and effects.

🐍 Wild story: The colorful San Francisco garter snake is endangered. But the city’s airport maintains a parcel of land where 1.3k of them thrive.

🌳 That’s cool: Matt Gordon’s This Song Plants Trees is a 31-second track you can add to your Spotify playlists. For every ~100 streams, Gordon earns enough to plant 1 tree. So far, 400 trees have been donated to the Eden Reforestation Projects.

Meme of the day
web developer meme

Trung says “this def me.” (Source: Semicolon World)

Shower Thoughts
  1. “If you fart for long enough it goes from being mundane to funny to impressive, and finally to medically concerning all in 7-10 seconds.”
  2. “Your pet might have also named you.”
  3. “You can never put the numbers 6 and 7 next to each other on a digital clock.”
  4. “If you enter a traffic circle, drive all the way around it, and exit in the direction you came from, then you have simultaneously done a 180 and a 360.”
  5. “Somewhere in the galaxy a photon from a flashlight you pointed at the night sky when you were a kid is still traveling through space.”
  6. “Ice skating is walking in cursive.”
via Reddit
SHARE THE HUSTLE
Hustle Cons Greatest Hits ebook

Over the years, we’ve learned… secrets.

The business secrets, tips, and tricks that have helped founders go from zero to millions — and even billions — of dollars.

Want to see ‘em? Just refer {3-referral_count} more friends to The Hustle and we’ll send you our curated set of interviews with founders from brands like Zola, AWAY, Vungle, Bonobos, and more.

Here’s a message you can use to share with your friends:

Hey! Do you read The Hustle? It’s the best daily business newsletter out there — only takes 5 minutes to read and you’ll sound like the smartest person in the room. Sign up here, it’s free: {referral_url}

P.S. You can always check your referral count here.

Share The Hustle →
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Stickers

Laptop lookin’ sparse? Water bottle lookin’… clear?

You’re only {5-referral_count} referrals away from your first Hustle swag, Sam’s Stickers. Slap a few of these bad boys on the ol’ laptop and let everyone in the coffee shop know that you know. You know?

Here’s a message you can use to share with your friends:

Hey! Do you read The Hustle? It’s the best daily business newsletter out there — only takes 5 minutes to read and you’ll sound like the smartest person in the room. Sign up here, it’s free: {referral_url}

P.S. You can always check your referral count here.

Share The Hustle →
SHARE THE HUSTLE
Pint Glass

Look at you, smarty pants. You’ve already shared The Hustle with {referral_count} friends and enemies.

But hey, just because you’re a business nerd doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a cool bevvy. Get {10-referral_count} more referrals and we’ll send you a pint glass etched with The Hustle logo.

Anyway, here’s a message you can use to share with your friends:

Hey! Do you read The Hustle? It’s the best daily business newsletter out there — only takes 5 minutes to read and you’ll sound like the smartest person in the room. Sign up here, it’s free: {referral_url}

P.S. You can always check your referral count here.

Share The Hustle →
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Ambassador Rewards

You’re only {15-referral_count} referrals away from earning our signature dad hat meant for ladies, gents, and dads alike to show folks they’re in the club.

Here’s a message you can use to share with your friends:

Hey! Do you read The Hustle? It’s the best daily business newsletter out there — only takes 5 minutes to read and you’ll sound like the smartest person in the room. Sign up here, it’s free: {referral_url}

P.S. You can always check your referral count here.

Share The Hustle →
SHARE THE HUSTLE
Always be Hustlin' tee

You’re close to the most coveted item in Hustle-land: The Always Be Hustlin Tee.

The fabric? Luxurious. The cut? Relaxed, yet refined. The message? Indisputable.

Share this link with {25 – referral_count} more of your friends to get the goods:

{referral_url}

P.S. You can always check your referral count here.

Share The Hustle →
SHARE THE HUSTLE
Hustle Hoodie

Damn, you’re on a roll. You’ve got the pint glass. You’ve got the hat. It’s time to complete your collection, don’t you think?

Get {50 – referral_count} more referrals and we’ll send you our favorite piece of Hustle swag: The Startup Sweatshirt. Slipping into this piece of fleece might just transport you to Silicon Valley (or maybe somewhere better, your pick).

Share this link to get the goods:

{referral_url}

P.S. You can always check your referral count here.

Share The Hustle →
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Trends Screenshot

Hey, we see you. You’re out there spreading the gospel of The Hustle like it’s nobody’s business. Seems like you might be ready for a little more…

Get {100 – referral_count} more referrals and we’ll slide you a free subscription to Trends.

And no, this ain’t an ad. We just think you’re the kinda person who would thrive in our top-tier community (it’s usually $299) full of founders, investors, and builders (AKA ambitious, no B.S. business folks like you — and enjoy our premium research and content.

Share this link with {100 – referral_count} more of your friends to get the goods:

{referral_url}

P.S. You can always check your referral count here.

Share The Hustle →
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Plane

If you love us so much why don’t you just marry us?

Get {1000 – referral_count} more referrals and we’ll fly you to The Hustle HQ in beautiful, downtown eastern Austin, Texas. Round-trip flight, 2 nights in a hotel downtown, and some wining and dining with The Hustle fam.

Heck, you practically work here anyway. Copy & paste this link to share:

{referral_url}

P.S. You can always check your referral count here.

Share The Hustle →

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