Product details

By continuing to use our site you consent to the use of cookies as described in our privacy policy unless you have disabled them.
You can change your cookie settings at any time but parts of our site will not function correctly without them.

Abstract

The case 'Automattic: Building Virtual Teams And Happy Tools' describes the key factors that helped Automattic Inc (Automattic), a San Francisco, US, based company operate remotely almost entirely since it was founded in 2005 by Matt Mullenweg (Mullenweg). Automattic began operating from the very beginning as a distributed company where employees had the option of working either from its offices or from any coffee shop or co-working space near them. The company did not have fixed office hours and productivity was measured based on the final outcome. Mullenweg designed Automattic to accommodate growth based on core beliefs such as open communication and feedback that significantly contributed to the employees' ability to work in a distributed and remote manner. The core beliefs at Automattic stemmed from Mullenweg's experience in building an open source business model at his previous venture WordPress. Automattic had a comprehensive field guide which was the central knowledge repository for the company's processes. It worked on the principle of trust and any employee could update the internal documentation. As a fully remote company, Automattic ensured that all employees understood and embodied the belief in open communication on a daily basis. To facilitate this, the company used private or instantaneous internal conversation systems such as P2s, Slack 3, and video hangouts and avoided using emails. Automatticians were encouraged to demand constructive feedback from their managers. The managers were also encouraged to improve their feedback skills and learn from how other managers gave feedback. In addition, an all-company Grand Meetup was organized once a year as well as Team Meet-ups where teams met for five to seven days to brainstorm team-level strategy and bond with each other over activities, dinner, and conversations. As part of its hiring strategy, Automattic selected people who were self-starters/had a high degree of independence, valued continuous learning, and were receptive to feedback. Applicants were asked to undertake a short, paid trial with the company and it selected individuals who were long-term team players rather than short term problem solvers. In 2019, Automattic launched a suite of products called 'Happy Tools' based on internal tools initially designed for its remote distributed working spanning many time zones.

Teaching and learning

This item is suitable for undergraduate, postgraduate and executive education courses.

Time period

The events covered by this case took place in 2005-2020.

Geographical setting

Region:
World/global
Country:
United States

Featured company

Automattic Inc
Employees:
1001-5000
Turnover:
USD 120 million (2019)
Type:
Self-owned
Industry:
Technology & communications

Featured protagonist

  • Matt Mullenweg (male), CEO

About

Abstract

The case 'Automattic: Building Virtual Teams And Happy Tools' describes the key factors that helped Automattic Inc (Automattic), a San Francisco, US, based company operate remotely almost entirely since it was founded in 2005 by Matt Mullenweg (Mullenweg). Automattic began operating from the very beginning as a distributed company where employees had the option of working either from its offices or from any coffee shop or co-working space near them. The company did not have fixed office hours and productivity was measured based on the final outcome. Mullenweg designed Automattic to accommodate growth based on core beliefs such as open communication and feedback that significantly contributed to the employees' ability to work in a distributed and remote manner. The core beliefs at Automattic stemmed from Mullenweg's experience in building an open source business model at his previous venture WordPress. Automattic had a comprehensive field guide which was the central knowledge repository for the company's processes. It worked on the principle of trust and any employee could update the internal documentation. As a fully remote company, Automattic ensured that all employees understood and embodied the belief in open communication on a daily basis. To facilitate this, the company used private or instantaneous internal conversation systems such as P2s, Slack 3, and video hangouts and avoided using emails. Automatticians were encouraged to demand constructive feedback from their managers. The managers were also encouraged to improve their feedback skills and learn from how other managers gave feedback. In addition, an all-company Grand Meetup was organized once a year as well as Team Meet-ups where teams met for five to seven days to brainstorm team-level strategy and bond with each other over activities, dinner, and conversations. As part of its hiring strategy, Automattic selected people who were self-starters/had a high degree of independence, valued continuous learning, and were receptive to feedback. Applicants were asked to undertake a short, paid trial with the company and it selected individuals who were long-term team players rather than short term problem solvers. In 2019, Automattic launched a suite of products called 'Happy Tools' based on internal tools initially designed for its remote distributed working spanning many time zones.

Teaching and learning

This item is suitable for undergraduate, postgraduate and executive education courses.

Settings

Time period

The events covered by this case took place in 2005-2020.

Geographical setting

Region:
World/global
Country:
United States

Featured company

Automattic Inc
Employees:
1001-5000
Turnover:
USD 120 million (2019)
Type:
Self-owned
Industry:
Technology & communications

Featured protagonist

  • Matt Mullenweg (male), CEO

Related


Awards, prizes & competitions