I’ve learned so much about Open Source after seeing its principles applied at Automattic over the last two years. It just makes sense. The code you write, like the words you write, has exponentially more influence when it is made available to the largest number of people possible.
As we’ve seen, open source is undeniably a key factor in WordPress’s success. I think it’s essential to how we as Automatticians want to live in the world—sharing and collaborating to create better designs to make the world a better place.
I think many of us became designers to help improve the world somehow—to make things better for our users, the businesses we work with, our families, and ourselves. Open Source provides each of us with this opportunity and stands as an example of how designing more openly and more transparently, can give a voice to anyone in the world, while remaining completely voluntary— “freedom” in every sense.
The open source nature of WordPress plays a significant role in why it’s gotten the traction that it has. We’ve seen beautifully-designed proprietary competitors come and go, unable to reach the critical mass they need to sustain themselves. If usage is oxygen for ideas, open source is one of the most effective ways to breathe life into a young project.