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We’ve Still Got Work To Do – What WordPress Can Learn from Utah Startups

There was recently an article written in The New Yorker about how Utah Became the Next Silicon Valley. It talks about Utah’s high rate of STEM graduates, our business-friendly laws, diversity of sectors in our tech startups, and other little things like affordable housing and a concentrated population.

The average Venture Capital deal in Utah is almost 3 times the size of the average deal in San Francisco. As far as I know, Provo was the first city with functioning Google Fiber. Companies like eBay, Twitter, Oracle, Adobe, Microsoft, Qualtrics, Vivint, Domo, Skullcandy, and a slew of others operate large pieces of their companies from Utah, and the list keeps growing.

Since I’m from Utah, and I see all of the cool things that are going on from the ground level, I find myself quick to share any article that highlights the fantastic things that are going on in our great state. My trigger finger is quick because I’m excited about our rapid growth and the flood of startups finding their homes here. Even though I’ve done little to contribute to the growth myself, it’s still exciting and something I want to see continue for a long time.

We Can’t Forget How We Got Here

A few days after I was patting Utah on the back for a “job well done”, I saw this tweet from Venture Capitalist Bryce Roberts.

What a fantastic freaking message.

Utah has seen a lot of tech companies come and go, and some of them because they decided that resting on their laurels was going to be good enough. Do you think WordPerfect ever thought Microsoft Word could possibly take away their marketshare in the office world? My how things change… and fast.

What Does This Have to do with WordPress?

By now I’m sure you’ve seen some the parallels:

  • Huge marketshare
  • Lots of celebration of said marketshare
  • Excitement about what the future holds

Now don’t get me wrong, milestones should definitely be celebrated. The fact that WordPress runs nearly one in four websites is absolutely astounding.

The danger appears when we decide that 25% is “good enough”.

In today’s fast-paced tech economy, where companies are spending millions to catch up and take back a large part of what WordPress has earned, we may have to work harder than before just to maintain what we’ve been able to accomplish up to this point. Growing is going to require a collective effort from all of us, in the same direction, for as long as we can possibly stand it.

Let’s remind ourselves that Open Source is one of the most powerful ideas of our generation. It’s time for a lot of us, myself included, to take a more humble approach to building the most dominant publishing software on the web today.

Head’s down. It’s time to grind.

By Ryan

I wanna be a writer, so I'm writing. In this space I muse about being a dad, tech stuff, the joy of cooking, and hot takes about bad movies.

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