The Year Without Pants: WordPress.com and the Future of Work

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Overview

A behind-the-scenes look at the firm behind WordPress.com and the unique work culture that contributes to its phenomenal success

50 million websites, or twenty percent of the entire web, use WordPress software. The force behind WordPress.com is a convention-defying company called Automattic, Inc., whose 120 employees work from anywhere in the world they wish, barely use email, and launch improvements to their products dozens of times a day. With a fraction of the resources of ...

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Overview

A behind-the-scenes look at the firm behind WordPress.com and the unique work culture that contributes to its phenomenal success

50 million websites, or twenty percent of the entire web, use WordPress software. The force behind WordPress.com is a convention-defying company called Automattic, Inc., whose 120 employees work from anywhere in the world they wish, barely use email, and launch improvements to their products dozens of times a day. With a fraction of the resources of Google, Amazon, or Facebook, they have a similar impact on the future of the Internet. How is this possible? What's different about how they work, and what can other companies learn from their methods?

To find out, former Microsoft veteran Scott Berkun worked as a manager at WordPress.com, leading a team of young programmers developing new ideas. The Year Without Pants shares the secrets of WordPress.com's phenomenal success from the inside. Berkun's story reveals insights on creativity, productivity, and leadership from the kind of workplace that might be in everyone's future.

  • Offers a fast-paced and entertaining insider's account of how an amazing, powerful organization achieves impressive results
  • Includes vital lessons about work culture and managing creativity
  • Written by author and popular blogger Scott Berkun (scottberkun.com)

The Year Without Pants shares what every organization can learn from the world-changing ideas for the future of work at the heart of Automattic's success.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
11/25/2013
The title is taken from an inside joke among members of author Burkun's former team of employees at WordPress.com—the popular open-source blogging tool and content management system. A former Microsoft manager who helped launch Internet Explorer, Burkun (Mindfire: Big Ideas for Curious Minds) took the job at Automattic Inc., the San Francisco-based web-development company that runs WordPress, with the intent of writing a book about his experience immersed in what he calls "a work culture … from the future." WordPress powers about 20 percent of the entire Internet and thrives on freedom and experimentation by proudly encouraging employees to work remotely, to use Skype instead of e-mail, and hold meetings in locales ranging from Portland, Ore., to Athens, Greece. Berkun, who worked at the company from August 2010 to May 2012, writes with unflinching honesty about his experiences and lessons learned as a team leader in an organization with few boundaries. He highlights the organization's strengths (applying them to all levels of work) and weaknesses. Not surprisingly, the book often reads like a series of blog posts, with almost as much emphasis placed on interpersonal adventures as on the refreshing, invigorating promise of what work can be. (Sept.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781118660638
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 9/10/2013
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 632,735
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Scott Berkun is the author of four popular books: Making Things Happen, The Myths of Innovation, Confessions of a Public Speaker, and Mindfire: Big Ideas for Curious Minds. His work as a writer and speaker has appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Times, Wired, the Economist, Fast Company, and Forbes and on CNBC, MSNBC, CNN, National Public Radio, and other media. His many popular essays and entertaining lectures can be found for free on his blog at www.scottberkun.com, and he tweets at @berkun. (Berkun may or may not be wearing pants in this photo.)

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Table of Contents

What You Need to Know 1

1 The Hotel Electra 3

2 The First Day 9

3 Tickets for Caturday 20

4 Culture Always Wins 28

5 Your Meetings Will Be Typed 41

6 The Bazaar at the Cathedral 53

7 The Big Talk 64

8 The Future of Work, Part 1 73

9 Working the Team 82

10 How to Start a Fire 95

11 Real Artists Ship 106

12 Athens Lost and Found 118

13 Double Down 129

14 There Can Be Only One 138

15 The Future of Work, Part 2 148

16 Innovation and Friction 161

17 The Intense Debate 166

18 Follow the Sun 171

19 The Rise of Jetpack 175

20 Show Me the Money 186

21 Portland and the Collective 195

22 The Bureau of Socialization 211

23 Exit Through Hawaii 223

24 The Future of Work, Part 3 230

Epilogue: Where Are They Now? 234

Notes 236

Annotated Bibliography 241

Acknowledgments 243

About the Author 245

Index 247

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 26, 2014

    A decent look at one person's experience working for an innovati

    A decent look at one person's experience working for an innovative company

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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