2024’s First Link Blog Post (Because Happy Birthday Matt Mullenweg)

Hunter Walk
2 min readJan 4, 2024

When the founder of WordPress/Automattic says all he wants for his birthday is for you to blog, well, you blog. I’ve known Matt for, gosh, 15 or more years, and although I don’t see him as much as I’d like, I do admire what he’s built here and the spirit with which he lives. Here are some things to read:

There’s No Money in Free Software [ Ben Werdmuller] — The provocative titles refers to Ben’s experience trying to build a startup around an open source product. To be intellectually honest he supplies a few examples of companies which have navigated this tightrope walk but ends up ultimately believing…

“My take is this: if you want to make money building something, sell it. If you want to release your software as open source, release the bit (or a bit) that doesn’t have intrinsic business value. Use that value to pay for the rest. If you need money to eat and put a roof over your head, do what you need to get money. And then if you want to be altruistic, be altruistic with what you can afford to distribute.”

Billion dollar failures, and billion dollar success [Tom Conrad in Conversation with Lenny Rachitsky] — Just a great pod between two product minded humans. Tom reflects on his ‘wins’ [Apple, Pandora, Snapchat] and his more sideways experiences [Pets.com, Quibi] in a way that actually brings emotion to a CV and produces some actionable ideas for people earlier in their careers.

Resetting expectations for VC investing in health tech [Christina Farr/OMERS Growth Equity] — Rather than just rearview punditry (oh no, the era of free money for startups is over), Christina looks at the dynamics of health care venture investing and why it might be *good* for the world to have more small successes in this vertical than everything needing to be a venture scale success (or failure).

Enjoy! And Happy Birthday Matt!

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Originally published at https://hunterwalk.com on January 4, 2024.

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Hunter Walk

You’ll find me @homebrew , Seed Stage Venture Fund w @satyap . Previously made products at YouTube, Google & SecondLife. Married to @cbarlerin .