A Final Prospress Post…

tl;dr – Prospress has some rather big news to share in this post! We have been acquired by Automattic – the incredible company that brought us both WordPress.com and acquired WooCommerce itself via the WooThemes acquisition in 2015.

The Origin Story

I first installed WordPress in 2009. It was love at first site.

The experience left me so enamoured, I went searching for who or what was behind it. I entered the rabbit hole and liked what I found.

The most memorable discovery was a post on Matt’s blog pointing to a story about WordPress.com being blocked by the Great Firewall of China.

This is why I remember that story:

After some discussions, Mullenweg realised the site would be allowed back online if he agreed to block certain words or topics and give up information to the Chinese communist government about users. “I started thinking about the DNA of the company,” he said. “That sort of company is not one I would wake up every day and feel passionate about working in.”

What an amazing company to be a part of, I thought.

Yesterday, 10 years later, Prospress joined Automattic.

We didn’t build Prospress with the plan to sell – but the opportunity to join Automattic was too good to miss. I’m confident this move is going to benefit our customers, our products, our team, and WooCommerce itself.

The Back Story

A number of months ago, I had coffee with Paul Maiorana from Automattic to talk all things Woo. As part of that, while talking about Prospress and in particular some of our products, we discussed the idea of Prospress joining Automattic.

As the new year dawned, the more I thought about the prospect of Prospress joining Automattic, the more I began to see this as a better path forward not only for our team and products, but for WooCommerce as a platform and ecosystem.

What does this mean for our customers?

Firstly, if you are a customer of WooCommerce Subscriptions, Robot Ninja or AutomateWoo – thank you – we appreciate your support! We would also like to reassure you that for the foreseeable future nothing will change with the products you use for your store.

In fact, because WooCommerce Subscriptions is sold exclusively through the WooCommerce Marketplace Subscriptions, users are already joint customers of both Automattic and Prospress!

The team and I will also be joining Automattic so the same wonderful and friendly people will be there to support you. If you have any support-related questions, reach out to info@woocommerce.com.

With Prospress becoming a part of Automattic in the WooCommerce division, we will drive a more unified experience for WooCommerce stores. We have always worked hard to ensure compatibility with new versions of WooCommerce, but in future Subscriptions will be updated from within the WooCommerce team, which is extra insurance for everyone running Subscriptions.

Even though the Prospress team has a new home, there’s one thing that will never change: our drive to develop high quality software and tools that help WooCommerce store owners prosper with WordPress.

What does this mean for Prospress?

I believe Automattic will be the best place in the world for the Prospress team into the future. We will have more diverse products to work on, more experienced people to learn from, and an even larger group of amazing colleagues to work with.

I also know many things will be the same, like being able to work on products for a mission that matters.

Overall, Prospress will have a greater opportunity to improve the Woo world because of the weight, reach, and resources of the company behind us.

What does this mean for WooCommerce?

The WooCommerce community has always been of great importance to Prospress. Over the years, we’ve encouraged our team to be involved with their local meetup, contribute to the core codebase and generally be an active, positive community participant. I like to think we’ve contributed a lot to WooCommerce. But the contributions made by Automattic are astounding – both to the code and community.

With Automattic we can show the woorld what a great community and ecosystem exists around WooCommerce, and also lead by example to encourage that kind of contribution from other members of the community.

We will also have access to fantastic resources to keep developing both our current products – and future software – that will be of great benefit to WooCommerce stores.

Thank You

If you’ve subscribed to one of our products, thank you for your support! Everything we’ve been able to do is because of support from customers like you. We will continue to work to serve you and your business.

To the team at Prospress – thank you for joining me on this adventure. As we know, it takes an enormous amount of work to build great products, support thousands of customers, and manage a growing, distributed team. I’m grateful to each of you for joining me on this adventure, and the adventure to come.

To the team at Automattic – thank you for this opportunity. A special thank you to those I’ve been working with lately on the process for all the hard work to get to close.

Final Thoughts

I wrote my first line of code for WooCommerce in 2011. Since then, I, and others on the team, have dedicated well over half a decade to working on WooCommerce and Prospress. We felt what we were doing was worthwhile, especially around having a distributed workplace that cared deeply about its people and building products released under open source, and more generally, a company where impact was the primary goal, not profit.

I believe we have been successful in this goal.

I know the same values that have driven me personally, and Prospress, are a part of Automattic which is why I also know, by joining them, we will continue to work toward the same goals, only with a bigger team so we can have a greater impact.

How better to help people prosper with WordPress, and reach our goal of helping 100,000 people sell more with WooCommerce than to join the core team responsible for WooCommerce.

On a professional level, I’m also excited about the new challenges and other learning opportunities of being a part of a large, diverse team that is in many ways leading the world in both the new model of distributed work and commercially driven, sustainable open-source.

This is an exciting new chapter. If you want to write it with me and the team at Prospress, Automattic are hiring!


Read more on TechCrunch or WooCommerce.com.
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12 responses to A Final Prospress Post…

  1. Dee

    Congratulations Brent, an exiting time all round. Automattic are lucky to have you and your crew.

  2. Nirav Mehta

    Congratulations Brent and team. You guys have contributed immensely to the ecosystem and joining Automattic is certainly a step in the right direction for everyone.

    Full speed ahead!

  3. Jake Hawkes

    Congratulations!

    I would like to see a tweet or some details about the future integration of Robot Ninja and AutomateWoo! I am by no means a power user of either, but Woo has a pretty sparse email and abandonment solution, and store preflight is something I have been behind from beta. I would think that both of these would be a welcome addition to Woo in the form of an add-on or core…any thoughts on this?

    • Brent Shepherd
      Post Author

      Hi Jake! Their future has been discussed, and we have lots of thoughts and ideas for both, but no plans yet. There’s a lot of new opportunities for both new products now, so please be sure to let us know your thoughts either via support or the respective Ideas boards for each product. We’ll be listening to those as always.

  4. Catalina Zapata

    Great news. From the community of “WordPress Medellin” we send you the best energy and that this union is translated into “Add to Multiply”

  5. Panagiotis Kontogiannis

    I read it on the blog of Matt and understand that you are already a partner. Congratulations, WordPress drive 30% of the internet sites and are the leaders in this attitude.

  6. Kat

    I got a bit choked up reading this, even though I already knew the gist of the news. Making it personal and sharing your story really hit home, and thank you for that.

    As I’ve said to you in private, you’ve always had a place in our hearts at Woo 🙂

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