Well I am quite shy to tell you my story, especially when a lot of eyes are looking up at me on the stage.
Hello, Matt! Hello everybody! It is a great honor to present in WordCamp today.
“All We Really Need to Know
We Have Learned from WordPress”
“Today I will share with you three stories
that I learned from WordPress.”
Today I will share with you three stories that I learned from WordPress. Let’s start.
“The ﬁrst story of my experience with
Open source and WordPress.”
PART 1. OPEN SOURCE & WORDPRESS (1st story)
“INTERNET & WEB”
PART 1. INTERNET & WEB
About 15 years ago I was working in management, in a major hamburger restaurant. Everyday in that company was very hard, both mentally and physically. Nevertheless, I believe that this is the best environment to learn practical Science and Marketing Management, since this company has been
successful on a global scale.
After four years of working there, I finally left that company because I decided to start my own line of Web business and it all dates back to my school days.
As a student, I was the leader of an outdoor club where I had spent most of my four years in outdoor activities. I remember our mountain adventures where I and my members’ lives were side-by-side with danger. Over a period of several weeks of vacation, I and my team experienced astounding acts
of nature that even made our group stronger and more united.
After being in that long vacation, my part-time job could not cover all the costs for our organisation. Therefore, there is a need to raise club funds, so that our club can survive. We need this for equipment purchase and maintenance to protect our safety in the outdoors, but then I realised that we were
not able to raise enough money, and I’m afraid that our club will fall and there would be no more activities.
Because of this desperate situation, we came up with a method of club announcement. We made a Website where we can list our future activities and plans. It was a breakthrough at that time since it was very rare to have something like a ‘Homepage’. This outdoor club site was made accessible to the
public so they can see our presentation about a long-term camp that we were planning. When I thought our club would not survive, I was wrong. Now I am proud to say that this idea survived for more than 20 years.
As a result of this, I learned that there is a possibility of communication on the net as long as I can understand any HTML, mechanism of text chat, bulletin boards and Web servers.
PART 2. COLLEGE DROP-OUT
This was the first time for me to officially meet the Web. After graduating, I no longer serve hamburger chains. But management and marketing are the two things I would like to conquer, as if to overcome the world’s highest mountain.
I felt a great deal of stress since there was only one PC in the workplace, besides being shared by many. The specs are low, not to mention the daily data processing being horribly slow. Because of these, I seemed to forget my sole purpose. I cannot continue marketing efficiently using the
Web and e-mail. Therefore, my idea was to use PowerPoint for planning, coupons, local production, and promotional materials.
By that time, three years have passed with stress and I do not even wish to try out the idea the company wanted. I could not see any value in my job anymore. I had no clue what other work I can do besides this, but I planned to change my profession. From what I experienced as a student
before, I had this strong conviction that the new style of marketing through the Internet and Website is going to be an interesting business, so we decided to believe that everything would turn out just fine.
In fact, it was pretty scary at that time. Just looking back at this now, it was one of my life’s best decision. From the moment I became unemployed and retired, I had all day surfing the net to check what business can be deployed as websites with online contents. I find the Web to be exciting
in terms of its mechanism.
On the other hand, my life turned out for the worst. My revenue was zero since I did not work at all. I guess I stayed stuck in the hamburger chain life, where in the morning I would order coffee and potato on a daily basis. Because of this routine, I just wasted all my savings. No savings were
left, not even a little, since I am living it off anyway. Moreover, I got married.
However, because of these results, I had a great interest of facing the Internet all the time. Due to this, I was able to discover the wonderful world of Open Source, and above all, WordPress. My life suddenly turned 180 degrees and finally, I was able to feel change, and that I am getting
something of value. And we are going to talk about that specific one right now.
“CONNECTING THE DOTS”
PART 3. CONNECTING THE DOTS
In 2005, I think most people considered that using Open Source software actively for business was risky because it’s free. If in case there would be trouble, who would you ask? Who are the developers? We have no idea if there would even be a customer support.
Despite of this idea, I saw Open Source in a different light. I saw a great opportunity with it since it’s free. And with that, people would want to use it even more. Moreover, businesses who use Open Source correctly, would succeed remarkably.
Open Source being free, I considered it to be the easiest way for me to gain quick income. I had the idea of marketing small businesses by providing them a website. I started from engaging in business proposals to negotiations to attending many meetings. I started to work in
production and we diligently code everything page by page using a software. As an amateur, it was both a good practice and experience for me, but working with it for a few months, I felt like I am ready to give up.
These are some things that can occur in the field of Web production. Looking back at my experience in the hamburger chain, and looking back at what I do now, it was a big dream that came to life and this totally revived me whole.
Now we accept jobs only from our website. We don’t need to meet our clients or visit them personally. We update the contents through a manual after completion. With this I believe that Open Source is the best, and it’s WordPress that made me realize all these ideas.
I imagine that without plugins, themes and very useful features that even regular people can edit the contents, my idea of "drive-through way" wouldn't become a reality and our company's services related to WordPress and web hosting by AWS wouldn't exist.
Someone I truly admire and respect, Steve Jobs, once told a story about “CONNECTING THE DOTS.” As he said, “you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future."
In retrospect, I think my unrelated experiences and skills have connected me to Open Source Software and WordPress.
So I hope, similarly, your attending to WordCamp Kansai here today will be that “dot,” that someday when you look back to it will be the day that is the most important and the closest thing to your heart.
“The second story is about the
community and ecosystem.”
The second story is about the community and ecosystem.
“COMMUNITY & ECOSYSTEM”
PART 4. COMMUNITY & ECOSYSTEM (2nd story)
I was lucky. I was able to be immersed into the CMS production website by taking advantage from an early stage of WordPress. My company and I was published for the first time as a firm in Asia to the directory of WordPress Consultant CodePoet. It was around 2008, just about two years after I started using
WordPress. At that time, this had been a staff of four people including myself, and this is to made a living to somehow make WordPress themes work.
We have an honest community of contributors, translators and plugin developers who contributed to WordPress for free, and somehow in my conscience, I kind of felt a vague sense of guilt for them because we use WordPress for business.
In 2009, I applied as one of the speakers for a Lightning Talk in WordCamp Tokyo, but I felt fear to stand there in the podium simply because of the guilt I felt inside me. It was indeed an exciting news to meet Matt, but I felt like apologizing to him and to the community. And even before, I was thinking that if
something went wrong because of what I did, I was like ready to take one step backward.
However, after listening to inspiring talks (in WordCamp Tokyo 2009), and meeting contributors, my fear starts to fade away little by little. And at that very time, I had a ‘lightbulb moment,’ which was to spread the idea of the goodness and positive results of Open Source and to how to successfully turn it into a
At that very moment as well, I did not realize that that was going to be my turning point. And the feeling of guilt that I had before turned into something very optimistic and beautiful, and thus I continued to participate in the WordPress ecosystem and make stronger community-driven teams.
In addition, I think the reason why developers and translators join my company is the fact that they have a strong feeling to support the WordPress community. For the people who are here today, if you feel uneasy or afraid to participate in the Open Source and WordPress community, please feel free to speak
to the staff and speakers. I deeply feel that the time has come when there are “better ideas” because there are more and more community-driven people like you. And I thank you for that.
“The third story is about life and ways of
The third story is about life and ways of working.
“ABOUT WORK STYLE”
PART 5. ABOUT WORK STYLE (3rd story)
By using Open Source WordPress, working remotely is now the “way of working.” There are advantages and disadvantages of remote work, but I can say that service expertise are highly valued, and this can be the case of companies that are based on Open Source. For example,
Open Source companies like Automattic, 37signals, and Github has been successful by remote work, and our team also works remotely.
Majority of our work issues can be solved through the Internet and this is increasing more and more. I would like to think a situation such as employees and their boss would stay together at the same floor, same department for one week, and business hours would be consumed in
communication, meetings, etc. There would be lesser production with this, I think.
Yet if you take in remote work, we create an environment utilising the right tools for a specific purpose, and there is always a smooth communication, thus they would not feel the loneliness of their job. With remote work, I think that sharing information via the internet has become
so open that you can access it at any time necessary.
With Open Source WordPress, you can increase the productivity of work while working at any time and any place that suits you. Furthermore, I believe that your time with your family and friends are increased and the more it will enrich your life.
“LIFE & CAREER PATH”
PART 6. LIFE & CAREER PATH
When I started this business at the age of 30, I established two rules. The first is to quit “after 10 years,” and the other is to "do business in the Open Source". I decided such rules because of “Akisho,” which means “I get bored easily.”
I honestly felt that "the way of working” is difficult in this business, and this is only once in a life for me. However, I did not want to give up and get bored too soon with the “way of working”.
There are various purposes for working. It could be for the money or for “that work style,” then you tend to realise what it is you really want. The only thing I hope for is, "I want to be happy" at the time given by this finite life. And I think one of the many ways to achieve that happiness is
that "way of working".
For me, “work purpose” and “how to make your purpose work,” can both elicit the best performance and creativity by using the Open Source WordPress. I would like to share a TED presentation called, “The Puzzle of Motivation” by Dan Pink. He said it is not entirely true that with “external
motivation,” (like incentives and rewards) there would be a high-quality work in the "modern society.” We may be motivated to work because of the reward, but with “internal motivation,” (you do things just because you love it and enjoy it), then performance and quality are much higher than that
of the external motivation.
Our WordPress community is revolving around “internal motivation.” You join here, you participate, you contribute and do various tasks for the love of WordPress. I believe adopting such way of working with "internal motivation" is very important. And this is the environment in which
companies and private individuals with a small capital can feel free to challenge the idea more and more by the spread of cloud services such as AWS.
Business models and companies using Open Source software like WordPress are increasing in number and even becoming more influential. By corresponding to the game change of technology, we can gain and harness experience and skills to participate in the Open Source community and
to the way of working that can bring about the best performance leading to great career paths.
– 私たちはWordPressからなにを学んだのか? そしてこれから…
“All We Really Need to Know
We Have Learned from WordPress.”
PART 7. ALL WE REALLY NEED TO KNOW WE HAVE LEARNED FROM WORDPRESS
To sum it up:
• To those who experienced WordCamp Kansai today, remember this because it might change your life.
• In this era, it is possible to realize that community-driven ideas are coming.
• Open Source will be your lives’ career paths by enriching the way you work.
Thank you very much!