Motivated by Impact more than Money

This part of the creed is brought up every time someone tries to talk about compensation. But at Automattic:

  • Employees do not receive equity (shares) as part of their compensation. At least in the US tech industry, this is extremely uncommon. Everyone from startups to Amazon include equity as part of their compensation.
  • The shares that employees can buy is some sort of weird second-class citizen stock, with a vague promise that Automattic will “treat you fairly” in case of an acquisition or other type of financially significant event.
  • There is no performance based bonus or reward, regardless of how much impact you make at/for the company.


  • Automattic goes from a valuation of $1B to $3B in five years, thanks in part (mostly) to its unique and passionate workforce.
  • The above success is achieved while Automattic’s philosophy of autonomy, flexibility and work-life balance appears to be eroding.

Who benefits from all this “success”?

Does this look like “motivated by impact more than money”?