This makes sense. They’ve invested money, time and energy in building up a huge user base and community, and WordPress.com is one of the most visited sites on the web. Plus they have actually figured out how to generate some kind of revenue from WordPress.com by selling advanced packages and features – something many of today’s web 2.0 and Internet startups have not managed to do, and yet even they get bought out or invested in.
So from an investment point of view, Automattic could be seen as a pretty solid company. But from a lover-of-WordPress point of view, this rumor makes me nervous. Let’s say they are bought out (and Matt and friends get to live happily ever after, which they deserve); what happens to the open source model? Will the free WordPress platform continue to be developed? Will annoying ads be added to WordPress.com blogs? How about plugins – will they be encouraged or banished into the night?
I guess we’ll have to wait and see. On the one hand, I would be happy for the Automattic guys if they get to enjoy a large exit. On the other, selfish hand, I have to ask: what about me?