Toni Schneider, founding partner True Ventures, Swisspreneur Podcast
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Timestamps:

15:46 – How to build a company on open source
22:40 – Scaling Automattic with a distributed team
36:20 – Having a long-term view of your startup
44:18 – Loneliness as a startup CEO
51:13 – Creating feedback loops

About Toni Schneider and Automattic

Toni Schneider is a founding Partner of True Ventures. From 2006-2014 he was CEO of Automattic where he led WordPress.com to become a top 10 global internet destination with close to a billion monthly visitors. At Automattic, Toni also helped create a new type of startup with over 300 employees working together in an “office optional”, distributed fashion from homes and co-working spaces in over 40 countries. His career in technology began as a software engineer at Crystal River Engineering where he built 3D audio simulators for NASA and a VP of Technology at Aureal Semiconductor (acquired by Creative Labs). He joined the world of startups as the co-founder of Uplister, a venture-backed music recommendation startup in early 2000. It was his role as CEO of Oddpost, however, that may have impacted his career path most significantly. Yahoo! acquired Oddpost in 2004, which formed the basis of the new Yahoo! Mail used by over 250 million people around the world. Toni joined Yahoo! as a VP and created the Yahoo! Developer Network. While at True and Automattic, he also found time to co-found Sphere (acquired by AOL) with Tony Conrad. Voted startup CEO of the Year at the 2007 Crunchies, Toni’s leadership style is commended by many of those who have worked for or with him. When he is not running a company or advising another, you can find him in his VW van crossing the US with his family, coaching San Francisco Little League baseball, or tinkering with old cars.

Memorable Quotes

“What made WordPress unique from day 1 was how customizable and extendable it was.”

“Our mission with WordPress was to democratize publishing.”

“Everyone who writes code should get to work directly with the customer.”

“Being a CEO is by design a lonely job.”

“The things that work in Silicon Valley are largely tied to Venture Capital.”

“Switzerland’s stability and long-term thinking can be an entrepreneurial strength.”

If you would like to hear more conversations on being a startup CEO, check out our episodes with Alex Fries and Phil Lojacono.

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