Dear Matt Mullenweg: an open letter from Wix.com’s CEO Avishai Abraham
Yesterday, Wix.com’s CEO Avishai Abrahm posted an open letter to Matt Mullenweg of WordPress.com fame. The ‘rant’ was titled “Dear Matt Mullenweg: an open letter from Wix.com’s CEO Avishai Abraham”.
WordPress is reported to power over 20% of the web. Wix is growing fast. In fact it’s stock price and total valuation has been soaring. Yahoo Finance News currently shows a current valuation as we begin the last day of October 2016 of $1,750,000,000: That’s almost $2 billion dollars making it one of the most valuable free sites offering it’s own free website builder.
WordPress is private so it’s valuation isn’t offered by Yahoo. Numerous reports have indicated that it’s private parent, which Mullenweg heads, is valued north of $wix. Wordpress is another of the most valuable free sites offering it’s own free website builder.
FreeSites.com’s valuation by contrast is based on helping you choose between Wix, WordPress, and over 48 additional free website builders to get your website online….for free! We’re large enough to offer you the best free tools and services. We’re small enough to offer you personal service. We care.
The public letter is copied below for your convenience. It’s also found originally on the Wix.com website here.
We were all very surprised by your post, as you have so many claims against us.
Wow, dude I did not even know we were fighting.
First, you say we have been taking from the open source community without giving back, well, of course, that isn’t true. Here is a list of 224 projects on our publicGitHub page, and as you can see they are all dated before your post. We have not checked if WordPress is using them, but you are more than welcome to do so, some of them are pretty good.
We always shared and admired your commitment to give back, which is exactly why we have those 224 open source projects, and thousands more bugs/improvements available to the open source community and we will release the app you saw as well.
Next, you talk about the Wix App being stolen from WordPress. There are more than 3 million lines of code in the Wix application, notably the hotels/blogs/chat/eCommerce/scheduling/booking is all our code.
Yes, we did use the WordPress open source library for a minor part of the application (that is the concept of open source right?), and everything we improved there or modified, we submitted back as open source, see here in this link – you should check it out, pretty cool way of using it on mobile native. I really think you guys can use it with your app (and it is open source, so you are welcome to use it for free). And, by the way, the part that we used was in fact developed by another and modified by you.
If you want to read the account from Tal Kol, one of the leading engineers on this project, here it is. He was really happy to share his side of the story.
Now, what is this thing about us stealing your branding? Our product was always called Wix and our website Wix.com, we never borrowed from your marketing or brand.
In fact, if I remember correctly, until recently the Automattic home page was all about blogs and only recently it has become “websites.” Also, your business model changed to almost exactly the one we had for years. Can it be that you guys are borrowing from us? If so, again, you are welcome to it.
If you believe that we need to give you credit, that you deserve credit, I must say, absolutely yes. You guys deserve a lot of credit, but not because of a few lines of source code, you deserve credit because you guys have been making the internet dramatically better, and for that we at Wix are big fans. We love what you have been trying to do, and are working very hard to add our own contribution to make the internet better.
If you need source code that we have, and we have not yet released, then, most likely we will be happy to share, you only need to ask. We share your belief that making the internet better, is best for everyone.
Finally, during the last couple of years, I reached out a couple of times trying to meet with you. Could I do that again here? I believe in friendly competition, and as much fun as it is to chat over the blogosphere, maybe we can also do it over a cup of coffee?