Books I’ve Loved — Matt Mullenweg (#420)

Welcome to another episode of The Tim Ferriss Show, where it is my job to sit down with world-class performers of all different types—from startup founders and investors to chess champions to Olympic athletes. This episode, however, is an experiment and part of a shorter series I’m doing called “Books I’ve Loved.” I’ve invited some amazing past guests, close friends, and new faces to share their favorite books—the books that have influenced them, changed them, and transformed them for the better. I hope you pick up one or two new mentors—in the form of books—from this new series and apply the lessons in your own life.

Matt Mullenweg (@photomatt) is the founding developer of WordPress, the open-source software used by over 35% of the web. Matt is also the CEO of Automattic, which is now the force behind WordPress.comJetpack, and many other products.

Having built his own 1200-person company with no offices and with employees scattered across 68 countries, Matt examines the benefits and challenges of distributed work and recruiting talented people around the globe on Distributed, which you can find on Apple PodcastsSpotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Please enjoy!

You can find the transcript of this episode here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, or on your favorite podcast platform. 

This podcast is brought to you by Audible

#420: Books I've Loved — Matt Mullenweg

“Books I’ve Loved” on The Tim Ferriss Show is brought to you by Audible! I have used Audible for many years now. I love it. Audible has the largest selection of audiobooks on the planet. I listen when I’m taking walks, I listen while I’m cooking… I listen whenever I can. Audible is offering The Tim Ferriss Show listeners a free audiobook with a 30-day trial membership. Just go to and browse the unmatched selection of audio programs. Then, download your free title and start listening! It’s that easy. Simply go to or text TIM to 500500 to get started today.


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The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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9 Replies to “Books I’ve Loved — Matt Mullenweg (#420)”

  1. Hi Tim or other Tim Ferriss fans. I just started listening the podcasts starting from the beginning in 2014. Now somewhere I heared a quote from a book (I think) where they sum up a few skills a human should have. It was around the episodes of Peter Thiel, Kevin Kelly,… . I listened to them over and over again but can’t find the fragment. Can somebody help me? Thank’s then I can finally continue the episodes : )

    1. Hi, Bram. Tim often refers to a quote by science fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein that begins, “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, con a ship, design a building, write a sonnet….” I’m not sure which episode you heard it in, but you can do a search in the search field at the top, right of the blog or do a Google search for relevant terms. Hope that’s the right quote!
      Team Tim Ferriss

      1. I don’t remember which episode exactly, as it’s been a long time, but it was definitely Kevin Kelly who talked about this with Tim. He was quoting Heinlein, but I think he talked about it a little more, maybe in the context of building his own house.

  2. Hi Tim. I’m just listening to you talk with Esther P and you mention sleeping issues/feeling wired/operating at 20%. I have had similar issues. Something that works for me in a big way is a yogic practice Sudarshan Kriya Yoga. Sometimes it helps me get to sleep, sometimes it saves my day from being terrible if I didn’t sleep (sleep specialists didn’t believe I had an issue as I didn’t present as tired). Anyway I’m not selling – most teachers teach it as a form of service/volunteer work – general public but also in prisons, war veterans and survivors as a form of trauma relief, in schools, etc. I just thought you might be interested – could help:)

  3. Hi Tim!

    I’m reaching out in a moment of personal crisis. Yes, I intend to listen to this episode and actually comment something on-topic shortly, but meanwhile, if you’ve got time:

    I am a high school senior. I was admitted to Princeton, committed, and then today got an offer from U. Chicago to attend for 90K less in tuition cost. Have you addressed student debt somewhere, and I missed it?

    My questions are these: Did you have grapple with significant debt after you graduated? Which school should I choose, if I attempt to emulate the Lifestyle Design you transpose in The 4 Hour Work Week? I want Princeton.

    Thanks. Stay safe!

    (Viewers/commenters are welcome to add opinions as well! I need help with this decision.)

  4. Hi Tim

    A big bunch of episodes seem to have gone missing from Apple Podcasts. The first episodes with Naval Ravikant, and Matt Mullenweg to name a few. If I’m counting correctly, more than 100 episodes seem to be missing right up until episode #140. Would love to see this resolved since I’m eager to go back to some of the first interviews.



  5. Hey Tim,

    I’m normally a big fan of your podcasts, but I must admit that I certainly prefer the interviews/conversions more than this format. I love the idea of “Books I’ve Loved”, but wonder if it would be better delivered through more of an interactive (host and guest) setup. Just food for thought. Keep up the great work.

    Oh, and PS. I loved the one with Peter Attia the other day. Similar to the Kevin Rose ones – pure gold (intellectually) and great entertainment as well!