If you visit WordPress.org , you can’t help noticing a massive banner at the top of the page urging you to support WP’s bid to win the “Most Likely to Succeed Award” from the 2007 Crunchies. And over at automattic.com, there’s a front-page blog post by Matt Mullenweg, WP’s driving force, also urging you to vote .
The Crunchies are new this year. It’s a web-based awards gimmick, like the Webbies, I guess, but with a goal “to recognize and celebrate the most compelling startups, internet and technology innovations of the year.” For WordPress to win a Crunchy, those voting need to agree that it is the “site most likely to meet with future financial success (may be defined as revenue creation, a big exit, or other future accomplishment).”
If the WP folks are encouraging people to vote for them, then apparently they themselves foresee significant future financial successes. Now, WP itself is free, so that’s not the source of money. They also offer a few fee-based services, as well as paid add-ons for (free) wordpress.com blogs. But I have my doubts that those efforts bring in major revenues.
So here’s my question. Does this portend an effort by the folks at automattic to build up goodwill so they can seek a buyout by Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, or one of the other major players?
Honestly, I’m a little surprised not to have already seen the headline, “WordPress acquired by Google.”