Matt Mullenweg: I'm Worried That Silicon Valley Might Be Destroying the World
Speaking tonight to Sarah Lacy at PandoMonthly in New York, WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg confessed to feeling conflicted about one of the blogging service's upcoming features: Notifications.
Mullenweg said he's concerned that Silicon Valley is creating products that are so engaging that they're also incredibly distracting, to the detriment of creativity and productivity.
He fretted that some of these socially disruptive technologies might be "morally destitute." He has been preoccupied with the question: "Is Silicon Valley destroying the world?" And that extends to his own company.
Mullenweg said he's been having a moral dilemma about WordPress's upcoming push notifications. "We're now going to be pinging people when they're having a conversation with a loved one."
The jazz-loving, photography-mad, BBQ lover (WordPress sponsored a team at the recent World BBQ Championships) had been talking about the value of having the mental "space" to come up with great ideas. That's why many ideas come to us in the shower. "You're doing something and you're thinking, but you're not thinking," he said.
Mullenweg's comments echoed neurologist and author Jonah Lehrer's suggestion in his book "Imagine" that states of relaxation are much better at generating moments of insight, because "we’re able to turn the spotlight of attention inwards, and finally hear that quiet voice coming into the back of our heads giving us the answer."