When I started to use MovableType almost three years ago, I could imagine MovabeType can be very successful (although I didn’t expect the name change to Six Apart). However, it is by no means for me to expect that I will finally meet Mena Trott and Ben, the founders of MovableType after two and half years. Yes. I visited Six Apart office today and was hosted warmly. The best part is, I met Mena and Ben in their conference room, and Barak, CEO of Six Apart. It was wonderful experience for me. I am a strong advocator for MovableType. I didn’t expect the star couple is so young (the same age as me) and they look very nice. Ben even looks a little shy. We chatted a little bit and checked if Mena and Ben mind if I put the conversation on my blog. They said “No. Not at all.” It is the reaction from a very experienced blogger and a blogging tool maker. :-)
What a wonderful day. I will update it later since I need to catch up my lunch at 7:45 pm tonight. I also met Chris, the CEO of Rojo.com and the team. It can be another very cool application on the Internet. Read here for more details.
P.S. I am at one of the top floor of the highest building of San Francisco, the Transamerica Pyramid. The view for the whole bay area is great!
Update About Mena and Ben
The story of Mena and Ben will be another classic startup story. They met in high school and got married before MovableType. Mena is a wonderful writer and among the first bloggers and she asked her husband to help to create software to her to write blog. I guess it can become a pattern for successful product: When a girl ask her boy friend or husband to create a tool for her, chances are, the product will be very popular for others as well. As Wendy put it, it is something with love – with a very specific persona in mind when creating the software. The persona guides the developer (boy friend or husband) to have a consistent view of who the user is. In addition, there is enough motivation to do that… So, I guess if someday Wendy ask me to create something, it can be a great thing.
Mena explained the history of Six Apart in easy and attractive way. It reminds of the old days when MovableType 3.0 Developer Edition was released, along with the charging model. It was a hard period of time for them. The feedback from the community was extremely negative. I remember, at that time, I understood the reason why MovableType changes to the charging plan and why people get so upset about the change. Finally, Mena started to write a series of article on her blog, explaining the thinking behind the change. I believe the articles worked perfectly. Mena handled the crisis extremely well. I though Mena should be something around 30 or 40 in age, judged from the article, but I was so surprised that she is so young, just like a (beautiful) girl next door. I will still be a MovableType fan. Just as Pierre, the founder of eBay, shared in the conference call with us, a human voice is critical to a successful community and business. Mena is the human voice for MovableType, just like Griff to eBay, Craigs to craigslist, and Bill Gates for Microsoft (in early days).