This is a big deal. It was one thing to compete with other hosts while monopolizing the brand name. Now it looks like they're about to compete with the agencies and devs that have made WordPress what it is over the years.

@chris Took longer than I expected, but saw this coming a few years back. It's a natural form of evolution as a market evolves.

See also the way Starbucks grew so rapidly in the late 90s/early 2000s when they cannibalized their own franchisees (using successful franchises as a form of cheap market research).

@ericmann Yeah. I agree with you and I get it. Still going to mark a bad start of the year to a lot of people reading that today.

@chris Without a doubt. Was one of the biggest reasons I pushed (or tried to push) a certain agency to be more than "a WordPress shop" for so long. I saw the writing on the wall ...

Like I said, it took longer than I'd expected, but anyone in that field who didn't anticipate this as a possibility should really have been paying closer attention to the market as a whole.

@jan I was wondering if we'll see a8c hitting any anti-trust issues in coming years with stuff like this. It will be interesting.

@chris I mean, I don’t think so. Not ’til they actually start buying up all of the up and coming competitors. (Well, they sort of just went and bought WooThemes, I guess. And made it better.) Still, wondering if market shares near 50% are still healthy. That said, Apache—the web server SW—is probably at that level or above, too, and no one—I think!—seems to really be profiteering off of that.

@chris Suddenly thinking of Internet Explorer, and how things worked out in that case. 😃

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Chris Wiegman

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