lombardi carried off

WordPress is opportunity. It’s like being at the one yard line every morning I wake.

Last week, because of WordPress, I was able to get my digital nomad on and spend time in a most interesting community, with a more fascinating football team, and arguably, the greatest sports organization ever built: Green Bay, Wisconsin, and the Green Bay Packers.

An original icon of winning the right way through passion, hard work, commitment and loyalty, Vince Lombardi would have been a great WordPress developer. But he came 80 years earlier, so football was likely his best option.

lombardi on Success

So, Green Bay, huh?

It’s always befuddled me how a city that is #68 in media market size would have the greatest sports organization of all time — claiming 11 Titles in it’s storied career. Who would want to stay?

And, WordPress! It’s befuddled me how a couple young folks could write some code, release it, make some updates to it — and then thirteen years later own 25% of the web; and oh, give it away for free, too. Who would want to work for free?

In my lasting confusion, I have found five insights to these trying questions in grand enemy territory – I am, undoubtedly, a Chicago Bears fan – while visiting Lambeau Field and the Packers Hall of Fame. Most importantly, I am convinced that if Vince Lombardi were working in 2016, he’d be into WordPress more than Football.

1) Community Matters

The community, not the organization, is what provides lifeblood to the Packers. Like WordPress, The Packers were and have always have been “owned by the fans.” Here’s a picture of the first certificate sold to the fans.

Packers Shareholder certificate


2) The Players Participate in the Community

Like WordPress, the Packers participate in the community because “that’s just how you do things.” Unlike any other sports organization in the world, the players are intimately involved with the fans, the youth, and the community. They bike with kids to practice all summer.

Thank Lombardi. Just because.

Packers training camp bike with player


3) Passion Drives Success

lombari finest hourAccording to Lombardi, you use your passion to teach others.

And his passion wasn’t just for football, it encompassed life. Having attended many a WordCamp, WordPress may be a hobby for some and a business for others, but is a movement, just like Lombardi’s Packers.

And just like Lombardi, that passion is contagious to the point that it changes people’s lives — indelibly.


4) A Rigorous Work Ethic

I’ve heard that quality of work, activity on GitHub, and your portfolio matter; of course ,they do. Rigor with study to drive athleticism is a key tenet of the Packers organization, too.

Thank Lombardi.  And that’s why, unlike nearly every other NFL team, the Packers now use Friday to study.  Utilizing insights from previous years, they made a dramatic shift to change their approach to the game.

packers friday rigor


5) The Highs and the Lows

packers losing waysIn football, life, and even software development, there are highs and lows, wins and losses. There is no doubt that WordPress has come a long way in the last thirteen years and will continue to experience all of that, and more. 

Following Lombardi’s leaving, the Packers suffered for decades. Sometimes to maintain your greatness, you have to stink for a little bit and own it.

“When you’re winning, it’s a totally different situation. When you lose, everything is rotten. When you win, everything is good.” Larry McCarren Packers Hall of Fame Center 1986

The Vince Lombardi statue, at fourteen feet sits outside Lambeau field in all its glory. It stirs pride and emotion, even for a Chicago Bears Fan.
The Vince Lombardi statue, at fourteen feet sits outside Lambeau field in all its glory. It stirs pride and emotion, even for a Chicago Bears Fan.

Where will the WordPress statues be built?

Likely, all over.

And in reality, WordPress statues are built every day, on website hosts all over the world. Causes are being funded, people have a voice, and publishing has been democratized. That’s the winning attitude Lombardi embodied.

A note about the author: My apologies to all my fellow Chicago Bears fans for celebrating Lombardi and The Pack with WordPress. Unfortunately, the state of the Bears organization is nothing like that of the WordPress community, less Mr. Halas.

Jason Knill is the Head of Finance at WordImpress. He likes golf, running, fishing and occasionally writes.

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