When I peered in the window at 140 Hawthorne Street in San Francisco, the place looked deserted. Maybe Automattic, the company that owns WordPress, had already abandoned the 14,000-square-foot former warehouse it renovated just four years ago.

The long work tables were still there, the Aeron chairs still awaiting laptop-porting employees, a big screen still ready for someone's presentation, a few computers still lining a back table. But no one seemed to be around.

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