Interview with Brennen Byrne

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Brennen will be presenting Passwords: The Weakest Link in WordPress Security on  Saturday in the Development track

Brennen is the cofounder and CEO of Clef (, a replacement for usernames and passwords online. His focus is on making advanced technology accessible to anyone and applying it to everyday use cases. Clef relies on public key cryptography, a standard which developers and security experts have used for years, but is wrapped in a mobile app that makes logging in faster and easier than ever.

Brennen and his team launched Clef in June of 2013, and has grown to power logins on more than 2,500 sites around the web. The New York times described logging in with Clef as “magical” and has been recommended by security experts around the web. After leading the Petition Against Passwords in 2013, Clef has been at the center of the global conversation about the next generation of online security.

Active in the WordPress community, Brennen has spoken about security at WordCamps across the country from Phoenix to Buffalo.


Why do you use WordPress?
I use WordPress because of the community behind it. There is a lot of software that can be used to build sites on the web, but WordPress has become the strongest offering by being inclusive. The result is a platform that is flexible and well supported.

What would you say to convince someone to attend a WordCamp?
You can’t really evaluate WordPress without understanding the community, and WordCamps are the best place to come face to face with a big cross-section of the community. In so many ways, WordPress is the WordCamps.

What is your favorite WordPress project you have worked on recently?
I spend all of my time working on Clef, so I really don’t have an option on this one.

Do you have any advice for someone looking to start or grow a WordPress based business?
Ask for help! There are so many wonderful people who would love to talk to you about the ins and outs of working with WordPress and all you have to do is ask. In many parts of life, people are guarded and secretive, but in WordPress, everyone is willing to help.

What is your favorite WordPress-related resource?
The WordCamps.

Tell us something awesome about yourself that is not WordPress related
I used to be a developer and write a blog called post-technical about the lessons I’ve learned moving from a technical to a business role. There are a lot of exciting opportunities for developers in the world right now, but the technology industry needs people of all different backgrounds to power the next generation of innovation.