14 comments

  • Mike Wilson, over 2 years ago

    Quite frankly, this reads like a load of BS to cover up the fact that they're firing a bunch of people. They've been living high off of 100+ million in VC dough while conveniently ignoring the fact that the content industry is insanely hard to make money in.

    Even though Medium wasn't covered in banner ads, it was still just a bunch of people trying to sell you things....themselves. Content marketing and clickbait is not something users will ever pay for. The amount of wannabe thought-leaders writing 3 paragraph "listicles" filled with generic advice and business jargon was growing to near-Linkedin levels.

    Ultimately, Medium will fail because good content requires people with valuable insights to spend many hours planning, researching, and crafting that content. Very few people will do that for free.

    30 points
    • Rushabh MehtaRushabh Mehta, over 2 years ago

      I agree Medium is losing quality with a lot of link-bait of late, but it is still the best platform of its type. This is still the place where you find thoughtful and light articles to read. Ultimately Medium needs to start subscriptions and then pay the writers. This is a hard one to crack, but if anyone can, it is Medium.

      I think this is a brave move by Ev Williams. It will be interesting to see what they do next.

      5 points
  • Jim SilvermanJim Silverman, over 2 years ago (edited over 2 years ago )

    i liked the part where he seemed to only recently discover that ads are for businesses not people. better late than never?

    Upon further reflection, it’s clear that the broken system is ad-driven media on the internet. It simply doesn’t serve people. In fact, it’s not designed to. The vast majority of articles, videos, and other “content” we all consume on a daily basis is paid for — directly or indirectly — by corporations who are funding it in order to advance their goals. And it is measured, amplified, and rewarded based on its ability to do that. Period. As a result, we get…well, what we get. And it’s getting worse.

    6 points
    • Deny Khoung, over 2 years ago

      haha yes! Same paragraph stood out to me. Kudos to them for trying to go against this—people are just so used to news being free, will be tough to strike a balance.

      1 point
      • John PJohn P, over 2 years ago

        I'm sure the 50 people who are now jobless are happy the company tried to go against this too.

        1 point
    • Mike Wilson, over 2 years ago

      Does this also mean those clips they've been putting in between TV shows for the last 70 years are just corporate messages meant to sell me things?

      My God....

      6 points
  • barry saundersbarry saunders, over 2 years ago

    Oh no, where will I go to read 19 year olds pontificating about human nature and designers learning to code now?

    6 points
  • Wes OudshoornWes Oudshoorn, over 2 years ago

    Like a frog being boiled. Slowly got caught up in quantity > quality, growing aggressively and in the end finding yourself in a position you never intended to be in.

    I think it is a hard decision to fire a large part of your staff, but if you want to change the focus of your company, sometimes you need new people to do so.

    Payment models for journalism is hard. Two Dutch startups are pretty successful in this: Blendle.com is aggregating the best articles from major newspapers and magazines and selling them on a piece by piece basis. De Correspondent is a €6 a month subscription to quality online journalism. They have a pretty big following and are the first ones to really crack the "online magazine" model.

    4 points
  • John PJohn P, over 2 years ago (edited over 2 years ago )

    We decided we needed to take a different — and bolder — approach to this problem. We believe people who write and share ideas should be rewarded on their ability to enlighten and inform, not simply their ability to attract a few seconds of attention. We believe there are millions of thinking people who want to deepen their understanding of the world and are dissatisfied with what they get from traditional news and their social feeds. We believe that a better system — one that serves people — is possible. In fact, it’s imperative. So, we are shifting our resources and attention to defining a new model for writers and creators to be rewarded, based on the value they’re creating for people. And toward building a transformational product for curious humans who want to get smarter about the world every day.

    Love these two paragraphs, stroke the egos of your users (as if Medium users massive egos actually need stroking) and tell them how enlightened and important they are so they forget you just fired a third of your workforce, shut down two offices and haven't the slightest clue on how to run your company in a functional way.

    4 points
  • John PJohn P, over 2 years ago

    Reader, writer, ponderer, father.

    Shame he didn't ponder up a business model so 50 people wouldn't be out of work.

    The cracks are forming, Medium is the canary in the coal mine. If you work at Twitter it's time to update your CV.

    2 points
  • James Young, over 2 years ago

    Basically this:

    https://medium.com/@DHoedy/tl-dr-were-in-such-dire-financial-trouble-that-we-had-to-lay-1-3-of-our-workforce-off-and-we-df1bbdb6c743#.z39pf3ja0

    2 points
  • Slavo Glinsky, over 2 years ago

    I guess this was quite obvious since main point of creating content online is revenue on some point. (for most of publishers)

    So it is only matter of time when ads will arrive. Or some sbuscription methods (which are less likely to generate revenue IMHO)

    0 points