In May 2015 Ev explained to us what Medium is not:
to which I’ve written a rather large piece as a response:
Now Ev explains in a nice PR-ish language how the media and advertising marriage made in hell didn’t let the shiny new young platform join the party.
You gotta wonder about the whole vision speech. It would have been a better service to the world to explain where exactly did the idea get stuck: not enough volume, wasn’t the platform big enough, is it a technology issue (ad management, the CMS), was is the corrupt budget managers of various brands … idk.
This whole blah blah “our vision is to be the saint content liberators” is a both funny and completely useless.
It is not to say that Ev has no inner drive or that Medium is a company that doesn’t stick to their mission or vision, but it is just that they communicate:
– hey we tried to do better — they didn’t let us — we’re leaving
Why? Who cares? Do investors really believe this? Do users really believe this? This is a money making device, this whole thing, and like all Silicon Valley companies it is a medium term bet, possibly, considering Ev’s and his board friends’ personal asset dedication, long term. It is not a non profit community service.
As much as it is a good thing that profit generates innovation, it is also a bad thing that profit loves inoculation, aka educating the market. Therefore the benefit you get from someone else’s profit is not about the real need, but about the imaginary one their innovation solves. Very little product innovation is rising from true social problems, intimate needs, hardships of life. Almost all those who serve these are NGOs.
This is what happens when you try to solve something solved.
The online advertising industry, technology, methodologies, are ripe for big updates, but the way companies pay for their advertising is a long solved problem. Brands fight for awareness, products await conversions. The end.
Now ideas are is up for grabs. Everyone knows how Medium could do better and what it should do next. My idea remains the same as it was explained in the article from 2015:
The network is the scales. When the platform leans to society the individual looses, when it leans to individual the society looses. The network can make the concession for the greater good or not.