Medium, “how the f*ck are we making money here?”!

*** This is my take on the recent post by Ev Williams on Medium’s refocus. ***

I’m new to Medium as a writer, but I’m a very old follower of the business and consumer of the content.

Lets agree on something. Medium is currently the best publishing platform on the planet. Ok, we don’t have to agree on that. Its just my opinion.

Amazingly simple and slick ui/ux combined with a community that knows to read more that headlines, take part in conversations and thrive.

I hate raising money. Any money. From anyone. “Raising” its a fake word for “giving up”, for “getting a loan”.

All of my startups have been bootstrapped so far. I really don’t get why people cheer over selling a huge part of their company (and ability to decide for it) too early.

Don’t get me wrong. I do get how funding works and i know in some cases its something you can’t grow without. But again, its a strategic positioning if you ask me.

The only reason i can see a startup getting funding is to scale. And scale quickly. And there are industries that you need to do that in order to survive.

Medium did raise $132M in the 5 years of its existence. Money was accompanied by the Silicon Valley fairy-tail.

“If you get the eyeballs, you will find a way to monetise”. And that can be true in many cases. But not in every case.

Just think. Ev Williams (Medium’s founder, Twitter’s co-founder) comes from a place of advantage. He just didn’t have to go that route with Medium. But maybe that was the only way he knew.

Why hiring 150 people so fast ? 
Why raising $132M so fast ? 
Whats the hurry?

If Medium was about “Disruption”, then that may had made some sense. Scaling fast to dominate the new market. But @Medium did not disrupt everything. And thats alright if you ask me. Not every startup has to “Innovate” or “Disrupt” and that shit.

Medium is just another (better) implementation of a publishing platform. Thats all.

Taking VC money too early, when the business is not clear yet (the million dollar question: “how the f*ck are we making money here?”) is like promising a 5X-10X return, based on thin air.

And thats how Silicon Valley works. And if you have a previous win, people with through millions on you just for picking your nose. Thats sick and broken.

That’s not to say Ev doesn’t deserve the dollars. Not at all. It just makes no sense to me.

And now?

Medium has to cut 1/3 of the jobs and reconsider the question “how the f*ck are we making money here?”. They did have 5 years to do so though. And 5 years its a long time.

In case you missed the recent Ev’s post, here it is.

In a real world of logic, when you create something that solves a problem in a substantial better way, that something has to live. In our Silicon Valley — VCs — “Disrupt or die” world that won’t happen.

Ev, now has to deliver on his promise. The 10X.

Its really a pity when creations like Medium have to go just because the numbers wont add up. In business, numbers do matter. We all know that. But we should not raise the bar too high before we have figured out what we are doing in all aspects. And monetisation is a super important one.

Lets hope Ev and Medium will find a way. Will innovate again and replace the “broken advertising” recipe with a new one.

I’ll hate to see Medium fall and we “homeless” start looking around once again for a new home for our expression.

F*ck you “Silicon Valley”-way.

Sorry, i just had to get that out of my system.

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