Ev Williams

CEO of Medium // @ev


Burrell Smith will be your best friend

One of his favorite expressions was “I’ll be your best friend”. He offered “best friendship” for a wide range of activities, like making…


This is hilarious, re early Apple employee Burrell Smith, from Andy Hertzfeld’s book:

One of his favorite expressions was “I’ll be your best friend”…

In response to Dear Ev,

I appreciate the challenge, Julien. What would you suggest we do to help, specifically? Open to ideas!

Publications edited by Ev Williams

How to Make Great Things

Questionable design decisions, being questioned

Appreciating how far things have come


“Investors, LPs, and Boards are beginning to crack down bigtime on companies that have next to no diversity because it limits your overall appeal and capability when you strategically go after a market/group.”

Are they, though? I think that might be a good development, but I wonder if it’s wishful thinking. I’ve never personally heard of an instance of…


Interesting point. I suspect there are many other ways they’ll improve/change it. For instance, like electronics, if they can use space more efficiently, they’ll offer a smaller version and/or a roomier version. If they wanted, they could also make lots of superficial changes that wouldn’t change shape (especially inside) that would make it feel newer and sexier.

That’d be great, though, if our cars felt less disposable.


“I’m talking about the time-honored practice of unloading records you once deemed worthy, possibly taking a financial loss, depleting your collection, and maybe getting nothing but a handful of cash in return — which, invariably, gets pissed away on food, drinks, or parking.”

In the mid 90s, I was running my first Internet company from an…


Agreed. The construction of the feed (that is, what goes into it in what order) has gone through a few iterations. The version we have now is the simplest, after trying to be fancier before — it’s just reverse-chron of things published or recommended by people/publicaitons you follow. And it’s definitely not the end-all.

We started out with lots of theories that newness was not the most important…


I posted this internally to Medium employees November 18, 2013. See Hatching Inside Medium for more context.

Casual Content

Making small the right size for Medium


One of the next big things I want to figure out is how we design for “casual” content on Medium. By casual I mean things that are less weighty, less long, perhaps more visual. “Snacks” and…


Some obvious stuff we need to do

  1. Make the post listings in all of Medium use the stream format (except on publication pages, where it will be optional)
  2. The stream in iOS
  3. Mobile (app) posting and commenting
  4. A more seamless reading experience (e.g., not needing to leave the stream as much).
  5. Add tags when posting from inline…