In this post, I’ll share our long term vision for Goldfinch. To explain it, though, we first need to talk about bigger trends at play. At the heart of everything we’re building is a much broader thesis we have about how the global economy is shifting.

Our thesis is made of two core beliefs. The first is that over the coming decade, decreasing bond yields will drive investors to demand new investment opportunities. The second is that over this same period, global economic activity will move on chain, making every transaction programmable.

Put these two beliefs together, and you might…


We are excited to announce Goldfinch, a protocol building one of the biggest missing pieces of DeFi: loans without collateral. We believe this is the crucial step that finally opens crypto lending to the majority of the world. By decentralizing the process, DeFi can unlock an entirely new layer of underwriting capacity by allowing anyone to be a lender, not just banks.

To get there, we’re starting in emerging markets, which have the most unmet demand. Since launching in December, the protocol has already deployed $1M in capital to thousands of borrowers across Mexico, Nigeria, and Southeast Asia.

We’re just…


The coins and tokens created with cryptocurrencies are curious things. We shouldn’t really call them currencies because they do far more than exchange value. They aren’t quite commodities either, since they aren’t necessarily consumable or interchangeable. And neither are they properties or equities, since they don’t generate ongoing investment cash flow.

Rather, “cryptoassets” are an entirely new asset class, and this raises an open question: how do we value them?

In this post, I’ll propose an answer. I’ll also walk through the intuition behind it from the ground up, stepping through these components:

  1. The Equation of Exchange, which offers an…


I’m not sure how to describe it other than: I’m fascinated by emoji, so I paint them. There’s something about these things that captures life today. I was thinking about this a year ago, how they’re core to all the ways I interact with other people and the world. I realized I wanted to have art that documented what’s going on, and I wanted to make it myself.

It’s the first time I’ve felt compelled to paint. I painted in high school, but that was more about learning than expression. This time it’s a nagging feeling. I want to convey…


The times of day when people read tend to follow consistent patterns each week. Here’s the typical ebb and flow of time spent reading on Medium.

The line represents the time spent reading during each hour as a percent of total time spent reading during the week.

It’s what you might expect — reading activity peaks during the afternoon and night, with more activity on weekdays than weekends.

But the reading behavior we observe on Medium also gives us a glimpse into how people use the rest of the internet. We took a look at some popular referrers to see how they compare. While they’re often similar, it’s where they diverge from average that’s most interesting. Each referrer’s weekly pattern reveals…


(It’s like a blend of Data Scientist and Product Analyst)

At Medium, we’re building a place for people to read, write, and react to stories that matter. Millions of people already use our platform, but to keep growing we always need to get smarter about learning from our data. This is the critical role that product scientists serve at Medium.

What is “Product Science”?

Depending on what company you talk to, a “data” group could mean many different things. At Medium, Product Science is the central team responsible for every step of translating data into insights that improve the product…


(a true story)

***

At 4pm, I knock and enter my boss’s office.

“I finally finished that model, if you want to go over it now?”

“Yes! Please,” he gestures to a chair, the Manhattan skyline behind him, “come in, have a seat.”

I sit. We turn to the monitor and he pulls up Excel. He clicks on cell ᴀ1. Line by line, we start going through the model.

Later, the phone rings. I check the time while he whispers. 5:23pm. He hangs up after a minute.

“Should I come back later?”

“No, no, that was my wife. My son…


The history of Western architecture can teach us a lot about the evolution of web design. As forms of art, both are defined by several factors:

  1. They serve as places where other people go.
  2. They’re engineered to do this pragmatic job.
  3. The evolution of technology limits this engineering.
  4. And yet, they’re definitely still art.

Within these constraints, both have progressed along remarkably similar paths, building on the past and reacting to it in similar ways. If you want to know where web design is heading, just look at where architecture has already gone.

I. Neolithic

Simple, limited structures


It’s by far the most common question we hear. “When is the best time to publish on Medium?” (That is, in order to maximize total time spent reading, which is our focus at Medium.) Now we have an answer:

It just doesn’t matter.

At all.

What does matter are two things:

  1. How much effort you put into writing something engaging
  2. How many followers you have

Once you account for those two factors, the publish time makes no difference. I’ll walk through the ten charts that prove it.

1 | Publish Times

The first thing we can examine is when posts are published. Here are all posts grouped by 3-hour publish…


A new way to share data

A year ago, the Product Science team at Medium created the first version of Charted, an internal tool to help us easily share charts. It has since become indispensable to the way we analyze data and communicate our findings with the team. Now we’re opening it up to everyone.

What is Charted?

Charted is a tool that automatically visualizes data. Give it the link to a data file and Charted returns a beautiful, shareable visualization of that data. The charts look like this:

Mike Sall

Cofounder at @Goldfinch_fi. Previously Head of Product Analytics at @Coinbase, Head of Data Science at @Medium.

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