Leaving Medium to start something new

After almost four years, I’ve decided to leave Medium to start a company.

First I must say, my time at Medium has been truly wonderful. It has been an honor to work with such an incredible team; I am so grateful for the opportunity. Or opportunities, plural, I should say. Medium has grown so quickly, and the Product Science team with it, that I feel like I’ve packed several jobs into one. I’ve learned far more than I could have imagined.

And still, throughout this time and extending long before I moved to San Francisco, I’ve had this other itch—a passion for art. At first it might seem unexpected coming from a data scientist. But maybe it makes more sense when you hear I majored in art history back in college. And that I spend much of my free time scouring for emerging artists. And that I obsess over the colors of data visualizations. And reflect on web design as a repeat of architectural history. And paint emojis.

And it’s that last one, the emoji paintings, that changed something for me. Because when I shared them, I started hearing from people asking to buy them, many of whom hadn’t bought art before. I realized that this desire to enjoy meaningful art is far more universal than I thought. It’s just difficult, unless you’re ready to fork up several months’ rent, or obsess over the search for it, or happen to have that one weird friend who paints emojis.

It’s been bugging me for a few years now. All these people care about art. They want to support artists and have nice art in their homes, and they don’t because there’s no easy way to get started. But… what if there was?

That’s why I’m starting Meum, like a “small museum” for your home. I’m super excited about it. Let me tell you about it.

Meum is a revolving art exhibit in your home. For $29 per month, you can try as many emerging artists as you want. When you sign up, we help you pick your first limited edition art print, and you receive it along with a custom frame. Then every month we share new recommendations personalized to you, and you can either keep what you have or swap out your print for a new one. You can also buy the piece for $400 — when you do, we’ll send you a new frame to start on another wall.

The best part is you can keep trying new things and developing your tastes at your own pace, without having to shop or make a big commitment upfront. We’ll find what you like. We’re curating a diverse collection from artists around the world, and it’s a natural progression from what I’ve learned at Medium about data-plus-curation recommendations to connect you with artists you’ll love.

And beyond all of this, a portion of proceeds goes toward giving art back to the community through public projects and installations. Our mission is to make art more accessible for everyone, and we mean it.

I’m pretty psyched. I’ve been busy signing on some amazing artists and preparing for initial shipments in a couple months.

If you’d like to join the waitlist, sign up at www.meum.co. (Or email me at mike@meum.co if you’re especially eager to join our initial beta group). In the meantime, follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

Here’s to new journeys. And new art.

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