I hear you on the “hack” distinction. In a way, like you say, they are just using our existing hardwiring instead of splicing wires.
On this quote, however, I remain the optimist. Totally understand your view on the hype given how much B.S. is out there. Medium may very well fall in this same category, but I want to give them the benefit of the doubt.
Why? For one, Ev is already mega rich, I think he is more concerned these days with building something genuine than another growth machine. Also, the way Medium is organized as a “holacracy” which is kind of a self-organizing, self-policing system of corporate operations. Ironic that it is a corporate paradigm that gives me hope that their hearts are in the right place.
If things are really run in that manner, than anyone can right the ship if they feel they are veering off the vision.
Only time will tell though. I think it’s not necessarily mutually exclusive, we can make it incumbent on ourselves as users to be better stewards of the platform and give our mindshare to worthwhile content, but they can also make an effort to put safeguards in and properly incentivize quality content.
After all, the primary objective for a platform builder is to properly align incentives. After that, the ecosystem will play out based on the rules and structures you have defined, intended consequences be damned.