TLDR: Inside the meltdown of Medium.com

by Business Insider (these highlights provided for you by Annotote)

In his post announcing the layoffs, Williams said the business model Medium had been pursuing, advertisement-driven media, was to blame for “misinformation,” and that Medium would no longer sell ads or help the publishers it hosted on its site with ad revenue


the move infuriated some of Medium’s publishers, who were not warned and had bet their livelihoods on Medium and the business model Williams was ditching. This model involved Medium cutting them a check every month — a guaranteed minimum payment — and helping them sell ads. That was over.


His idea back then was an algorithm that recommended high-quality stories not based on clicks, but on how much time people spent reading them.



the business we could have built, if we were to go all-in, was not going to justify Medium’s valuation. That’s a trap of venture funding. If it turns out the market you find isn’t big enough, you are in trouble.


this was the second time they changed business models. Medium had previously toyed with being a publication itself, hiring writers and editors. Then it shuttered that effort.


The business model Williams wants to pursue next is some form of subscription, he has told people in the Valley. The idea is to become some version of the Netflix of publishing.


Williams is also fascinated by the idea of a reader-supported business model known as patronization … meaning posts are free but it asks readers to make a small monthly recurring donation using a service called Patreon.


60 million monthly readers now


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