Building Medium

Biz Stone
The Obvious Collection


What does a publishing system designed for today’s content, information, and communication landscape look like?

Thirteen years ago we helped democratize publishing with a web-native approach called blogging. That was a long time ago and everything is different now—social networks, mobile devices, you name it. We felt compelled to build a content network for the technology age we’re living in now, and we have a vision for what publishing should be.

Putting ideas on the Internet is great, it makes them available to more people. However, printing words on a screen like we do on paper doesn’t take advantage of the fact that we’re all networked and using powerful computers. There is so much room for improvement and innovation in the publishing space right now because it’s operating on outdated legacy concepts. Everything from the way we consume content to how that content is created needs re-imagining.

Obvious is intent on building systems that help people work together to make the world a better place. Not all systems are on the web—some of our projects are not Internet companies. However, building what we see as the future of publishing in a world where billions of people are networked puts us right smack in the idea dissemination business. This is our home turf. Moving a great idea from one person’s head into those of millions such that it becomes understood and can be acted upon is, to us, a clear route toward a smarter, better world.

Much of our vision for Medium is just that—vision. We’re opening what little we’ve built so far because we believe in shipping product early and often and because we believe we can learn by watching usage patterns. Our goal, as always, is to build a system that puts users first. We can’t do that without putting something out there. Our ideas are much farther along than our product. Medium is only a sliver of what it could be. Nevertheless, we hope you find some value in the product and we look forward to your feedback. For more about Medium, see Ev’s welcome message.