Medium: What Just Happened

Jan 6, 2017

mediumlogoBy Les McKeown, CEO of Predictable Success

Once hailed as the ‘new, new thing’ in the online publishing world, Twitter co-founder Evan William’s company Medium just announced that it’s laying off a third of its staff …wait for it…’in pursuit of its vision’.

What just happened? What happened is that Medium (like so many other vaguely tech-oriented startups) has completely failed in establishing the only vision that counts for any startup, in any industry: To find – as soon as humanly possible – a profitable, sustainable market. Surfing on advertising revenue isn’t that. At some point, there has to be a market for the actual thing you’re producing, in and of itself. Just ask Evan William’s co-Founder at Twitter, Jack Dorsey.

Startups are fun (I know, I’ve been involved in over 40 of them). There’s a lot to be commended in many aspects of startup culture. But from the moment of its inception, there’s only one strategy that counts for a startup: stop being one. Otherwise you die.

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