As he hands over the keys, Mr. Williams’ decade-old brainchild remains the gold standard for online publishing.
I first received word from my New York Times app: Ev Williams, Medium founder and CEO, stepping down after just shy of a decade at the helm. That’s no small deal — when the Gray Lady decides it’s fit to print, you know it’s news. For those of us who’ve been here a while, it allows us an opportunity to pause and reflect. And, for me anyway, an opportunity to appreciate.
Wittingly or unwittingly, Ev’s corner of the internet launched or accelerated the careers of thousands of aspiring writers, journalists, authors, marketers, comedians, entrepreneurs, and digital-native content creators. The festival bill of prominent personalities on this platform who’ve made good elsewhere is as long as it is eclectic.
The best of us got mainstream media bylines, seven-figure series A funds, speaking gigs, Netflix specials, and book deals. Even the merely adequate among us netted good jobs, new friends, and the occasional SXSW panel appearance. All of us got better — better informed, better connected, better at our crafts. All thanks to this place. Myself included.
I won’t mince words: I’d have a hard time calculating Medium’s impact on my life. As I’ve spent the past eight-plus years unloading a firehose of back-porch campfire stories, this platform became my front door to the world. Over time, horizons that were once unimaginable and distant became real, close, and woven into the fabric of my day-to-day life. Medium brought me new business and new bylines, sure, but also a global audience arranged into a constellation of new friends, peers, mentors, and obnoxiously derivative douchecanoes worth roasting. All that counts for something; add it up and it amounts to a lot of what my life’s evolved into.
A Writer’s Dream
I want to be 100%, Blue Nile, FL–SI2 clear here: Medium is a godsend for people who simply love the immersive, tactile experience of spinning yarns. The platform is clear, clean, easy-to-use, aesthetically pleasing, social, sharable, snackable, and comfortable. It’s like writing directly onto the blank pages of a glossy, elegant magazine. Nothing like it exists on the Internet. That’s the…