Medium is interesting. It’s a new publishing platform but it also has the same dynamics of a marketplace.
Supply and Demand. Chicken and Egg. Writers and Readers.
What I find really interesting is their approach to building the platform.
They seem solely focused on the writer. Better tools, better collaboration, better analytics, better way to ask for editing. It’s literally the place I now go to write and then sometimes find myself cross-posting to other sites. It’s just that much better.
It reminds me of something Jon Crawford said to me once that has always stuck with me:
If you want to build a marketplace, the best way is to eliminate the “Chicken and Egg” argument at first and focus solely on building something valuable for the supply side. Get people to make your product their home, THEN open it up and build better discovery, curation and marketplace tools. It’s then seen as a bonus, not the reason they used your platform in the first place.
Lately, I’ve heard a few people mention that it’s hard to find articles on Medium. Follow writers on Medium. Leave comments on Medium. Etc, etc.
I have zero knowledge of the product plan or decisions being made at Medium (and I’m sure some features are left out for brand decisions), but from what I can see, it seems like a genius plan.
Make it the place where all writers go to write and become better writers. Make it the best editing and collaboration platform in the world.
Then, once everyone’s here, build the features that make it a better place to discover and consume great content.
Whether it’s publishing or ecommerce, to me it seems like one way to become “The Medium Marketplace” where everyone in the world comes to read and write things that matter.
How you start matters.