I appreciate this a lot, Ev. Both your willingness to be vulnerable, and your willingness to discuss the ways in which you and your product may be lacking.
And the beauty of Medium is that you have the time to actually figure some of these things out. From what I can tell, you don’t have the tremendous weight of too much VC hanging over your head as you continue to iterate on Medium’s strengths to address its weaknesses. (That’s the difference between you and Airbnb, ultimately. And Twitter, for that matter — which I still wish you had somehow managed to keep “small” with just a few hundred million active users or maybe a meager 40 million bucks of revenue a quarter required for solvency.)
In a sense, you are still developing both your own Internet social intelligence, as well as your product’s social capabilities. And I think what gives you the freedom to do that — to speak out loud about ways you fucked up, as well as experiment with your product’s functionality — is the fact that you are not under ridiculous pressure to produce enormous revenues. Or, worse, to “pivot” this place into something else, sell us to AOL, or become a gamified social media big data funnel.
But yeah, you forgot about the asynchronous nature of this space, and were already involved in next month’s discussion before the rest of us.