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Newly ex-Median here. This was not a huge surprise. On the surface, this is a change in product strategy. The underlying story is the company positioning itself so it can survive an adverse environment if it needs to. It's hard to fault managers for dealing with that potential (and its hard to deny that the next 2-4 years could be really bad). Hopefully not, but it would be malpractice not to prepare.

So better to focus resources now than be walking dead in a year or so, jettison unnecessary products/projects, and hope for the best. It's a great product, and with time and luck, they'll sort out a good business model, but like the rest of the publishing world, they're still sorting things out.

Despite being one of those made redundant, I enjoyed being there, and wish them the best. On that note, you should ask yourself if you are prepared for winter, because winter is coming.




What do you mean by an "adverse environment over the next 2-4 years"? Please be more explicit.


Local picture: the revenue model for online publishing is still broken, Medium is in the publishing business.

Big picture: Donald J Trump, and the potential to cause widespread disruption that benefits nobody. Hopefully that will not be the case, but if it is, money for startups with hazy revenue models will not be cheap.

In either case, reducing your burn rate by $10M per year is a smart move.


Really? Blaming Trump for a terrible business model?

No matter how far you are in the SV bubble, even you must admit that was one hell of logical leap.

> Hopefully that will not be the case, but if it is, money for startups with hazy revenue models will not be cheap.

Sounds like a great thing to me.


The OP didn't connect Trump with a bad business model, or with Medium at all actually.

Big picture, Trump, and a Trump presidency, are a huge unknown. It's probably a matter of personal projection what you think the outcome will be, but it can hardly be dismissed out of hand.

For example, do you think Trump, a hotel owner, will support legislation that favours AirBnB? It's not as if he is above petty payback on people he feels have wronged him.

And of course there's a more general effect on the economy. Maybe he'll be great! Maybe he won't. You might think that's a good thing but you can hardly blame employees of vulnerable startups who would rather not lose their jobs.


I don't see how anything "Trump" has anything to do with Medium and publishing on the Internet except by the most far-fetched and useless "everything is connected" kind of argument.


You are literally responding to a comment explaining what he has to do with it saying "I don't see what he has to do with it". Do please reread. Truth is it's within his ability to wreck the whole scene dow, and it's an open question wether he wants or doesn't. So, big picture, it's something to take into account, just in case.


> except by the most far-fetched and useless "everything is connected" kind of argument

Is it really so far-fetched or useless to project that there will be far reaching macroeconomic effects if Trump successfully implements any number of his stated policies? Sure, if you want to be optimistic you can hope the effects will be net positive, but that hope is at least as speculative as predicting that "winter is coming", so all we're left with is a high level of medium term uncertainty. Given that, it seems pretty strategically reasonable for a company (especially an over-leveraged one struggling to beat their VC clock) to reduce their risk exposure "because Trump".


Yeah, those of us who got axed, many of us who also have mortgages and families, are just assholes with a political axe to grind that is disagreeable to your Ayn Rand worship or whatever.

The point I was making about Trump is this huge fucking black swan just landed, and everybody with money is snapping their wallets shut, and the rest of us can just go fuck ourselves and drop dead.

Just watch, many of you are next.


Adding vitriol doesn't make your ridiculous theory any more accurate. The markets had a sizable bump as soon as Trump won the election, and all indications are of a business-friendly administration and house after eight years of a business-hostile administration. Things are looking so good for the first time in a while that the fed may be able to raise interest rates without worrying about tanking a fragile economy.

Ergo, there will be more people with more money to invest. Maybe they all decide that they hate software, but I'm not seeing it. The only thing that's "bad" is the strengthening US dollar, and that ordinary interest rates make a bank a reasonable place to put some money.

Sorry to pierce your echo chamber. And your "might be you next" threat? So tacky. As if the many startup software engineers here haven't been laid off before. And if anybody at Medium making/announcing this decision said it had something to do with Trump's election, I hope you've lost all respect for that clown.


How was the Obama administration business hostile?


The market went up 150% during Obama's two terms, the best eight year performance of all other US presidents except Clinton and Coolidge.

It's because the economy has done so well under Obama that it can withstand Trump's nonsense, at least for the near term.


It started right in the dip of the 2008 recession...


Trump talked about opening up libel laws. That could means medium could get sued for anything its bloggers write.


> even you must admit that was one hell of logical leap.

Yeah who does this ex-median think he is? It's not like he worked there.


If he knows how Trump has influence on Medium's business he didn't show it. I'm more than eager to hear that storyline. I would be interested in something more concrete than the numerous "the sky is falling" articles based 99% on the author's personal feelings and fantasies though. That obsession with Trump is a mania by now, that and "Russian hackers", a self-feeding frenzy.


Like if the economy was tanking in the US and rallying in foreign markets you could fairly make the argument that a Trump administration could be very risky in the next few years.

Putting it all in perspective though, to the extent it's a negative risk for SV based companies it's also a positive risk for things to be "disrupted".


Markets hate uncertainty. A new president introduces uncertainty in the form of policy changes and agency/department leadership changes via their appointees. And some presidents introduce more uncertainty than others..


So I assume you shorted the DJIA? Must have been rough.


I'm buying real estate in South America because I think the dollar is overvalued.


"I don't want to blame it all on 9/11, but it certainly didn't help"


If the new administration plans to rein in the stupidity of perpetual ZIRP/QE, then yes, there will be an impact on funding for startups with no revenue model.

Everybody knows the current situation cannot last, and in fact much of financial industry does not want it to last (for good reason), and knows that the current system must be reformed.

Framing this as a "hurrr Trump's gonna to cause widespread disruption that benefits nobody" makes you look very ignorant.


Not the OP but I think the era of zero-interest money is behind us (even Germany posted a 1.7% YOY inflation rate, with people asking for the ECB to stop its bond-buying program as early as March), which means less money to throw at projects that don't have some strong fundamentals behind them.


I believe this person is referring to the Republican-controlled US federal government and Trump presidency.

(I'm just explaining, not making any value judgements.)


The rest of the publishing world isn't "still sorting things out". Quite a few publications have figured out how to get people to subscribe to them and now make money from their online presence.


Can you name a few that are rolling in cash like Google or Facebook?


Should they be?


A couple names that come to mind as successful new publishing type entities examples could include FiveThirtyEight and GrantLand. Case studies more than full business models in my opinion.




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