Whoa, whoa, whoa! Slow down, Caleb. (As I’ve said of my own writing at times, I didn’t know that response would be spring-loaded.) I didn’t say tapping into what their customers were thinking and feeling was the sole reason those companies became popular.
I wasn’t addressing the founders’ visions or attention to detail, although attention to detail is a major component of good design (literary, performing arts, so on and so forth). Good design is no accident. And as for the companies I mentioned, I didn’t say that their products were the best. What I did say was that their products found a place with their audiences. That’s a very truncated way of pointing to their marketing and communication styles, goals, and plans; be they benign or aggressive.
And marketing does NOT work unless is well thought out AND well executed. Companies can push a message that doesn’t connect with their intended audience and if it doesn’t connect with them, if it’s not something their audience embraces, their messages are nothing more than a nuisance.
One of the basic tenets of marketing is that the audience has to identify with the product. That’s marketing. So I’m not removing that from the equation at all. What I am saying is that big brains at Medium haven’t sussed out who their audience is. Or maybe they have and it’s just not me or my tribe — and I’m not assuming the role of Grand Poobah of the tribe, only a member on the fringe.
I can’t speak to what the big brains goals are here. There’s nothing that says they have to follow any particular paradigm. As for problems that are easy to detect and perfect, answers come easy only if you perceive a situation as a problem to begin with, if you want to fix it, and you know how to fix it. Their attention may be on other things.
As for a writers paradise, I have three words: “To Serve Man.” Who knows what their original intent was. All I know is that we’re here; some dropping off, others hanging on. We’ll see what happens when they close the space ship doors.
If you think about it, maybe the strategy was happy accident. Maybe they knew they couldn’t figure out a marketplace for writers, but they could create an online location for writers. The idea may have gone over too well, and now they’re trying to figure out how to serve us.
[cue: creep background music]
SFX: mad scientist cackle