RD: Which is great! But I’m interested in Medium as a format, from the perspective of a writer, because Medium almost treats text like an image. It says, “You’re going to write this the way it’s going to look.” If it’s the spiritual successor to anything, it’s to Word. What’s that been like, moving from publishing all kinds of places to this more uniform pure-content interface?
PF: So, full disclosure, I’m an advisor to Medium, as well as being paid by them, so anything I say has to be taken with a big grain of salt. At the same time, I can’t really speak for them. For me it’s literally, I am older and don’t want to dink with XML right now.
PF: For me, that’s a huge relief. I personally hit a barrier with it at around five, 10,000 words. I want to go somewhere else. Usually, I’m using my text editor at that point. As far as Word: Word actually lets you dink with everything. You can modify and mess with Word endlessly, and so I think that if anything, Word's more like one of the old type-setting languages, like LaTeX or TeX, where you would enter text into a text editor with special commands.
Or like early HTML, where you only really had one way for things to look, until people figured out, “Oh, I can do this, I can do that,” and that’s how the Web grew and expanded.
Medium is like, we’re going to just keep this pretty locked in. You have options elsewhere for fireworks and spectacle. It’s very interesting, because the Web is at this point a software delivery platform that can do anything. Every one of those headlines could rotate 360 degrees, every time your mouse went over it. Fireworks could go off. You could have videos for every letter. It doesn’t, but …
RD: That’s my startup, by the way, is videos for every letter.