Evan Williams, a hardcore programmer and internet entrepreneur, has been in love with the idea of the internet ever since high school. He worked hard from the beginning and is still creating new ways to use tech for our own advantage. Most of us know him for creating our favorite reading platform, Medium but he has also founded and co-founded many more companies, two of the more notable are Twitter and Blogger. People of a particularly older generation may know him for his tutorial videos in the mid-1990s which helped newbies understand how to use the Internet. Williams is a self-made millionaire whose creations are used by billions worldwide.
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Evan Williams: Founder of Platform Medium
Name: Evan Clark Williams, also referred to as “Ev”
Source of wealth: Twitter, self-made
Net worth: $1.8 billion
Nationality: United States of America
Residence: San Francisco, California
Education: University of Nebraska-Lincoln (dropout)
Spouse: Sara Morishige Williams (Wife)
Born and raised in 1972 a small town in Nebraska, Evan Clark Williams grew up around his family’s corn and soybean farm. He had a fascination for books from early childhood and yearned for knowledge. Also, he mentioned how he felt connected to the outside world through magazines and publications. He read books about this new technology in the world, the internet.
As a sophomore, he was the best in his class in programming and often ended up teaching others in his class and working more than assignments given. After dropping out of the University of Nebraska and a failed attempt to work in real estate, he pursued a career that he knew was going to get him somewhere, IT.
Jobs in information systems moved him across cities, and soon after, he worked as an independent contractor for the publishing company, O’Reilly, thus freelancing and writing computer codes for companies such as Hewlett Packard and Intel. In order to bring his enthusiasm for the Internet into existence, be it a side project, Williams along with Meg Hourihan founded Pyra Labs. They used this company to make project management software for the general people, and one such software was the spinoff, Blogger.
Blogger, an application for writing on the web or blogging, gave long-form publishers a voice, and according to him. It was a democratization of knowledge, a primary attempt to fulfill his mission of prioritizing gaining and receiving information. Blogger was later acquired by Google in 2003.
The internet was considered by him as a combination of three aspects: knowledge, computers, and people. But as the world kept changing, the definitions of these three aspects evolved. To find a deeper evaluation on the subject of the internet, Evan Williams founded Odeo, a podcasting company. And then along with Biz Stone, Noah Glass and Jack Dorsey, together founded Obvious Corp.
This project evolved into Twitter, a billion-dollar idea turned true: a social networking and blogging platform with a limit of 140 characters in which he served as the president, CEO, among the board of directors, and still has 14.6 mil Twitter shares. And Medium, his most thoughtful creation, is a network for people with exceptional knowledge on a particular subject to share it with a vast network, in other words, the world.
Evan Williams longed to establish a difference in perspectives, ideas, and people. Medium, named in a chalkboard, started in 2012 after Evan Williams left Twitter. He had this dream to build a publishing platform, a much-needed upgrade from his fantasy of books.
Medium is a digital publishing platform that plays the role of portraying real-time information from the right people to individuals who want to learn. The space has over 7.5 million posts, acquired 60 million readers over the last 8 years and is continuing to grow. Unlike other social platforms, William built this platform, not for entertainment or sparking connections between “social animals” but as a sole medium for sharing knowledge and perspectives.
If you are a Medium user, you will know that there are no cat videos but you will find articles on how to care for or provide nutrition for your cats. A buzzkill? To many, yes, but for someone who wants their info straight, the Medium can be paradise.
Dreams Behind Medium
The greatest complication behind Medium is that it intends to create a platform for everyone to share their “brains”. And that is the greatest fear of average Joes like us. Even though we have visions, information, tips, and tricks of our profession that can make a newcomer’s life a whole lot easier than ours. We dread to put our thoughts into words, and that’s where Medium hasn’t pulled through.
The dream of Evan Williams is to create a space to impart knowledge and make people wiser. In a much easier way than how he used books and magazines in cramped libraries to build his. He has been working on new tech and fresh ideas to infiltrate his platform.
Whether it is the idea of holacracy, the complete annihilation of the ads commercialization, the novelty of quality writers, or membership programs – Williams plans on a more conscious society. Although the platform is not as profitable, Williams is working to build interest among readers and create revenue for writers, and creating a small percentage on the side for the crew behind Medium.
Evan Williams plans on ensuring that Medium is a safe, smart, and reliable source as opposed to the more popular media sites. It is true that Medium has not yet reached the peak of success due to the public’s lower acknowledgment of writers. But Medium is continuing to grow as a better and faster method to receive more specific and accurate information directly from respective professionals. No wonder Williams believes that:
“The answers to most of our problems are already here, they’re just in other people’s heads.”
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