Medium is laying off one-third of its staff — roughly 50 people — as the company changes its course, according to a post from its founder and CEO Evan Williams.
The Twitter cofounder announced on Wednesday that the publishing platform will be shuttering two offices in New York and Washington D.C. as part of the down-sizing. The majority of the employees let go are in sales or other business functions, leaving the engineering and product teams largely intact.
The downsizing comes as the company looks to change its business model after it felt that it was “falling short” of its original goals.
According to Williams’ original mission, Medium was supposed to be a “new model for media on the internet.” Yet the startup didn’t exactly pioneer a new path when in October it announced that it was going to be rolling out native ad campaigns and sponsored posts on the site.
Medium has now changed its mind about that direction and the startup says it will be looking at a new way to support the internet’s writers and creators.
“Upon further reflection, it’s clear that the broken system is ad-driven media on the internet. It simply doesn’t serve people,” Williams wrote. “….So, we are shifting our resources and attention to defining a new model for writers and creators to be rewarded, based on the value they’re creating for people. And toward building a transformational product for curious humans who want to get smarter about the world every day.”
What the new model is is unknown, and the company says it will take a long time to find out. Williams say it is “too soon to say exactly what it this will look like”.