Medium is easy, I like that. But when they went too far in trying to break the market by bribing brands and trying to brand in a way that its better solution than WordPress, thats when it was not this simple. Medium is a hosted solution, could be comparable to hosted WordPress like WordPress.com or many others, but not the WordPress solution. To grow their brand and portray themself as better content solution they started to bring big publisher, and there are numerous report how they bribed brands, if those brand move from WordPress! Now they are in odd situation. All the people they hired to sustain that growth, are now out of jobs, they fired 50 employees, and shutting down 2 offices. Ev Willams accepting that the main industry that they want to improve, they have not got full grasp of that, and feels, its time to stop that and look back.
Understanding you product placement, and not overdoing is very crucial.