Why Remote Work Thrives in Some Companies and Fails in Others, by Sean Graber in the Harvard Business Review.

Why are some organizations reaping benefits but others not? Conditions are seemingly ideal: More and more people are choosing to work remotely. By one estimate, the number of remote workers in the U.S. grew by nearly 80% between 2005 and 2012. Advances in technology are keeping pace. About 94% of U.S. households have access to broadband Internet — one of the most important enablers of remote work. Workers also have access to an array of tools that allow them to videoconference, collaborate on shared documents, and manage complex workflows with colleagues around the world. So what’s the problem?

One of my favorite essays of all time is by David Ramsey in Oxford American on Lil Wayne, called I Will Forever Remain Faithful. I’m used to movies, books, even songs making me tear up occasionally, but not essays, but this one does every time. It’s worth Googling the songs mentioned and quoted in the headings, it gives an interesting soundtrack to the writing and after listening the essay is worth re-reading. I miss that old Lil Wayne, too.

I don’t think I’ve said it publicly before, but Ramsey’s essay was actually the inspiration for my 1.0 Is the Loneliest Number which is one of the most popular pieces of writing I’ve published.

In truth, Medium’s main prod­uct is not a pub­lish­ing plat­form, but the pro­mo­tion of a pub­lish­ing plat­form. This pro­mo­tion brings read­ers and writ­ers onto the site. This, in turn, gen­er­ates the us­age data that’s valu­able to ad­ver­tis­ers. Boiled down, Medium is sim­ply mar­ket­ing in the ser­vice of more mar­ket­ing. It is not a “place for ideas.” It is a place for ad­ver­tis­ers. It is, there­fore, ut­terly superfluous.

and

As a fan of min­i­mal­ism, how­ever, I think that term is mis­ap­plied here. Min­i­mal­ism doesn’t fore­close ei­ther ex­pres­sive breadth or con­cep­tual depth.

and

To get his frack­ing per­mit on your ter­ri­tory, Mr. Williams (the multi­bil­lion­aire) needs to per­suade you (the writer) that a key con­sid­er­a­tion in your work (namely, how & where you of­fer it to read­ers) is a “waste of time.”

Matthew Butterick’s essay The billionaire’s typewriter has a fairly complete and scathing takedown of Medium’s rhetoric, promise for writers, and product offering. Hat tip: Edward Aten.