FORTUNE -- Where online publishing is concerned, Ev Williams is on a roll.
The 41-year-old serial entrepreneur developed, then sold the early blogging platform Blogger to Google in 2003. More notably, he co-founded Twitter (TWTR) with Jack Dorsey and Biz Stone, an origin story fleshed out in New York Times columnist Nick Bilton's bestseller, Hatching Twitter. With his most recent venture, Medium, Williams, Stone, and former Twitter exec Jason Goldman are after digital publishing again, this time shirking the 140-character constraints for a long-form-minded platform of idea-sharing and storytelling.
"We call them 'ideas' and 'stories,' but it can be personal stories or it can be investigative journalism. It can be two paragraphs or 50,000 words," explained Williams to senior editor-at-large Adam Lashinsky Thursday evening at Fortune's Brainstorm Tech dinner in Menlo Park, Calif. "On the creation side, it's the easiest way to put a thought out in the world or a story."
Launched in 2012, Williams says Medium is growing quickly: The platform's userbase ramped up from 9 million unique monthly visitors in December 2013 to 13 million visitors currently reading items like Susie Cagle's "San Francisco's Class War, By the Numbers" or "The problem with false feminism," by Dani Colman. Williams also revealed that an iOS app is due to launch next week that will focus on consuming content on Medium. (Users won't be able to create content through the app yet.) Williams declined to give further details, other than to say he believes the platform "is going to be really big," words he also once used to describe Twitter during its early days.
Williams also remains a Twitter board member and recalled reading Hatching Twitter, the critical origin story of the now-popular social network. In fact, Twitter read the book on a flight en route to the company's IPO in New York. He recalled the experience as "very intense." "I mean, the book starts with me puking in a trash can," he elaborated. "But it ended with me reading books with my wife to our kids, which was lovely.">
The 20-year-old festival is constantly evolving.
FORTUNE -- In conversations with friends leading up to the SXSW Interactive, the standard response to the topic has been somewhere between pity that I'm going and disdain that they too have to attend.
Many lead-up stories to the event have reflected that tone. Business Insider declared, "Everything you've come to know and love about SXSW has died." Digiday wrote, "This will be the last SXSW MOREErin Griffith - Mar 7, 2014 1:04 PM ET
The big orange circle is Google's Motorola. The big blue one is Facebook's WhatsApp.
FORTUNE -- I can't vouch for the accuracy of the data in this infographic, created by business insurance provider Simply Business and posted Friday on TechCrunch, but even if it's a little off it gives you a good feel for how Apple's (AAPL) relatively small, targeted acquisitions compare with such multibillion dollar deals as Google (GOOG) buying Motorola ($12.5 MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 7, 2014 11:37 AM ET
Updates to its Office 365 suite show benefits from a 2008 acquisition.
FORTUNE -- Microsoft (MSFT) has a spotty track record when it comes to acquisitions. (Remember Danger, Massive, and WebTV? Yeah, neither do we.) But snapping up enterprise search startup Fast Search & Transfer for $1.2 billion back in 2008 may prove to have been a prescient move.
Earlier this week the tech giant unveiled a series of updates to its Office MOREMichal Lev-Ram, writer - Mar 7, 2014 10:56 AM ET
Peter Oppenheimer quietly presided over one of the most remarkable runs in the technology industry's history.
By Verne Kopytoff
FORTUNE -- Peter Oppenheimer, Apple's longtime chief financial officer, kept an especially low profile during his tenure. He rarely spoke publicly beyond the company's quarterly earnings calls, and happily left the spotlight to Steve Jobs, Tim Cook, and other high-profile members of the company's senior executive team. Even Apple (AAPL) fanatics would have MOREMar 7, 2014 10:31 AM ET
Another study found 42% of Chinese buyers want iPhones vs. 32% for Samsung.
FORTUNE -- "We may have underestimated Apple Inc.'s (AAPL) progress in China."
So begins a story in the International Business Times Friday reporting on the numbers in the first attached chart.
They come from an Upstream survey of 4,505 smartphone customers in five emerging markets in which respondents were asked what brand they hoped to buy next. Apple edged out Samsung MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 7, 2014 7:10 AM ET
The app launches on Android today.
FORTUNE -- You've heard the cliché a million times: Gaming is a hits-driven business. Just ask our friends at Zynga (ZNGA), which rode Farmville, and then CityVille, to an IPO and subsequent collapse. Or OMGPop, whose hit app Draw Something lost millions of users just as fast as it acquired them (but not before selling to Zynga for $200 million). Or Rovio, which had MOREErin Griffith - Mar 6, 2014 1:00 PM ET
Enduring the polar vortex with the chief executive of the crowdfunding platform Indiegogo.
By Maya Baratz
FORTUNE -- "Want to borrow my gloves?" Slava Rubin, co-founder and CEO of crowdfunding platform Indiegogo, asks me as we walk on a chilly February afternoon toward a café in New York's TriBeCa neighborhood. "They're from Russia," he adds, revealing the tag hidden inside one of the gloves and exposing its soft shearling liner. His grandmother MOREMar 6, 2014 12:08 PM ET
On why computer keyboards are outdated, how to instill work-life balance in a company, and his tendency to jump off of things.
FORTUNE -- Growing up in England, Neil Capel spent a lot of time working in his father's greengrocer shop. His father knew all of the shop's regular customers and always strived to give them a pleasant experience. Working with his dad showed Capel the power of brand loyalty, and MOREChanelle Bessette - Mar 6, 2014 10:21 AM ET
The coolest new startup in Austin doesn't make apps.
FORTUNE -- In the midst of the partying, marketing, and mindless app launches of SXSW, an Austin startup that's actually really revolutionary will be showing off early prototypes to investors and advisors.
The startup is called Reaction Housing, and the product is called an "Exo Housing System." It's a shelter that's inexpensive, reusable, portable, and "smart." Designer Michael McDaniel conceived of the idea after MOREErin Griffith - Mar 6, 2014 10:00 AM ET
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