The Changing Landscape of Software and Content Platforms


Hatched by Glasp

Jul 31, 2023

4 min read


The Changing Landscape of Software and Content Platforms


In the world of technology and digital content, the emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) and new platforms has disrupted traditional business models. This article explores two specific areas - the impact of AI on vertical SaaS and the comparison between Substack and Medium as content platforms. By examining these subjects, we can gain insights into the changing dynamics of software development and content creation.

Will AI Kill Vertical SaaS?

Vertical SaaS, once considered a lucrative investment, is experiencing a shift in perception. The success of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) lies in its high switching costs, making it difficult for companies to switch providers. However, with the advent of AI-based development tools, the process of migration becomes faster and easier. This raises questions about whether companies will switch more frequently, potentially increasing churn rates. Moreover, if building software becomes cheaper than buying it, non-venture backable software companies could see a surge in growth. The reduced price of software may lead to a more fragmented market, with smaller companies unable to scale at a venture level due to the complexities of customization.

Substack vs Medium: Different Approaches to Content Platforms

When comparing Substack and Medium, it is essential to understand their distinct purposes and functions. Medium generates revenue by charging readers a monthly fee to access its content, utilizing a metered paywall. This strategy entices regular readers to become paying subscribers while allowing non-paying readers to access a limited number of articles. On the other hand, Substack focuses on empowering writers to develop a fanbase and reach new readers through its WYSIWYG tools. Additionally, Substack provides writers with direct access to customer subscription information, offering more flexibility and control over their content.

The Success Profile and Writer Monetization Methods

The success of writers on both platforms differs based on their content and engagement strategies. Medium rewards writers financially based on the engagement of paying readers, often favoring semi-viral content. In contrast, successful Substack writers tend to specialize in niche topics and establish themselves as subject matter experts. While Medium pays writers based on Member Reading Time, Substack offers fewer content discovery tools but provides more control over monetization.

The Role of Content Discovery and Platform Tools

One advantage that Medium holds over Substack is its robust content discovery tools. These tools enable writers to reach a wider audience through recommendations and featured content. Substack, however, lacks such features, requiring writers to rely on their own efforts to drive traffic and develop a loyal readership. Considering the platform tools available, writers must assess their investment of time, existing following, comfort level with self-promotion, and the potential for organic search engine traffic.


As AI continues to advance and reshape industries, the landscape of software development and content creation undergoes significant transformations. The affordability and accessibility of AI-based development tools may impact the stability of vertical SaaS, potentially leading to a surge of smaller software companies. Meanwhile, Substack and Medium offer distinct approaches to content platforms, catering to writers with different goals and preferences. In this dynamic environment, it is crucial for businesses and writers to adapt and make informed decisions.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Embrace AI-based development tools: Software companies should explore the potential benefits of AI in reducing development costs and enhancing agility. By leveraging these tools, businesses can stay competitive in a changing market.
  • 2. Define a niche and establish expertise: Writers aiming for success on Substack should focus on a specific niche and establish themselves as subject matter experts. This approach increases the chances of attracting a dedicated audience interested in the specialized content.
  • 3. Utilize content discovery tools: While Substack may lack robust content discovery features, writers can still leverage social media platforms, SEO techniques, and collaborations to drive traffic to their content. Building a strong online presence beyond the platform itself can help reach a wider audience.

In conclusion, the rise of AI and the evolution of content platforms are reshaping the software and content industries. By adapting to these changes and utilizing the available tools, businesses and writers can thrive in this dynamic landscape.

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