I use Medium as both a developer and non-developer. I agree they do not target the developer community, but have been reasonably happy with them as a literary community. I post short stories, poems, and other editorial pieces there. They tend to have more of an audience there than my programming articles.
It's the story of startups that ultimately you need a way to make money, and unless registered as a non-profit, you need to make profit. Bait-and-switch is almost essential at this point, as the market has been conditioned to want products cheaply. Additionally, services which profit from user data (profiling, such as Facebook), skew the price point at which services can be offered.
It's a difficult challenge to market a community and balance it with financial needs. The pressure only increases as the community increases in size. Many places face an unfortunate situation of either switching the service, or going bankrupt.
I'm glad you'll be open with the intentions and progress of dev.to. Every bit of success will be met with a new set of challenges to deal with. :)
Oh yes, I definitely agree with all of this.
We're a place where coders share, stay up-to-date and grow their careers.
We strive for transparency and don't collect excess data.