I have been making pictures since I was 15. I’m now 43, so I have been a photographer for most of my life. Over the last 28 years, I’ve made some really bad pictures, lots of ok pictures, and a few good pictures. Regardless of if they are good or bad, I just keep making pictures. The process of making something is what I know, and it's one of the few constants in my life. It keeps me looking forward, and gives me a sense that I exist.
Ello is designed and built by makers for makers. So, when my Ello profile went live on 7/14, it was an exciting moment because it brought together a group of makers. We wedged ourselves into a tiny, totally stripped down, white and black spaceship, and launched into space without any idea of where we’d go, or if we’d even return.
Watching Ello blow up in the last few days has been awesome. Some people love it, some people hate it. Which is to be expected, as all art is totally subjective. But the internet has a way of polarizing things more intensely, and I’ve been entertained by the outpouring of negativity: assumptions about and obsessions with growth, business, money, scalability, money, the looming inevitability of advertising, and money.
Some of my favorite comments:
“No business model, no money.”
“It is only blowing up because there is a new tech reporter every 2 hours writing an article about how it's blowing up.”
“We'll see how that oh-so-utopian stance holds up when it actually costs money to host and support.”
“I'm done reading. Have fun with your new fad site, TechCrunch.”
“Let the countdown to trivial and easily preventable Ello security breach begin.”
“It looks like a containment unit for people who take meaningful, serious pictures of themselves while doing no meaningful work in the real world.”
“I hate that logo. It's too Walmart.”
“It looks more like a self promotion project for the designer and the developers.”
“The UI/UX is sophomoric at best.”
“Sounds like a jew project.” (this one is my favorite)
“Here's why Ello is dumb: it's impossible to operate a giant online service for free. If they grow, they'll find a way to disappoint you.”
This negativity is focused on what Ello may / may not eventually become, and whether or not it will succeed or fail — which is irrelevant. Ello has already succeeded. @budnitz, @todd, @lucian, @gv, @mk, @cacheflowe, and @jayzes have made something beautiful.
And it’s working.
As Andy Warhol said (and yes, Paul he did actually say this):
“Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.”