The day we set out to create Ello, we stapled three photographs on the wall of our studio.
Dieter Rams: Less, but better.
Captain Kirk: Boldly going where no person has gone before.
Kurt Cobain: Fuck you, who says we can't?
I can't count the number of experts that told us that we could not build Ello. That this network would never thrive, because we could not compete with mainstream social networks funded by billionaires, that collect and sell personal data for profit, and build features that Ello doesn't even aspire to copy.
There's a disturbing subtext to this message: the nihilistic assumption that it's not even worth trying, because the big guys have already won. In other words: give up kid, you've lost before you've even begun. But we do imagine a better world. And we always have to start at the beginning: with few resources, big ideas, and relentless commitment to stay focused and work hard.
And a few photographs tacked to a bulletin board that remind us that we are never alone.
You cannot create something new by competing. You cannot disrupt the status quo by copying what everyone else is doing. That's the long, discouraging road to nowhere where know-it-alls spend their lives. Instead, we jump right in, naively, acting as if nothing in the world existed before us, and nothing matters except what we're doing right now.
What we discovered, over the past year, is that it is not really about features, or funding, or enormous marketing budgets. What makes this network great is the positivity of the Ello community.
Ello emerged out of our conviction that if we just take away all the reasons that people have to act negatively on other networks, our natural instincts to be kind to one another emerge. After all, when we see someone that is happy, we feel joy too. When we meet someone who is struggling, we naturally want to help. This is evolutionary: humans will only survive if we learn to work together to solve our problems.
Ello is a tool created to help us inspire one another, and move the world forward.
That's the reason this network continues to grow and thrive.