Good morning, All,
First off, our October Breakfast with an Angel will be on Wednesday, October 15th, and our guest investor will be Jason Klein. Jason Klein has a background in media, consulting, and healthcare. He is founder and CEO of On Grid Ventures, an advisory and investment firm specializing in digital media and marketing. He is also Chairman of the Harvard Business School Alumni Angels (HBS Alumni Angels of Greater NY is the second largest angel group in NY, with more than $4 million invested across 25 companies, and part of a global HBS Alumni Angels network with chapters on 4 continents, and a member of the New York Angels, the largest angel group in NY. Register here, and hope to see you there!
Two weeks ago, you’d probably never heard of Ello – and now everyone is angling for an invitation to the new social network (if you’d like one, let us know and we’ll send along as many as we can).
It’s bare bones. It’s underpopulated, at present. It’s early days. Most importantly, it’s a barometer of the general and growing dissatisfaction with Facebook. We may not see a mass exodus any time soon, and we do remember diaspora, an earlier potential Facebook alternative/rival (one of the young founders committed suicide around the time the company was funded, and the site seemed to have more or less died with him). Let’s also remember that Facebook didn’t launch with half the planet on board, either. It took them years to build word of mouth. And to gain traction.
Ello promotes itself as being both ‘ad-free’ and ‘free.’ As Facebook was in the early days. With such high ideals, the big question is, how are they going to make money? Hey, Ello, or some other ambitious social network ready to step into the fray, this just in: WhatsApp Used This Pricing Strategy to Win and You Can Too. First year free, then minimal payment. At one point, FB considered charging a dollar/year. Then there’s freemium/premium models, which certainly served LinkedIn well, and LinkedIn was free at first, too. And still offer a freemium model – and adverts, which you’re subjected to, whether or not you’re a paying member. The cable model, with the exception of the Showtimes and HBOs of the world.
Facebook is fine for many, many people right now, but disaffection is growing and lest we forget, again, Yahoo owned search, until Google came along. Google was not only not a hands down winner out of the gate – the general sentiment when they first launched was, why did they bother entering a space that another player so clearly owned? Ello might not be the winner at the end of the day, but for the fact that it has gotten so much attention so quickly – attention must be paid
Ello Isn’t Going to Work: 6 Things It Doesn’t Address, says the HuffPo. Yes, there are issues, as there are with Facebook, and more and more every day as privacy erodes and Facebook decides which posts are more important in your timeline, or experiments with your emotions – all, without your consent. Security is certainly an issue, and Ello says it’s working on. On the other hand, who isn’t Facebook sharing your information with? Right or wrong, all part of the price of admission. And then there’s this: Facebook killer called Ello gets the timing right from MarketWatch (and SOS member Therese Poletti).
It may not be Ello, but someone will displace Facebook and our suggestion to the next social network: don’t reinvent the wheel. If Facebook is something of an online universal social equivalent to a phone book, allow people to post/incorporate all of their social media icons/links (FB, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Twitter), or which ever they choose to add. Make it easy – make it truly, you know, social. We see where walled gardens have gotten us, and as we always say – the future is open. All of the above considered, it may look like Facebook invented the wheel when it comes to social networks. It’s time for someone to upgrade us to steel belted radials. Onward and forward.