How a Successful ello.co can help Montréal Tech Companies

Posted on October 5, 2014

Ello.co has had a great week. The Burlington, Vermont based start-up has seen amazing demand for its newly launched social network.

This is clearly great news. A social network thrives from connected people using it, so ello.co clearly needs everyone to have enough of their friends using the network to make it valuable. Otherwise, well, ello.co could become the next Path.

Path is a great social network on mobilePersonally, I adore the interaction model of Path, their business model is well-meaning and their applications are well thought through. Unfortunately, my entourage is not of the same opinion and Path is, for me, a ghost town.

##Why is there demand for a new social network?
One might ask the question why we need a new Facebook. I think that’s increasingly clear. Facebook has become horrendous to use due to the overwhelming number of vaguely targeted and very in-your-face advertisements.

There is also the question of what might happen when the user is the product that is being sold. Indeed, one of the great benefits of Path and ello.co is that they have no interest in selling their user’s data (in theory). Facebook’s business model is to sell your attention to their customers – Facebook users are the product and that is always risky; especially in a social network where you are potentially providing a lot of personal information.

Hence, from these two points of view, it would be great to have a new timeline-style social network that has a business-model not based on selling user attention.

##How can a successful ello.com benefit Montréal?
Proximity. Vermont, according to Wikipedia, has a population of 637 thousand people. Burlington has 42 thousand residents.

It’s clear that if ello.co becomes successful, they will need to scale and they will need to scale rapidly in order to meet the needs of their users. Anyone who has used ello.co will realize quite quickly that there is a huge functional gap between what they offer and what Facebook offers. And I’m talking here about the small things we take for granted, like photo album management, webpage previews etc, not the nice to haves like messaging, marketplaces and apps such as Farmville.

The Burlington area will just not be able to either supply or attract sufficient skilled developers to be able to meet ello.co’s demand. However, there is a metropolis of 3.8 million people about two hours drive away with four excellent universities churning out skilled developers every year: Montréal.

Montréal also has a healthy number of small development shops that could help ello.co with their growth from both a specialization standpoint and from a pure man/woman power standpoint too.

Of course, ello.co could go to the other main technology centres such as New York or Silicon Valley. But over there, they’ll be competing with all the other big tech companies and will have to pay commensurate wages. Montréal still looks like a great bet.

Hopefully, Montréal companies will be able to reach-out and build the right relationships with the chaps at ello.co to be there for them when they’ll need help. And of course, our tax-credits can be very helpful too.