I wanted to share a few news and thoughts to you all eelo.io supporters and backers. This past week has been fascinating.
I’ve realized that we are many people to be interested in the eelo.io vision and proposal.
Actually, I started the eelo project for myself by learning about existing stuff on mobile plateforms (I’m coming from the PC world…), hacking some LineageOS ROMs, and my goal was just to eventually be able to show to my friends and family: “look, I’m not using an iPhone anymore, I’m not using Google anymore but I can do the same things you are doing with your smartphone, and nobody is looking at ma personal data” (I fear I like to feel like a teen sometimes) …
Then I wondered if the project could have some traction and could find some money to pay one or two developers, so that eelo developments would benefit to all. So I started the Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign, without any idea about how it would work.
Now the campaign has reached about 30% of its target during the first 3 days, which is very nice in my opinion. But the most interesting is elsewhere!
The most interesting is that I got hundreds of messages of people interested by the projects. Many “thanks! we’ve been waiting for such a project for a long time!“. Many suggestions about what should be put or not in eelo. Many questions. Some (little) FUD as well. And several potential partnerships.
In only one month, nearly 1000 people have registerered at eelo.io to be informed about our progress!
This gives me some little pressure I must say, even if this is a situation I’ve already lived during summer and fall 1998.
Three things come to mind:
- we’ll have to deliver and we will deliver. It won’t be perfect at first, but we will improve at each new iteration and new release
- interactions I got with each of you are a real pleasure, and it helps me to understand better what people have in mind, what they can expect from the project
- as a side note: I’d recommend to any startup who plans to release a product for users to start a crowdfunding campaign: it forces them to make the project clearer, it establishes connexions within the ecosystem, it starts getting early adopters and future users onboard, and it can fuelsthe project on the financial side.
Anyway, let me explain again what eelo is going to be:
- a non-profit project, in the public interest. Ultimately my goal is be to put all eelo assets into a Foundation to protect them and ensure their sustainability over time and get some funding from govs, entreprises… (if people know well these aspects, please get in touch with me)
- a mobile phone OS (ROM) that some people (geeks!) will be able to flash on their devices, and that hardware makers can install and sell on devices. And eelo will probably sell “official” eelo smartphones
- associated web-services: email, cloud storage, and various online services, all that from open source software that we will repackage into a consistent environment that will be the default into eelo ROM and offer an intuitive experience to users. Plus an API layer for all those services so that eelo phones owners can install the eelo web services on their own servers and configure that into the ROM if they want.
- eelo is for mum and dad, and children etc. (and me!), not for James Bond or people who have illegal activity. This means that eelo is going to put a lot of effort on privacy and security, but will not be meant to be something like “supersecurestealthphone” for instance. This also means that eelo will offer an application repository that will provide both open source mobile apps such as what is available on F-droid, and mainstream applications because yes, some people are still using whatsapp and instagram… and eelo is about freedom and education, not a totalitarian project.
This is a lot of stuff! And as soon as the Kickstarter goal is reached, I will focus exclusively on the ROM & web services with our great developer(s) and share progresses 🙂
Some people have asked me if there was a way to do some simple donations to the project, so the answer is yes, Kickstarter can be used for that (without rewards) and it’s the preferred way, but there is also a donate page on the website (Paypal and Bitcoins).
Also, I have many messages that I didn’t have time to answer. I’ll spend a few hours today and tomorrow to answer. I’m trying to answer every message, and there are everywhere: on this blog, on twitter, on telegram, on whatsapp, on signal, on facebook, on mastodon and on my email 🙂
We can change the story of our digital lives, thank you for your support!
Happy Holiday Season,
— Gaël (https://twitter.com/gael_duval)