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RavBoy

Evernote CEO Ian Small Provides Insights & Answers to User Questions/Issues re New Evernote Version 10 Release? And Discusses Plans for Next 12 Months to Oct 2021 -SUMMARY

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Hooray, we finally get answers to questions I and others raised in thread Will Evernote for Windows New Version 10 Succeed?.  Outlined below, you will find I have time-indexed/linked and copy-transcribed key notes from this recent interview with Ian Small, that was released on YouTube on October 8-2020, and as shared by @gazumped in another forum post. 
 
The real work in providing these notes to you, was actually listening to the whole 45 minute interview, and another 45 minutes highlighting key comments that I thought relevant to our questions re EN' New Version 10 issues, as I didn't actually manually transcribe the interview.
 
I feel the time invested in this exercise was well spent, as I'm now satisfied, even confident, that EN will indeed get its sh%t together with this latest version 10, and give me/us the time to stay on EN-for-Windows 6.25 until they achieve on promised fixes/features etc.  If I didn't find this interview, I would have spent at least 12 hours preparing the arc for the switch to either Nimbus or OneNote...so much time saving, and I now feel it probably won't be necessary after all.
 
Whilst still much to take in here, you will get in approx 10 minutes what took me much longer. But if EN is that important to you/your business, I know you'll find this insightful.  Finally, the transcription-notes are about 99% verbatim, but you can click the video-links to hear for yourself, should you dare seeing @Ian Small donning a Brady Bunch hair style... I had to look away for most of it.
 
 
/////// INTERVIEW VIDEO | TIME-INDEX LINKS & SUMMARY TRANSCRIPT NOTES /////////
 
0.59 HIS GOAL FOR EN SINCE STARTING as CEO in OCT 2018 
i think uh, i think when we started this process, i mean i was pretty clear when we when we set out, um, to do what we're doing that that the goal here was to really rebuild everyone out and create a new platform on which we could innovate and bring new features and new capabilities to our customers!
 
3.15 WE DON'T PLAN! SO CAN'T ESTIMATE HOW LONG EN RUBUILD'S TAKE!
we didn't have like a detailed plan for all the things that we would have to do to get this done because making that detailed plan would have taken us you know three months and, and that's just kind of wasting three months we would have had maybe a better idea of how long it was going to take but then it would have taken three months longer because we spent three months you know building that detailed plan so you know we knew we needed to do this and we basically just started doing the work  
 
5.15 COVID-19 DID NOT AFFECT US
from the standpoint of doing the work i can't point to coronavirus and say oh that slowed us down and cost us three months that wouldn't that wouldn't necessarily be true i think as a software company we were pretty well equipped to adapt rapidly i don't think it helped um you know it hasn't oh we haven't worked faster because everybody's working from home now but it hasn't been like a hugely material impact what it has impacted is you know really the sort of general state of being of the people who work in the company and that does have an impact right life life is now much more complicated for everybody
 
8.32 THE WINNER IS... 'NOTEBOOKS' 🙂 HE PREFERS NOTEBOOKS -YAY 
years ago um you know when i was at Apple we did some research about how people organized, and it wasn't about how they used the computer to organize, it was about how they organized in their life. We came up with this realization that there in this world there are Filers there are Pilers and there are Searchers. um and uh you know i'm pretty much a Filer. I like the sense of organization of putting things away and so for me I use NOTEBOOKS um a lot more than I use TAGS! ...but i absolutely recognize that you know the people who use tags that is to them as obvious um a way to organize things as as notebooks
 
10.42 POWER OF SEARCH IS REWIRING US
i think over over the last you know 10 years a lot of us have had our brains rewired by the power of search and the fact that you know from you get used to using google just to find things and you know if you look at what um you know gmail is about or you know how google drive works they're very very reliant on search as the one true way to find things and one of the things we've tried to do in these builds is make search significantly more powerful so that for those people for whom organization isn't one of the things that makes them smile uh you know we can do a better job of of finding things for them
 
19.47  IAN's SECRETS TO ZONING OUT FORUM COMMENTS...READING & POWER TOOLS 😉
there's only a few things that make me uh stop thinking about WORK and um one of them is reading because i get really absorbed into reading fiction uh and and the other is actually um uh using power tools because i have found that, uh, if i am using a tool that's going to cut off my hand if i use it incorrectly then i pay a lot of attention to what i'm doing
 
22.05 NEW THEME/MOTTO is... REMEMBER EVERYTHING & ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING
so let me, let me tell you how we are thinking about evernote, and its place in the world at the moment. um you know when when stefan patrikov founded evernote he, um, he had a very simple vision, which is he wanted to be your external brain. and super simple simple now the good thing about that vision is there's a lot of room in there you don't really have to change that uh it's not like oh we need a bigger vision that's that's big enough um uh but in in evernote's um early years uh and and for much of its history you know that vision got boiled down to a sort of simple mantra which was uh you know, remember everything um and and and so that was why there was all this focus that evident on capturing things notes and scans and pictures and web clips and all the rest because you know we took the idea of being your external brain and we translated into we're going to help you remember and that's a really good mission. but we think you know these days remembering is probably not enough... we've always believed that what is important about evernote isn't evernote itself, it's what people do with evernote, um you know it's it's what our users do with this tool that we give them, that is the most important thing um about evernote, and if you kind of go around the world and you talk to evernote users you know you will find everything you will find you you could name um a use case and you can go find someone who is doing that whatever yeah we literally have researchers who are curing cancer and using evernote to figure out how to keep their notes we have people who are figuring out i don't know they're selling houses they're realtors they're using evernote do that we have uh people who are running companies and using evernote to do that. we have people who are running their kids soccer teams and using evernote to do that you know. we have people who are cooking and using evernote for recipes every possible use case you could imagine is in evernote and all of that is what's important about evernote. but in most of these cases remembering is useful but we don't think it's enough given where the world is today... and so um we we used to talk about remember everything okay these days we're starting to talk about remember everything and accomplish anything. and what we really want to do is start shift evernote from a place that is just a place that helps you remember things um into uh into a a tool that would can really help you accomplish things. so yes we'll still be helping you remember but now we want to help you take that information and turn it in some way into action or result and that's really still completely focused on being your external brain just starting to bite off a few more pieces of what that brain really means and so um you know note taking um is obviously a lot about remembering and one of the things i think we want to start to help do is um as you say help organize those ideas so that you can get results help you turn those actions into results help you think better using evernote these are all things that i think are now uh stuff we're trying to think about because really what we've been doing for these last 18 months is trying not just to rebuild these apps but to create a foundation on which we can innovate and if we're going to innovate we need to know what we're going after and what we're going after is helping move evernote just from being about remembering to being a tool that's about accomplishing as well 
 
27.45   3-JOBS! AIMED AT A COHERENT/CONSISTENT EXPERIENCE ACROSS PLATFORMS/DEVICES
We wanted to get a sense that when you opened evernote on a device you hadn't used it on before, it felt familiar, and you already kind of knew what it should do, and where to find things okay. you didn't have to learn it all over again, and that's what we talked about. we said consistent and coherent. we wanted to make sense and you want to have familiarity everywhere that you go and and and you're gonna see that as the apps roll out that while they look different uh in terms of their layout, and what we present to you, because we have lots of screen real estate or less green real estate etc you know the nav system is always consistent, and it always looks and feels kind of the same making sense for the form factor that you're in etc that was Job-1 okay. 
Job-2... was we want to change how we develop software because we wanted to develop more code reuse so that we're only writing things once because we want to be able to innovate and not have to build things five times which is what we used to have to do everything we built we built five times and we also wanted to do that so that we could fix once and fix everywhere when there was a bug because it's software and there are always bugs if we fix it we think we fix it everywhere 
Job-3... and the last thing we wanted to do was um you know re-architect our infrastructure because it was aging um and we were starting to have some scale issues and we wanted to get to a more modern architecture 
 
30.08 BEING MORE EFFICIENT -WITH CORE CODE BASE
because of one of those changes in the way we think about software and the amount of code that we reuse obviously we can't reuse everything i mean what we do on a platform basis for a windows machine and a mac are very different what we do for our mobile phone are completely different. so there is still lots of code that is specific to the devices but there's now a much larger core, that we can lift and shift, to a platform and then wrap it, in ways that make sense for that platform adapted etc, like you know at the very basis, the same editor code is literally now running on your phone as on your laptop the ux is obviously completely different because your laptop has a big screen and your phone has a small one, all the elements are common, so you'll like it'll be familiar, we have to redesign and rebuild the ux, but the core of the editor is literally the same code. so if we have a problem and we fix it, we'll fix it everywhere.
 
31.28  NEW VERSION ISSUES on MAC/WIN COULDN'T BE FOUND DURING PAST 9-MONTHS!?
we're gonna focus on mac and windows and making sure those are where WE want them to be, um and then we will and we will um get one except okay i mean we have to focus first on on the clients that we have and making sure that we're completely happy with them as we get them into market. because we're always you a company our scale when you you know put software into market you always find things that no matter how long you have been testing you didn't find i mean we've had the ios app in um in customers hands for nine months and uh you know literally it was i was december or january when we put the very earliest preview out to get feedback on to a limited number of customers and still as soon as we you know shipped it and we were out you know apple says the maximum number of users you can beta with in ios is ten thousand they don't let you go to ten thousand one no matter what um and in the moment you know we launched to uh you know one percent of our audience we immediately learned things that we hadn't learned in nine months it wasn't for lack of trying it's just the way software works so we have to stabilize everything first, and then we will deal with new platforms
 
32.50 CURRENT iOS UPDATE & FIXES -PROBLEMS NOT WIDE SPREAD JUST 1%
yes so what we're doing right now is working through all the problems um that we see in the live, and kind of trying to knock them down one at a time. so we're going through these very rapid hotfix releases, as we identify problems um uh in some cases yeah i mean look everybody's doing this. you notice uh uh apple with ios 14 has a bunch of problems that they're trying to figure out at the moment um it's it you know it happens it's obviously not what any of us want, because users get impacted. um uh and you know so we scramble to try and fix things as fast as we can. but you know none of none of the problem the real challenge here is from a user perspective when you get impacted by a problem it's enormous, um and you know, but none of the problems we're seeing are actually massively wide spread through the audience. if 50% of our users were having the problem we would have seen it and fixed it in the beta!!! uh we are we have a set of kind of one percent or less problems right now that we are trying to um isolate and fix but one percent of evernote users is a heck of a lot of users. so that's a lot of people who are justifiably unhappy and we have to fix things.
 
*35.00 ALL PLATFORMS TO 'FOLLOW' EN-WEB VERSION.  NEW EN LESS FEATURES NOW SO USE LEGACY VERSION... PROMISE WE WILL GET THERE!!!
so um i'd say a couple of things: so we've always said from the beginning that um you know the the web is not a bad place to look if you want to understand where we're going that's different than it being the foundation for all of the versions well web implementation shares a lot of the code um that we use in other releases as well. but um but it's not the same as it being the foundation. so we start from a very basic thing right. people expect that you can use evernote offline when you're not connected to the internet. well you can't do that with a web version the web version only works if you're talking to the internet okay. so we can start right there and say so you know right from the beginning definition-ally there are some significant differences between the mac and the windows version and the web version just starting with the fact that the mac and the windows version let you work offline when you're not connected to the internet. and the same thing is true for ios version and the same thing will be true for android. and so uh people shouldn't focus on the web version being the foundation it's not it's one manifestation of the code. so uh there are things right now today that aren't supported in the web version, that are actually supported in the mac and windows versions uh that actually just went up this morning. um uh you know an easy example is like multi-select. so you can select a bunch of notes and operate on them that's not actually supported in the web version but you will discover marvelously that it is supported in the mac and windows version.
... 37.57 it's all stacked up and coming. and that's that's the kind of issue where for some people the answer will be well this is unusable. and then i'll say okay keep using the legacy version of your mac or windows and and we'll get there, right!? for a lot of people they're like what, there's a feature that lets you do that. you know that's in the category of it's a five percent feature a one percent feature like fewer than five percent of evernote users use it but the ones who do it's critical to their work path so we'll get there we'll implement it so there are more things on mac and windows today than what you can see in the web. in some cases some of that stuff will move to the web as well and you'll see it in both places in some cases it won't part sometimes it depends on what we can and can't do um in different contexts but yeah don't they're not carbon copies of each other great they're it's the same core adapted to the platform and then with stuff that makes sense for that platform as well
 
39.46 IAN FOCUSES ON THE PRESENT -MAKING SURE UPGRADES ARE REALLY UPGRADES FOR THE VAST MAJORITY, & NOT ON FUTURE FEATURES
one of the reasons i don't like talking about futures too much, is i'm really focused on on the present. and i'm really focused on delivering these apps and creating this platform and on making sure that these apps are not just replacements um for people's existing apps, but are are really upgrades for the vast majority um of our users. and and that they they see things are better and we have work to do there still. and so i know everybody wants to focus on what's coming um and what i will say is there are several big things under development, um that uh, that get to that idea i talked to before about moving just from remembering things to accomplishing things. and they've been under development now for in some cases um i'd say develop they've been under design and development and research uh for you know probably more than six months. um as we've been working on this and they're uh all in development now, um, trying to get there my 
 
**40.55 IAN HAS FAITH, & BELIEVES, THAT IN NEXT 12 MONTHS EN WILL OUTSELL ITS LAST 5 YEARS -& IT'S A TRUE STATEMENT!
my expectation, and i've said this publicly now in a number of forums, is my expectation is that in the next 12 months we'll ship more than we've shipped in the last five years. um and uh, and that sounds like a a bold statement, um it's not actually that bold statement when you can see the stuff in flight, behind the scenes, like i can!? um, so i know that that is actually a true statement, uh i i have i have complete faith that that that is going to be true um uh but i yeah i don't i don't want to talk about um this feature, or that feature, or the other feature. what i will say is all of those things that you just talked about are um things that uh we are aware of, um that we're thinking about, and our biggest focus is really on looking at things that a large population of our user base is already using evernote in some way to do but that you know we don't make it easy, or we don't support it very well 
 
42.08 TO RESEARCH USER NEEDS, WE SURVEY 100 to 300 THOUSAND USERS (BUT IGNORE PASSIONATE USERS ON FORUMS)
the forums customer research surveys um everywhere i mean we do uh we have a lot of research about what users do you know once in a while people will get surveys from us that say oh which of the following things are important? it's like and those surveys like the forums are great, but, there's a small number of people in the forums who are very passionate about the thing that they want. the surveys let us go out to a hundred thousand people. um or or two or three hundred thousand users and get there what's most important to you, this that and the other. so that gives us this very large quantitative base of information to say oh look, 40% of our users use evernote to do this, do we do we support that as well as we could or can we make that better? um and so and then we go out into direct user research, once we have an area to say we want to talk to users who are doing this kind of thing and see what you're doing and think about how we can make it better and then we go from this big sort of level of quantitative survey research into one-on-one meetings with users to say show us how you use evernote to do this and we literally learn from individual users and we go looking at 20 30 40 individual users start to collect that information come up with some ideas and then go back and start presenting ideas to users saying if we did this would that make your life easier would you use this would you not use this how is this right how is this wrong and that's the entire process we go through. 
 
//////END////
 
For the most part, Ian's comments about, 1-acknowledging people's desire/need to stay on the Legacy version till the new version-10 wrinkles are ironed out and... 2- His faith/belief that EN will sell more in the next 12 months than previous 5 years, has largely restored my confidence and belief that EN v10 will end up being all it should have been from launch!  ..and definitely a BIG upgrade from the current v6.25 of EN-for-Windows I mostly use.  cheers
 
***EDIT:  OCT 19, 2020
 
@DTLow Just added another more recent interview, posted to YouTube yesterday (for me in Australia, else today for USA) October 18, with Ian Small.  He also Time-indexed, Summarised and Linked to the video-interview... awesome thanks DTLow.  Click Here for Most recent interview
 
Screenshot

1T.png

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Nothing definite no explanation of why features have been removed- all a bit pointless.

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I listened to the interview and found it really encouraging, I would encourage people to do that over reading the above, because oral habits have been transcribed into written word (um etc) it’s really hard to read. 
 

I like the idea of remember and accomplish within the app and I am keen to see how that develops. 

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4 hours ago, wbutchart said:

I listened to the interview and found it really encouraging, I would encourage people to do that over reading the above, because oral habits have been transcribed into written word (um etc) it’s really hard to read.

Or maybe it just means that Ian Small have great public speaking skills - casts a spell... but dirty truths are still hidden behind... 😉

Like all "great" politicians do. Promise millions, but deliver pennies...

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20 分鐘前, Kolmir說:

Or maybe it just means that Ian Small have great public speaking skills - casts a spell... but dirty truths are still hidden behind... 😉

Like all "great" politicians do. Promise millions, but deliver pennies...

If he really does something, he should have come here to directly answer users' questions, or post a blog article to address the issue. He at least didn't do something like what former CEO Chris O'Neill did. Ian Small is indeed the worst Evernote CEO ever. 

Beautiful words alone are only false hopes and scams. Only actions consistent to words can build trust and confidence.

Evernote Camera Roll 20161222 235251.png

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Hey @RavBoy, THANK YOU for taking the time to timestamp this and provide some summaries. That takes a bit of work and it helped me a lot to bounce around to the various points in the video where I could see @Ian Small speak about certain points in which I had a personal interest.  Definitely appreciate your contributions on that.

 Here are my  comments and take-aways, for what it's worth:

  • Few probably really appreciate how massively non-trivial Small's undertaking truly is. I have been in and around the making and implementing complex software for about 3 decades now. Evernote's codebase was on a disastrous vector which would have inevitably led to its demise, even if 10+ years from now. The bloat of having to deal with 5-6 unique applications, essentially, would have made innovation absolutely unsustainable one day (if we're not there already and I would argue we are) and competitive apps would have shown up to tear it apart. I mean, this is something we are already seeing with apps like Nimbus and others. So this move he is making is as necessary as it is risky to the loss of power users like me and perhaps many others.
  • The risk comes from the fact that these first re-writes of the code from the ground up could never have all the features everyone wants in a first iteration. They are basically starting over. It would be too expensive to even try to have all the important features to every persona out there using Evernote. Therefore some are going to jump ship, or seriously consider it for perhaps the first. (I was one of those. More on my intentions in a second.)
  • They are not just "rewriting code". They are building a new platform on which to write future code that we probably haven't even considered yet as use cases. This makes me hopeful. I've often thought it would be amazing if Evernote could, just as a crazy example here, contain all my raw note data from meeting let's say, and I could bolt on something like a mindmapping app which could tap into a note(s) and let me pull it apart in the form of a mindmap from outside Evernote. Whether that that particular use case is or isn't possible (or even worth considering) is beside the point. The point is: to consider anything like that now they would have to build it 5 separate times for each app OS.  Never going to happen.  The new and improved codebase makes innovations along these lines conceivable--it cracks that innovation door open. I find that exciting.
  • Clearly Small recognizes that there are those of us who will keep rolling on v. 6.25 and they will support that for a time. That's all I needed to know. I'm in no rush. I know undertakings like this take an almost diabolical series of iterations in order to get to even get near the brass ring. I just don't want my working life wrecking-balled while I wait.  So, all good here. I'm going to keep on keeping on in 6.25 for a good 12 months or so while I see what the new releases bring and re-evaluate then. I have two machines I work with, a notebook and desktop (and mobile of course). I may install v10 on one of them just so I can keep tabs on the latest improvements. Pondering this.

In short, you probably saved an Evernote user today @RavBoy. :D  I was testing Nimbus just before checking in on these Win 10 threads. It's not where I need it to be either (which I may or may not post about in my blog). Nimbus is deficient enough in areas like their clipper and just basic polish of core features that I may as well give Evernote time to nurture this new codebase and see where it ends up.

It's their future to lose or win at this point.

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So basically for whatever reason EN has not been "developed" but now it is being re written with limited functionality....perhaps eventually developing to offer functions that WERE available once again in a "New" EN?

Explain to me why Premium subscribers should pay full subscription while a limited version of a service is provided and application is being re written?

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6 hours ago, rob24hrs said:

Explain to me why Premium subscribers should pay full subscription while a limited version of a service is provided and application is being re written?

Because we still have access to the legacy version,
and Evernote is still syncing to the legacy databases (Mac/Windows)
It's our choice if we want to participate in the v10 experience

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28 minutes ago, hanseric said:

Hey @RavBoy, THANK YOU for taking the time to timestamp this and provide some summaries. That takes a bit of work and it helped me a lot to bounce around to the various points in the video where I could see @Ian Small speak about certain points in which I had a personal interest.  Definitely appreciate your contributions on that.

 Here are my  comments and take-aways, for what it's worth:

  • Few probably really appreciate how massively non-trivial Small's undertaking truly is. I have been in and around the making and implementing complex software for about 3 decades now. Evernote's codebase was on a disastrous vector which would have inevitably led to its demise, even if 10+ years from now. The bloat of having to deal with 5-6 unique applications, essentially, would have made innovation absolutely unsustainable one day (if we're not there already and I would argue we are) and competitive apps would have shown up to tear it apart. I mean, this is something we are already seeing with apps like Nimbus and others. So this move he is making is as necessary as it is risky to the loss of power users like me and perhaps many others.
  • The risk comes from the fact that these first re-writes of the code from the ground up could never have all the features everyone wants in a first iteration. They are basically starting over. It would be too expensive to even try to have all the important features to every persona out there using Evernote. Therefore some are going to jump ship, or seriously consider it for perhaps the first. (I was one of those. More on my intentions in a second.)
  • They are not just "rewriting code". They are building a new platform on which to write future code that we probably haven't even considered yet as use cases. This makes me hopeful. I've often thought it would be amazing if Evernote could, just as a crazy example here, contain all my raw note data from meeting let's say, and I could bolt on something like a mindmapping app which could tap into a note(s) and let me pull it apart in the form of a mindmap from outside Evernote. Whether that that particular use case is or isn't possible (or even worth considering) is beside the point. The point is: to consider anything like that now they would have to build it 5 separate times for each app OS.  Never going to happen.  The new and improved codebase makes innovations along these lines conceivable--it cracks that innovation door open. I find that exciting.
  • Clearly Small recognizes that there are those of us who will keep rolling on v. 6.25 and they will support that for a time. That's all I needed to know. I'm in no rush. I know undertakings like this take an almost diabolical series of iterations in order to get to even get near the brass ring. I just don't want my working life wrecking-balled while I wait.  So, all good here. I'm going to keep on keeping on in 6.25 for a good 12 months or so while I see what the new releases bring and re-evaluate then. I have two machines I work with, a notebook and desktop (and mobile of course). I may install v10 on one of them just so I can keep tabs on the latest improvements. Pondering this.

In short, you probably saved an Evernote user today @RavBoy. :D  I was testing Nimbus just before checking in on these Win 10 threads. It's not where I need it to be either (which I may or may not post about in my blog). Nimbus is deficient enough in areas like their clipper and just basic polish of core features that I may as well give Evernote time to nurture this new codebase and see where it ends up.

It's their future to lose or win at this point.

Totally agree with all of that. I think they have done a tremendous job getting to where they are with this new app and my own view is that it's much better than the older version already.

I've been involved in very small SAAS companies myself, mainly as a hated project manager :) and I know how hard this would of been to do.

Some features will be left out. Decisions will have been made if they can afford developer time on features used by 1-3% of users. Tough call.

Thinking about the future and giving just one hypothetical example. Look at all the calls on the forums for free writing on notes with these wonderful pen devices we have. I know this would be very useful to me. Implementing this on the Windows app would've been a nightmare, then you add MACs into the mix then you need for this to be compatible with each other... virtually impossible to do.

With Electron they will have access to web technologies like the PointerEvent API that lets them detect even pen pressure on the screen. Cross platform as well.

The future looks great to me. Can't wait to see what they have cooking!

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"we were out you know apple says the maximum number of users you can beta with in ios is ten thousand they don't let you go to ten thousand one no matter what um and in the moment you know we launched to uh you know one percent of our audience we immediately learned things that we hadn't learned in nine months it wasn't for lack of trying it's just the way software works so we have to stabilize everything first, and then we will deal with new platforms"

Seriously? DO they think that new platform is now stable, after a lot of bad feedback on forums? There are other ways to stabilize software by for example intense Quality Assurance and Acceptance Test Driven Development...

Number of beta users of iOS isn't a limitation. There is a simple workaround. Company can publish in AppStore two apps simultaneously: "EverNote Classic" and "EverNote Light Renewed" or something similar. They are just cheap and unimaginative instead. No courageous enough to admit mistakes.

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3 minutes ago, Kolmir said:

They are just cheap and unimaginative instead....  No courageous enough to admit mistakes.

Totally disagree. What they are embarking upon now takes MASSIVE courage. They are rewriting the whole platform so they offer way more value down the road. 

If you're this unhappy, you should seriously go back to 6.25 if you haven't already or go find a better app if you can.

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12 minutes ago, DTLow said:

Because we still have access to the legacy version, and Evernote is still syncing to the legacy databases (Mac/Windows)
It's our choice if we want to participate in the v10 experience

  1. Legacy version isn't officially supported anymore. We are paying currently only for access to our data and nothing more. Some would call it a blackmail...
  2. New v10 installer should offer side-by-side installation as a first choice. (Knowing the limitations of v10, etc.)

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39 minutes ago, hanseric said:

Totally disagree. What they are embarking upon now takes MASSIVE courage. They are rewriting the whole platform so they offer way more value down the road. 

If you're this unhappy, you should seriously go back to 6.25 if you haven't already or go find a better app if you can.

1. OK, I respect your opinion - maybe we simply look on two (other) sides of the same coin? Nevertheless, my opinion is still that this is more a recklessness or ignorance than courage. Where is this new value?

2. Yep, I'm with 6.25 and considering to fork my current EvN notes into MS OneNote and Apple Notes :)

3. More explanation can be found there

 

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@RavBoy, thank you so much for slogging through all that, transcribing it, and excerpting it. Whew! It's hard to read because of the nature of oral flow of speech, but I get the main ideas. I'm not crazy about the attitude to the forums. Guess we're 1%ers here and didn't know it! I wonder if the surveys went out to all users, or if they distinguished between Basic and paid users. I think the latter are more likely to be the power users who also contribute heavily on forums. And I think percentage of users maybe ought to be coordinated with intensity of use: if 50% of casual users use a feature for 15 minutes per day, how does that compare with 3% of users (the 3% who are more intense or power users) using a feature for 5 hours a day? Not a statistician, so I don't know; but I think intensity of use should be figured in along with sheer number of users.

I do feel like they are aiming forward, and I get that (as more knowledgeable people than I, such as @hanseric and @Jon/t, have said in this thread) the unified code base was absolutely necessary in order to provide the possibility of innovation. But I don't think they should have released the placeholder version that is the current Windows v. 10, which is not much more (it seems) than the Web version in a Windows app. Hopefully the stripped-out features will begin reappearing in weeks rather than months, and innovative dashboard lights will not be prioritized over once-existing drive trains.

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3 hours ago, Kolmir said:

We are paying currently only for access to our data and nothing more. Some would call it a blackmail...

I think you mean "ransom"   
and I don't agree -  access to our data has never been an issue; even for the non-paying accounts

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47 minutes ago, DTLow said:

I think you mean "ransom"   
and I don't agree -  access to our data has never been an issue; even for the non-paying accounts

Yep, thanks for the correction. Maybe I gone too far with this. I simply lost my trust in EvN.

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4 hours ago, Kolmir said:

Nevertheless, my opinion is still that this is more a recklessness or ignorance than courage. Where is this new value?

Did you watch the entire interview with @Ian Small? I watched a lot of it feel satisfied they are neither being reckless nor ignorant.  If we had to be critical, I would perhaps choose something closer to "overwhelmed with the scope of the task...".  The new value, because of that scope, will take many iterations, just it has with the current code. 

Would you have them continue on an unsustainable path as they have been with versions prior to 10? What would you have done to make someone like yourself happy with a first release?

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45 minutes ago, Kolmir said:

I simply lost my trust in EvN.

For what it's worth, I have been frustrated with EN for a long time too. But it's been performance mostly--seizures when sync'ing and that kind of thing.  I have to give them a chance to make this right, but for the long term. And that is definitely not a trivial task for something as "mature" as the current code and, perhaps just as importantly, the number of subs they have.

Maybe give them a chance to earn the trust back. I'm in no rush. As long as I can use 6.25 for the next year so, I'll just keep doing what I was going to do anyway. 😉 

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4 hours ago, hanseric said:

Did you watch the entire interview with @Ian Small? I watched a lot of it feel satisfied they are neither being reckless nor ignorant.  If we had to be critical, I would perhaps choose something closer to "overwhelmed with the scope of the task...".  The new value, because of that scope, will take many iterations, just it has with the current code. 

Would you have them continue on an unsustainable path as they have been with versions prior to 10? What would you have done to make someone like yourself happy with a first release?

Primarily, a good leader should use strategic thinking - have a clear aim and an idea how to achieve it (almost everybody want to be in top 1%, but only 1% knows how to get there...). Moreover, CEO should consider positive and negative outcomes during each step ahead plus be aware of unintended consequences of each. Next, have a plan how to enhance good effects and mitigate bad ones. Do damage control, etc. Choose skilled and engaged coworkers and manage them to reach objectives.

Basically be like a chess-master - thinking five steps/moves ahead. Moreover, knowing the industry standards and patterns which can be reused.

Secondly, over-communicate about aforementioned goals, different approaches and their pros and cons. What are the assumptions, dependencies, constraints, and exclusions; their risk-management strategy.

Thirdly, give users a real choice, but not too much.

So, I as wrote before, there should be two official versions in parallel for a year:

  1. Legacy one, officially supported, but only in aspects of critical/major bugs and security issues with a clear expiry-date - for users who prefers stable maturity and full spectrum of old features
  2. New test version installed side-by-side - with an obvious plan: for example be in preview/alpha stage for 8 months and then in beta for another 4 - for those who likes experiments and want to influence development

There should be also a clear list what are the priorities and exclusions, Release plan (e.g. new version each month, etc.) and high-level Road map of features (an ordered Backlog), which shall be updated and published once a month.

Moreover, do they have clear metrics how they want measure success? Are they relevant to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO/IEC_9126 ?

From engineering point of view there is for example an approach called Acceptance Testing Driven Development - you publish what is expected for a certain version of a software to do and how to test it exhaustively. Then you ask testers and beta users to check if all those scenarios (use cases) work as expected. You gather feedback about the quality, features, etc.

What they have done instead?

  • There is only one official/supported "Light" version, but no roadmap or release plan, no clear objectives. They only giving some glimpses. There no assurance what's in and what's out for sure.
  • During a very short period of preview/beta they mostly ignored feedback about what paid/premium users need/want and surprisingly published a half baked version to everybody as a "viable and mighty" successor of the old EvN. Knowing from users that product which was called beta wasn't even ready ready for the public beta testing. This is a big red warning sign - indicator of improper engineering  and lacing quality assuring practices
  • They also have pretty bad idea how to handle disappointment of power/business users - just left them with unsupported version, which may be cut out off sync in every moment.
  • Nobody address directly abstract questions and doubts of users at our forum. EvN stuff answers only technical questions about details of a current version.

Moreover, so called stable platform (v10) for further development should have at least: editor with proper attachments handling, solid sync (no conflicts, no duplicates), preferences/settings panel, full offline mode, foolproof search, printing. Finally, assure also less tangible aspects like trust of users/customers, indisputable reliability, security, confidentiality, and high performance. What we got -> No customization, unpredictable sync, restricted editor, problematic search, problems with printing. Broken trust: many users are in doubts/unhappy. Reliability is very poor. No local notebooks, no easy editable encryption. New (Electron) app eats up resources like a monster.

All above it's only an abstract. Proper synthesis of issues and recommended solutions will probably take many long pages and hours of writing...

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7 minutes ago, Kolmir said:

So, I as wrote before, there should be two official versions in parallel for a year:

  1. Legacy one ...

I'm using the legacy version (Mac/Windows)     
with Evernote continuing to sync to the legacy local database   
I will be happy to get a year of use, and even longer as an offline product

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3 minutes ago, DTLow said:

I'm using the Legacy version (Mac/Windows) with Evernote continuing to sync to the legacy local database   
I will be happy to get a year of use, and even longer as an offline product

Do you know exactly how long it will be compatible with new iOS/Android apps and cloud servers?

What if new macOS 11 or new upgrade to Win10 will make legacy app stop working properly?

How can you be sure that EvN cares to make you happy for a year or even longer? 😉

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7 minutes ago, Kolmir said:

Do you know exactly how long ...

No idea how long the legacy version will be functional   
As I said, I'll be happy to get a year's use

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Just now, DTLow said:

No idea how long The legacy version will be functional   
As I said, I'll be happy to get a year's use

Therefore I appeal for a transparent communication about road-maps and expiry dates + maintenance of legacy - to make your happiness stable enough 😉

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16 hours ago, RavBoy said:

there's a small number of people in the forums who are very passionate about the thing that they want. the surveys let us go out to a hundred thousand people. um or or two or three hundred thousand users and get there what's most important to you, this that and the other.

So three hundred thousand people didn't want to sort search results on IOS and were okay with a three minute lag for an update to appear in search results in general.  Good to know.

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11 horas atrás, DTLow disse:

Because we still have access to the legacy version,
and Evernote is still syncing to the legacy databases (Mac/Windows)
It's our choice if we want to participate in the v10 experience

Just don't forget that Legacy version is 32bit only (at least for Windows), and for some huge notes, all users that need to use this version will be impacted. To not harm the users they should provide the 64 Version of it, at least. 

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15 hours ago, DTLow said:

Because we still have access to the legacy version,
and Evernote is still syncing to the legacy databases (Mac/Windows)
It's our choice if we want to participate in the v10 experience

Same question from from many For how long? I think the EN acolytes here if they have the Kings Ear need to send a message saying "get your A into G and start communicating with PAYING customers -----or LOOSE THEM."

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On 10/15/2020 at 3:47 PM, RavBoy said:
...The real work in providing these notes to you, was actually listening to the whole 45 minute interview, and another 45 minutes highlighting key comments that I thought relevant to our questions re EN' New Version 10 issues, as I didn't actually manually transcribe the interview....
 
...i don't i don't want to talk about um this feature, or that feature, or the other feature. what i will say is all of those things that you just talked about are um things that uh we are aware of, um that we're thinking about, and our biggest focus is really on looking at things that a large population of our user base is already using evernote in some way to do but that you know we don't make it easy, or we don't support it very well ...
 
...For the most part, Ian's comments about, 1-acknowledging people's desire/need to stay on the Legacy version till the new version-10 wrinkles are ironed out and... 2- His faith/belief that EN will sell more in the next 12 months than previous 5 years, has largely restored my confidence and belief that EN v10 will end up being all it should have been from launch!  ..and definitely a BIG upgrade from the current v6.25 of EN-for-Windows I mostly use.  cheers
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

Thanks so much for this wonderful contribution to the community! It's nice to hear what the CEO thinks about the business. It's also good to know that it is inspiring and hopeful for other users. One of the nice things about using Evernote is that there is a massive user base, so they generally tend to get lots of input from folks about the app. The downside, though, is that I seem to have a very different workflow from them.

Perhaps I am simply an edge case. I prefer to think that the problem is more that there are casual and beginning users who will not encounter a lot of the issues that someone who uses the app all day every day will encounter, kind of like the difference between driving a car a few times a month and driving one every day--that missing cup holder, the roof pillar that slightly obstructs your view, the lack of cruise control, or the lack of AI assistance (traffic jam automated driving) become serious irritations / deal breakers. It's not that it is poorly designed or that they didn't put enough effort into it. Rather, it's that they failed to adequately account for and address the needs of the users who are going to be spending the most amount of time with the product. Personally, I think that innovating for these years (to some degree) will have a dramatic and quite beneficial effect down the line.

For example, ordinary users may not feel the need for better encryption options, but no one is going to feel put out if their data is more secure, especially if it is effortless. Competitors have noticed this (Apple gives seamless encryption at the individual note level with slight effort and DEVONthink encrypts the entire database all of the time with 0 effort). I need the encryption, though, and for one reason or another (2013 should have been a turning point for the entire tech sector, but some companies continue to design for a pre-2013 world), EN's competitors have placed an emphasis on security and confidentiality that aligns with mine. That commitment to certain design principles may not be easy to quantify, but it results in some really impressive feats of engineering that are deeply appreciated. Of course, they are restricted to the Appleverse, and that at least partly explains their capabilities, but that's one of the reasons few people try to have a single unified code base / experience across multiple operating systems--they design for the environments in which users find themselves. 

Concretely speaking, there is a lot to like in what the CEO says, and I can't fault him for the opinions he has expressed, but in most of them I can see why my needs aren't being addressed. That's OK. It is, after all, Evernote's product to do with what they please. But, in its current state (even with some of the missing features returned), it is difficult for me to see a way forward at the moment. I'll have to rethink a lot of my workflow. I suspect many users are in a similar predicament, even if we aren't among those huge numbers that were surveyed.

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45 minutes ago, GrumpyMonkey said:

Thanks so much for this wonderful contribution to the community! It's nice to hear what the CEO thinks about the business. It's also good to know that it is inspiring and hopeful for other users.

You're welcome, and agree re importance of getting the CEO's views, and how those views can impact users decisions on whether they jump ship, sit tight and wait-and-see, or bite the bullet and go all-in on v10. Perhaps I should have taken another 5 minutes to remove his 'um's and uh's' from the transcript, so as to make it more readbale...in any case a quick scan get people/users the info and insights they need.

45 minutes ago, GrumpyMonkey said:

more that there are casual and beginning users who will not encounter a lot of the issues that someone who uses the app all day every day will encounter, kind of like the difference between driving a car a few times a month and driving one every day

That's a good way of putting it...and

45 minutes ago, GrumpyMonkey said:

...in its current state (even with some of the missing features returned), it is difficult for me to see a way forward at the moment. ...I suspect many users are in a similar predicament, even if we aren't among those huge numbers that were surveyed.

I reckon it would be a mammoth task to achieve a consistent/coherent EN experience across multiple platforms, trying to deliver the features/functions that are used by a majority, most of the time.  There will be trade-offs for them, and us the users.  But hopefully the sweet spot can be found that will continue to make EN as valuable a tool for everyone, and allow them to better innovate moving forward.  I think they finally got squeezed too much by the rock-and-a-hard-place situation, of their making, of trying to, on one hand manage EN on so many technology platforms, whilst on the other hand satisfying user needs (not too mention figuring out which users to listen to). Like what Hanseric said, see quote below

On 10/16/2020 at 12:28 AM, hanseric said:

What they are embarking upon now takes MASSIVE courage. They are rewriting the whole platform so they offer way more value down the road. 

As a daily user of EN I'm confident v10 and EN will improve for the better, and that the largest features that make EN attractive and valuable to me will continue.  For others, that value will diminish greatly, and for some, it will be time to look for another tool.  This commercial reality would surely bring a lot of serious scrutiny to the balancing act EN must perform when deliberating on their internal systems/structure/processes vs how that affects their user base...one would hope. cheers

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53 minutes ago, GrumpyMonkey said:

I prefer to think that the problem is more that there are casual and beginning users who will not encounter a lot of the issues that someone who uses the app all day every day will encounter.... It's not that it is poorly designed or that they didn't put enough effort into it. Rather, it's that they failed to adequately account for and address the needs of the users who are going to be spending the most amount of time with the product.

Yes, this is what I was trying to say in my post above, about the difference between a raw percentage of users and the intensity of use: how does 50% of casual users using a feature 15 minutes per day compare with 3% of users using a feature for 5 hours a day?

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Thanks, @RavBoy for doing all this.

He pretty much lost me at, WE DON'T PLAN! 

When I first started programming on my Apple IIe, I brought up a code window and started typing.

But, once I was actually programming for money, and the program was bigger than displaying Hello World on the screen, you planned. Meticulously and at great length. And if planning took three months, that was part of the SDLC. The plan was part of the plan.

We don't plan? 

Well, that's pretty obvious.

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19 minutes ago, dbvirago said:

He pretty much lost me at, WE DON'T PLAN! 

Got to admit, that was a doozy of a jaw-dropper for me too 🙂 

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12 hours ago, dbvirago said:

He pretty much lost me at, WE DON'T PLAN! 

[...]
Well, that's pretty obvious.

Yep, there is even a nice business saying: "Vision without proper execution is just a hallucination/nightmare" - this is what we're experiencing currently with v10...

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Or as we used to joke about marketing, "If it compiles and the first screen comes up, ship it."

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13 hours ago, Dave-in-Decatur said:

Yes, this is what I was trying to say in my post above, about the difference between a raw percentage of users and the intensity of use: how does 50% of casual users using a feature 15 minutes per day compare with 3% of users using a feature for 5 hours a day?

Keep in mind that EN doesn't receive more money when a user is more active. Any premium user has the same weight. If the 2% power users are leaving and the same number of new casual users replace them, income statement is not going to change one bit.

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1 hour ago, Vstk said:

Keep in mind that EN doesn't receive more money when a user is more active. Any premium user has the same weight. If the 2% power users are leaving and the same number of new casual users replace them, income statement is not going to change one bit.

It may not be that simple. Maybe in short term yes, but in a longer perspective probably not.

Power users usually stays with a service for longer. They evangelize others about advantages of an app. They provide valuable feedback on forums. Power users are also more willing to choose the premium versions of subscriptions.

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一小時前, Vstk說:

Keep in mind that EN doesn't receive more money when a user is more active. Any premium user has the same weight. If the 2% power users are leaving and the same number of new casual users replace them, income statement is not going to change one bit.

Whatever they choose, if the app is still unreliable with battery hog and slowness, the remaining 98% will not stay long.

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52 minutes ago, Kolmir said:

It may not be that simple. Maybe in short term yes, but in a longer perspective probably not.

Power users usually stays with a service for longer. They evangelize others about advantages of an app. They provide valuable feedback on forums. Power users are also more willing to choose the premium versions of subscriptions.

 

39 minutes ago, Alvin C said:

Whatever they choose, if the app is still unreliable with battery hog and slowness, the remaining 98% will not stay long.

I agree with both of you, my point was simply to illustrate what I think is the reasoning of EN management.

It is easy to anticipate that power users are going to be very unhappy when switching from an efficient native software to a slow webapp. I don't think they are that ignorant.

I cancelled my subscription and am in the process of finding a replacement because I believe the writing is on the wall. I am not a target customer. I think there is less than 1% probability that they are ever going to be able to make this app as fast as the native version. Evernote was supposed to be my external brain. And I want my brain extension to be quick and responsive.

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5 hours ago, Kolmir said:

It may not be that simple. Maybe in short term yes, but in a longer perspective probably not.

Power users usually stays with a service for longer. They evangelize others about advantages of an app. They provide valuable feedback on forums. Power users are also more willing to choose the premium versions of subscriptions.

What seems to be missing here is the possibility of a revised pricing structure to recognize the different levels of users & usage. Small claims that the next 12 months will see 'shipments' equal the past 5 years cumulative 'shipments'. It isn't clear if he is talking about 'units' or 'dollars'.  A carefully analyzed price increase to minimize customer loss could make that within reach.

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@DTLow Just added another more recent interview, posted to YouTube yesterday (for me in Australia, else today for USA) October 18, with Ian Small.  He also Time-indexed, Summarised and Linked to the video-interview... awesome thanks DTLow.  Click Here for Most recent interview
 
Screenshot

1T.png

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8 hours ago, Vstk said:

Keep in mind that EN doesn't receive more money when a user is more active. Any premium user has the same weight. If the 2% power users are leaving and the same number of new casual users replace them, income statement is not going to change one bit.

Understood. However, I think the more intense/power users are also more likely to be or become Premium users, while the more casual or occasional users will stay at the free level. Not that I know this for sure, just speculating.

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On 10/17/2020 at 6:36 PM, RavBoy said:

This commercial reality would surely bring a lot of serious scrutiny to the balancing act EN must perform when deliberating on their internal systems/structure/processes vs how that affects their user base...one would hope.

It will, because we are a free market economy!  :)  

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Maybe I missed it as I bounced around, thank you @DTLow for the markers, but I didn't hear any recognition of the lack of communicating how much function had been removed from the V10 apps prior to folks updating, IOS in particular.  That would be a nice touch. 

And relative to the logic to move tags to the bottom of the screen, what exactly took over that valuable real estate at the top?  And if 98% of your users are notebook users why the dismissal of nested notebooks since dirt was brown?  Crock.

It's hard to earn back trust once you lose it.

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7 hours ago, hanseric said:
On 10/18/2020 at 8:36 AM, RavBoy said:

This commercial reality would surely bring a lot of serious scrutiny to the balancing act EN must perform when deliberating on their internal systems/structure/processes vs how that affects their user base...one would hope.

It will, because we are a free market economy!  :)  

I was being somewhat facetious, stemming from my astonishment at how Ian/EN managed this current/past upgrade & implementation.  Perhaps moving forward and in future they will realise that 'money talks' in a free economy and not just their ability to save a buck by more streamlined operations.  I mean on one hand Ian said they didn't plan and just got stuck into it, and on the other they surveyed 300,000 users.  How does that reconcile... How can they do that much research and not slice and dice the resulting data to reveal the top 10-20 features/functions desired and used, then make a detailed plan for its implementation ensuring whilst ever possible a coherent/consistent experience... and come on 3 months to do a plan... what a lot of BS.  1-3 days to get all the items mapped in a think tank, and entered into a project plan.  Seems my vent/rant continues 😉  

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35 minutes ago, RavBoy said:

I was being somewhat facetious, stemming from my astonishment at how Ian/EN managed this current/past upgrade & implementation.  Perhaps moving forward and in future they will realise that 'money talks' in a free economy and not just their ability to save a buck by more streamlined operations.  I mean on one hand Ian said they didn't plan and just got stuck into it, and on the other they surveyed 300,000 users.  How does that reconcile... How can they do that much research and not slice and dice the resulting data to reveal the top 10-20 features/functions desired and used, then make a detailed plan for its implementation ensuring whilst ever possible a coherent/consistent experience... and come on 3 months to do a plan... what a lot of BS.  1-3 days to get all the items mapped in a think tank, and entered into a project plan.  Seems my vent/rant continues 😉  

IMHO you are entirely correct about Ian/EN comments and actions. However, this latest interview (thank you DTlow) gives some hope that functions that I use will be added back to the program. I do worry though that my work flow is not shared by a 'majority' of users and that I am delaying the inevitable requirement to find another personal productivity product. Ian clearly states that EN has used their capability to track what functions get used by how many users (unclear if it is number of users or number of uses). Those are the functions that will be 'added back'. It does beg the question - why weren't they included in the initial release? 

A little history here: In a Oct 2017 interview with Cnet then CEO Chris O'Neill stated that the EN editor would be rewritten to standardize the code for all platforms. As I remember, there were some updates in early 2019 but mostly for the IOS community, not so much for PC versions. In 2018 he raised prices for premium users which allowed EN to end the year with positive cash flow and and money in the bank. Perhaps the research that Ian references was done in this time frame and perhaps there was an actual plan that was stripped down to get the product out the door. The Board replaced him in Nov 2018 with Ian. Guess his plans were not moving fast enough. 

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I was very disappointed with the end of integration with Foxit PDF. I use the ease of exporting my pdfs directly from Foxit, as I am an enthusiastic user of the pdf reader / editor application, which allows me to make comments and bookmarks in a very satisfactory way. Now, I am seriously considering leaving EN after more than 10 years as a Premium user.

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18 hours ago, betnel said:

Perhaps the research that Ian references was done in this time frame and perhaps there was an actual plan that was stripped down to get the product out the door. The Board replaced him in Nov 2018 with Ian. Guess his plans were not moving fast enough. 

Having worked at a publicly traded company for a number of years, I can attest that Board pressures are real! :D 

I think about the only thing we can do at this point is watch and note (in version 6, haha) what happens while continuing to test other app candidates out there. 

Incidentally, if anyone is on Reddit, there's some chatter there which might be worth following too, like this thread:

 

 

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2 hours ago, hanseric said:

Having worked at a publicly traded company for a number of years, I can attest that Board pressures are real! :D 

Less so at private companies, other than those with a lot of venture capital "help".

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