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.
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