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rgschmidt

Evernote death spiral

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https://9to5mac.com/2018/09/04/evernote-premium-membership-death-spiral/#more-549908

This 'death spiral' would be a shame but in my opinion not unexpected. I personally do not have any problem with the former premium rates but the product is still too buggy after all these years and I do not see any sensible software development (except for strange new buttons, logo color changes, removed functionality etc.).

The company does not seem to listen to it's customers. It's is not strange that people are moving away from this product. ?

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Another FUD report

There is an introductory offer available to new/Basic Accounts.

I'm continuing with the storage of my data in Evernote, and the data is backed up and sync'd to all my devices

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Read carefully: "I personally do not have any problem with the former premium rates", I would happily pasy double $69 but the product does not gety any better over time.

And yes, I know because I'm a paying user since 2010 and holding my breath every time EN releases a new version.

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Any company with 225M users isn't in much danger of a death spiral in anything but the very very long term.  I've commented before that if for any reason Evernote imploded tomorrow,  I'm sure that the first priority of every competing product would be to publicise their 'import from Evernote' feature so we lost Evernote users could quickly find a new,  safe home with them.  I've got my own database backups so access will never be an issue,  and before a company this user-heavy goes into a final decline,  you can pretty much guarantee that there will be several rescue attempts with "new management teams" to turn things around (and hang on to those juicy users...).

Worrying about whether my data is safe is on a par with worrying whether I'll lose luggage on my next holiday flight next year...  an issue I'll address in about 11 months time.  If there's a holiday...

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The article wasn't really about anyone moving away from the product, or even about bugs. It seems to be stressing that Evernote will probably have trouble raising money (with no help from negative reporting, I am guessing), and the "death spiral" analysis came from an anonymous tipster. That's about it in there.

Evernote may be on its deathbed (others have declared it to be dead or dying before), but I don't think anything in the article is convincing me that's the case. 

 

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10 minutes ago, GrumpyMonkey said:

The article wasn't really about anyone moving away from the product, or even about bugs. It seems to be stressing that Evernote will probably have trouble raising money (with no help from negative reporting, I am guessing), and the "death spiral" analysis came from an anonymous tipster. That's about it in there.

Evernote may be on its deathbed (others have declared it to be dead or dying before), but I don't think anything in the article is convincing me that's the case. 

 

Ervernote may be on its deathbed and I think everything in these kind of articles is convincing me that there IS a problem. Otherwise they wouldn't have been in the news this way.

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According to his LinkedIn profile, Anirban Kundu is still at Evernote unlike what the article says. Of course, he may not have updated his profile.

You never know what the motive or the background of an article could be. It could be even "sponsored" by a competitor to get rumors going. Anything on the internet, I take it with a grain of salt. I wouldn't completely dismiss it that there might be an internal problem, but I wouldn't make a decision or say it is in the death spiral based on one article.

My 2 cents.

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35 minutes ago, rgschmidt said:

Ervernote may be on its deathbed and I think everything in these kind of articles is convincing me that there IS a problem. Otherwise they wouldn't have been in the news this way.

This is the "if there's smoke, there must be fire" interpretation. It's totally reasonable, and I imagine many people reading the article will assume the same.

However, (to continue the analogy) there seems to be a difference between some smoke and a "Skyscraper" movie-scale conflagration, especially when the fire and smoke is coming from a single tip. It doesn't take much to get in the tech news in a good or bad way. Sometimes, all it takes is a single blog post somewhere for your company to get written up. Some people leaving a company and an anonymous claim of "death spiral" don't add up to much, in my opinion. Thinly sourced and inaccurate in places = unconvincing to me. Interesting to learn about the execs leaving, but not enough to say more than "hmmm...."

Now, if the CEO comes out and says "my company is in a death spiral," then it'll convince me :)

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1 hour ago, rgschmidt said:

everything in these kind of articles is convincing me that there IS a problem. Otherwise they wouldn't have been in the news this way.

OMG you think because it's in the paper it must be true?  That's a very dangerous belief - especially if you read the wrong papers (or websites).  Fake News is real,  and can be down to lazy reporting,  mischievous 'leaks' from competitors,  or attacks by political groups or 'professional' trolls (not all at the same time,  obviously). 

The major failing of this report is a fundamental piece of journalistic policy - if you're going to bad mouth someone,  you tell them first and get a reaction you can quote.  The "my cable guy says they're in trouble" approach is not professional.  (Sorry to rant - fake news annoys me!)

I have my own 'internal sources' (well,  I saw an employee email) which said -amongst other things- that the recent management changes were streamlining the organization to deal with defects and bugs more effectively.  So I guess we'll see.  But like I said earlier.  To paraphrase Locutus of Borg - "Speculation is futile..."

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I'm a relatively new user, and while I've had some gripes about the web client, the desktop is just stellar, and the mobile apps are pretty damn good as well.  I live in an MS ecosystem, but just couldn't stand OneNote, so I'll ride my new found bliss for as long as it lasts.  The few other options I tried all lacked one thing or another that I really wanted. The biggest drawback for me having gotten in at Plus level, are the constant up sale efforts.   That if anything is what will drive me away some day.  And why would I upgrade for full price, when if a basic user I could upgrade 40% off.  The jump doesn't offer compelling enough features for my workflow, to do it regardless of cost, but every time I get that upgrade prompt when I load an MS doc burns my ass, so I retract stellar, but still very good.

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Two points I take from the recent press are senior level staff changes and a price reduction.  Neither imply a death spiral, but both are indicative of a company dealing with something.  My hope is that some of that dealing will also address the quality issues and functional improvement desert of the past couple of years.  Ever the optimist...

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4 hours ago, rgschmidt said:

Ervernote may be on its deathbed and I think everything in these kind of articles is convincing me that there IS a problem. Otherwise they wouldn't have been in the news this way.

Sorry to pile on, but I agree with the others who've said that this is not a bunch of articles, only a bunch of people quoting one article based on an unidentified tipster, who may have who knows what axe to grind. Take a look at the first comment on that original TechCrunch article: "What checks and balances are there to prevent a disgruntled/past employee venting their frustration? Every company is in a death spiral. The question is how long before it happens, thats all." The departure of executives is a bit unnerving. OTOH, given how many people in these forums (starting with me) have been griping about bugs remaining unfixed while the logo refresh seems to be prioritized, maybe losing the CTO and CPO is not so bad. (As long as they don't lose C3PO. That would be sad.)

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I hear your arguments, but i'm not reassured at all. But let's see what the future brings us.

 

 

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7 hours ago, gazumped said:

Any company with 225M users isn't in much danger of a death spiral in anything but the very very long term.

I don't know about that. How long did it take Lehman Brothers to collapse, a year? And they were much larger than Evernote. The way online services just suddenly "turn off" these days kind of scares me. Newton Mail, Mailbox, Google shuts down half their apps on a Whim. I know the examples provided are a bit different, but it wouldn't surprise me in the least to see a blog post by Evernote saying you have to get all your files out by February 2019 because they're toast.

I'm a long time user and poster of this forum, though I had to change my username when I used my school account to open a new Evernote account last year. While the article on the Verge is open to interpretation, there are some serious red-flags for me.

1) The number of complaints and gripes posted on this forum. Even from people who enjoy Evernote and use it every day, I have seen posts where most people are in agreement that some major bugs need fixing.

2) Executives leaving in droves

3) The re-branding seems like a last-ditch effort to right the ship. But instead of spending money on new logos and some new colors, improvements to the product and new features would have made more sense. How much money did they spend drawing 500 elephants, only to arrive at virtually the same logo?

4) Their prices. While I do use OneNote at work, I'm not its biggest fan. That said, here in Canada I can get an Office 365 Student subscription for less than an Evernote Membership. That's Word, Excel, Powerpoint, OneNote -- etc. They're priced way too high and the business people aren't biting. There are too many great competitors out there who charge far less. Yes, Evernote can do some amazing things the others can't, but for most people I feel as though Apple Notes or Google Keep works just fine. Those folks aren't shopping for a note taking service at over $100/year (CAD).

I just have a bad feeling about all of it. The fact the discussion of their demise is fairly prominent on this board and on the interwebs doesn't help.

So we can argue about what the article said and how valid it is all we want, but in my eyes the points I've made above are valid enough on their own to seriously consider getting out before that "see ya later" blog post goes up.

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I’m Evernote user for many many years and I think the article is not completely false. No one is going to tell me that Evernote as company is doing well. The lack of new features is killing. Some say that they only want a stable product, but the majority of the users wants a stable product and new feature. I didn’t see much progress in the last years. And if there was something new it was only for business users. There is so much to improve...but this product stands stil.

Next the changes in leadership over the last year and the way how they failed to communicate changed in policy, business model etc. (See the pricing and privacy communication mistakes)

I’m still with Evernote but looking around for alternatives, unfortunately most of them are not good enough. But  I’m sure there will be soon.

I honestly hope that they will be acquired by a another company with vision and money to save this product.

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My take away from the article is that they may be out fund raising again.  I thought they had weaned themselves off and are now self sufficient.  If they need outside money and are also cutting premium by almost half (for new users only it seems), their financial situation still may not be that rosy.  I'm not worried that they will shut the servers down tomorrow but I am interested to see how this develops.

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58 minutes ago, MrEvernoteMcGee said:

1) The number of complaints and gripes posted on this forum. Even from people who enjoy Evernote and use it every day, I have seen posts where most people are in agreement that some major bugs need fixing.

True--but that's more or less what this and other software-support forums are for. They are first-line tech support, and so what shows up here is what's not working.

59 minutes ago, MrEvernoteMcGee said:

3) The re-branding seems like a last-ditch effort to right the ship. But instead of spending money on new logos and some new colors, improvements to the product and new features would have made more sense. How much money did they spend drawing 500 elephants, only to arrive at virtually the same logo?

Totally agree!

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6 hours ago, TK0047 said:

According to his LinkedIn profile, Anirban Kundu is still at Evernote unlike what the article says. Of course, he may not have updated his profile.

 

 

"...Evernote confirmed the departure of each executive to TechCrunch..."

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The exit of so many key executives does not bode well. I am happy that the price of Premium has been rolled back to $42. $70 was ridiculous. I say this as I continue to be unable to use Evernote on my brand new laptop. Fatal Error.

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6 minutes ago, Etonreve said:

I am happy that the price of Premium has been rolled back to $42

Don't get too excited, this appears to be only for new customers, not existing ones.

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Just now, s2sailor said:

Don't get too excited, this appears to be only for new customers, not existing ones.

I hope Evernote reconsiders.

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5 hours ago, MrEvernoteMcGee said:

I know the examples provided are a bit different, but it wouldn't surprise me in the least to see a blog post by Evernote saying you have to get all your files out by February 2019 because they're toast.

Fortunately if you are using the desktop app (logged in) you would still have access to your notes should a shutdown occur.  Could use the desktop client for a period of time I suppose, no syncing though.

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On 9/5/2018 at 11:02 AM, MrEvernoteMcGee said:

but it wouldn't surprise me in the least to see a blog post by Evernote saying you have to get all your files out by ...

It would be a suprise to me, but I'm not seeing the red flags you're seeing, just a company doing their day to day buisness.

Regardless, it's a 20 minute export to get  my data out of Evernote.  I run this weekly as part of my backups.

>>The re-branding seems like ...

I've gone through this exercise many times in my business life.
I wasn't interested so I mostly ignored it all
I see no reason to make any assumptions.

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The major problem with Evernote is that they don't fix bugs. Simple as that.  

They want us to use Evernote Business. They've been wanting that for the past year or more.  But here's the thing.  Do they think companies sit around their conference room table and decide on a business product without anyone there having used the product? Of course not.  Someone has to be at the table who uses Evernote, and who convinces the table that it's the way to go over all the competitors. That's how its done.  But in the last year and half, users have been pretty pissed at Evernote, as personal users, because of the lack of SQA and bug fixes. 

I tried Evernote for business. I wanted our company to use it because I use it and I tried competitors and I preferred Evernote (if there were a few changes/tweaks). But there is no way I could recommend it (and I'm married to the President of the company!). There are too many bugs that don't get fixed in a timely manner, and by timely manner I mean DAYS, not years.  Yes, DAYS. Usability bugs, of course. The big ones. And some still exist after a year. Who in the world could recommend that for a business?

I don't know if the article is accurate or not, I don't know if it is a good thing that all these executives are leaving, but I know one thing: Evernote for Business will only succeed when regular Evernote users are happy with it. They are the ones who recommend it (or not). Fixing the elephant is salt on the fire with so many outstanding bugs. So is the ask to try Evernote for Business. By not fixing bugs they are saying: we have more important things to do. And users like me tell CTOs and CEOs, don't go with them. They don't take you seriously.

 

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Admittedly, I’m a die hard Evernote fan girl and will be till it isn’t any longer a product. It’s the whole reason why I decided to become an ECC. With that said, this article really does seem like a pissed off former employee to me. It’s a bunch of non-news. Every year about this time there is a similar offer posted on the website as it’s the start of a new school years. There is always the education promotion and then one like the one mentioned in the article.

If you’re a smart tech user - no matter what the product - you back your stuff up so it’s not an issue if a product goes by the way side.

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10 hours ago, lisec said:

But there is no way I could recommend it (and I'm married to the President of the company!). There are too many bugs that don't get fixed in a timely manner, and by timely manner I mean DAYS, not years.

I agree. I am in charge of the tools | apps we use at our company but I wouldn't recommend or even try the business for work. You are 100% right, make the personal users super happy with the product, then they will promote the business version without you having to push any pop ups or advertisement. Best marketing will be the happy personal users.

Like the spaces in business, give the personal users some kind of a board view or a different card view to engage with their notes in a more visual way, then you can introduce the business spaces. Personal users will be the advocate of your product when they are happy. Not the other way around.

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Never seem to have a Death Spiral lying around when you need one.
~Han Solo

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1 hour ago, TK0047 said:

I agree. I am in charge of the tools | apps we use at our company but I wouldn't recommend or even try the business for work. You are 100% right, make the personal users super happy with the product, then they will promote the business version without you having to push any pop ups or advertisement. Best marketing will be the happy personal users.

Like the spaces in business, give the personal users some kind of a board view or a different card view to engage with their notes in a more visual way, then you can introduce the business spaces. Personal users will be the advocate of your product when they are happy. Not the other way around.

This. They keep ramming their 'business' product down our throats. That is not their core business or competency.

But like others have said, if they die tomorrow, I will be one of their competitors the same day. With all my data intact.

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EN is definitely on its death bed.  And deservedly so...

- Did not listen to customers who requested basic features, did not like the big makeover, and want consistency across apps.  Heck, lots of customers left when they abandoned their hierarchical organization and forced tags down everyone's throats.  Classic case of a company that does not listen to customers.

- They could not innovate their way out of the commoditization trap.  When they started, OneNote didn't even exist.  Today there are innumerable competitors and even free OS tools (e.g., Apple Notes) satisfy the low end of the market.

- Cannot differentiate its business and personal products.

- Was apparently not a very nice place to work, according to GlassDoor, which leads me to believe the company was extremely poorly managed.  If you can't keep employees happy with a gush of investor dollars pouring in, you are incompetent.

EN was interested in...what, 2009?  They've been on a decline since.  I mean, the CTO, CFO, CPO, and head of HR ALL LEFT IN THE LAST MONTH.  You think they just didn't like the break room coffee?  Or you think maybe they know something?

 

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19 hours ago, Etonreve said:

The exit of so many key executives does not bode well. I am happy that the price of Premium has been rolled back to $42. $70 was ridiculous. I say this as I continue to be unable to use Evernote on my brand new laptop. Fatal Error.

No "price rollback"!!

I have contacted the EN support to kow, if my prolonging premium account in November will be billed with $36 (published premium fee today) or $70 as former annual fee.

The answer:

"This promotion offers people the ability to test-drive the benefits of Evernote services at a discounted rate for one year. As an existing subscriber to Evernote Premium, this offer does not apply. "

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Yes, very true. I personally saw the writing on the wall when they announced their sudden price hike and their callous attitude about it at the time. I still have a premium account thanks to bonus points and other lucky moments, but ever since then I have been looking for alternatives, realizing that the Evernote as I knew it was no longer the same.

Although getting information out of Evernote is easy, it's not quite as simple to import it in other programs. I have tried them all... some I hate such as OneNote, others don't offer all the features I would like.

I have come to the conclusion that the best course of action (for me) is to split up my content and store it in the most convenient place for that particular topic. So far, I have managed to transfer all my recipes, random notes and ideas to Google Keep. All my craft projects, patterns, scrapbooking ideas, yarn projects etc will find a home soon in Google Docs. Sheet music is mostly PDF files, which I can store in Google Drive.

That still leaves a large chunk of our digital filing cabinet in Evernote, such as correspondence, receipts, bills, certificates, etc etc, but I'm sure that if (when) Evernote folds, I will be able to find a suitable program for those as well.

Always keep in mind that when the rats* start abandoning a ship, it's time to search for the lifeboat...

(* I don't mean this in a disrespectful way, it just means the ones who know the ship in and out in this particular case)

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1 hour ago, raindog said:

EN is definitely on its death bed.  And deservedly so...

- Did not listen to customers who requested basic features, did not like the big makeover, and want consistency across apps.  Heck, lots of customers left when they abandoned their hierarchical organization and forced tags down everyone's throats.  Classic case of a company that does not listen to customers.

- They could not innovate their way out of the commoditization trap.  When they started, OneNote didn't even exist.  Today there are innumerable competitors and even free OS tools (e.g., Apple Notes) satisfy the low end of the market.

- Cannot differentiate its business and personal products.

- Was apparently not a very nice place to work, according to GlassDoor, which leads me to believe the company was extremely poorly managed.  If you can't keep employees happy with a gush of investor dollars pouring in, you are incompetent.

EN was interested in...what, 2009?  They've been on a decline since.  I mean, the CTO, CFO, CPO, and head of HR ALL LEFT IN THE LAST MONTH.  You think they just didn't like the break room coffee?  Or you think maybe they know something?

 

Hi. Origins are a tricky thing. I’d say Evernote and OneNote began roughly around the same time in the early 2000s. 

 

But, if you want to go with Evernote’s “official” start in its current cloud-based iteration, 2008 was the beginning, several years after OneNote.

Not that it matters, I guess, in connection with attaching blame for Evernote’s “death spiral” what apps have or have not come into existence since then.

As for tags, weren’t those around from its early days? I’ve been here since 2008 and it’s always seemed like a tag-oriented system to me — that seems rather innovative, in my opinion.

Evernote’s business model has changed a lot over time, if you go by some of their official “branding.” In fact, Evernote has rebranded itself many times over the years. So much so that the elephant was not even the original logo. LOL. I think Evernote might have conveniently forgotten that, or at least glossed over that fact. Each time it rebrands, some people like it and some people don’t.

As for employee turnover, McDonalds, Apple, and many others have had massive shakeups and plenty of periods when worker satisfaction was low (McDonald’s has a notoriously high turnover rate). Yet, they are some of the most powerful brands / companies in world history. I seem to recall people claiming they were / are in death spirals as well. As mentioned above by someone else, every company is in a death spiral. That’s entropy and the fate of the universe :( 

Just a few points of clarification. As for not listening — they listen to some users and not others, which is only natural with a user base of 200 million + We just wish they’d all listen to the most important user—ourselves :) 

I agree that Evernote’s gor issues to address, but I don’t agree that it’s on its deathbed, or that it deserves to die. 

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6 hours ago, raindog said:

Heck, lots of customers left when they abandoned their hierarchical organization

I guess I missed that experience.  When did Evernote abandon hierarchical organization?857426384_ScreenShot2018-09-06at13_46_36.png.12020b559228efcb21f12ba8b4275042.png

Notes are actually stored in a flat organization.
There are two fields (Notebooks and Tags) that can be assigned to notes to assist with access retrieval.  As can be seen in the Mac screenshot each has a hierarchical organization; notebooks 2 levels, tags unlimited levels

>>Did not listen to customers 

There's a story about Henry Ford listening to customers; they were asking for faster horses

 

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10 minutes ago, DTLow said:

Henry Ford listening to customers

I remember a story too about forecasting - something about if the growth of horse-drawn traffic continues we'll have to start exporting roses...  (it was funnier in my head..)

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3 minutes ago, GrumpyMonkey said:

I agree that Evernote’s gor issues to address, but I don’t agree that it’s on its deathbed, or that it deserves to die. 

I too don't think it deserves to die. It could be such a marvellous application, but unfortunately (again, my personal opinion here!) I feel that the company has lost their way. They keep promising to do better, but they haven't even addressed the most basic flaws yet. Those are not flaws because I feel not listened to, they are actual, provable, reproducible bugs that have been around since I started to use the product... around 2012 or so.

And here we are, in 2018, and all we are promised is the same elephant with softer lines, more shades of green and some typology. Yet my program keeps crashing on Windows 10 and I still can't format imported text to look semi decent. I'm sorry but if that is the best they have to offer, I don't hold much hope that the next generation of users who all seem to crave flashy, visual apps will look at Evernote twice - and the ones who still use it are the soon-to-be-extinct dinosaurs in the room (points to self).

In other words, it doesn't deserve to die, but I'm pretty it's on its deathbed if things don't change. I'm not saying it will be gone before next summer, but I don't give it another 10 years if the next much-hyped rebranding is going to be an added tusk to the elephant, and the huge progress of changing it from grass green to lime green.

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15 minutes ago, TechPerplexed said:

I too don't think it deserves to die. It could be such a marvellous application, but unfortunately (again, my personal opinion here!) I feel that the company has lost their way. They keep promising to do better, but they haven't even addressed the most basic flaws yet. Those are not flaws because I feel not listened to, they are actual, provable, reproducible bugs that have been around since I started to use the product... around 2012 or so.

And here we are, in 2018, and all we are promised is the same elephant with softer lines, more shades of green and some typology. Yet my program keeps crashing on Windows 10 and I still can't format imported text to look semi decent. I'm sorry but if that is the best they have to offer, I don't hold much hope that the next generation of users who all seem to crave flashy, visual apps will look at Evernote twice - and the ones who still use it are the soon-to-be-extinct dinosaurs in the room (points to self).

In other words, it doesn't deserve to die, but I'm pretty it's on its deathbed if things don't change. I'm not saying it will be gone before next summer, but I don't give it another 10 years if the next much-hyped rebranding is going to be an added tusk to the elephant, and the huge progress of changing it from grass green to lime green.

I agree that there are some quality control issues that need to get sorted. No doubt, a lot of the blowback we’ve seen on the forums has less to do with the rebranding than with the simultaneous introduction of particularly nasty issues in the app. Bad timing.Let’s hope they turn things around soon. A few solid releases ought to do it. And, a new feature or two that benefits everyone (not “spaces,” but something that can appeal to the other 224 million users) would be appreciated.

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3 hours ago, GrumpyMonkey said:

I agree that there are some quality control issues that need to get sorted. No doubt, a lot of the blowback we’ve seen on the forums has less to do with the rebranding than with the simultaneous introduction of particularly nasty issues in the app. Bad timing.Let’s hope they turn things around soon. A few solid releases ought to do it. And, a new feature or two that benefits everyone (not “spaces,” but something that can appeal to the other 224 million users) would be appreciated.

One -- I'd settle for one solid release, so I can finally feel confident about updating.

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On 9/5/2018 at 6:01 AM, GrumpyMonkey said:

This is the "if there's smoke, there must be fire" interpretation. It's totally reasonable, and I imagine many people reading the article will assume the same.

However, (to continue the analogy) there seems to be a difference between some smoke and a "Skyscraper" movie-scale conflagration, especially when the fire and smoke is coming from a single tip. It doesn't take much to get in the tech news in a good or bad way. Sometimes, all it takes is a single blog post somewhere for your company to get written up. Some people leaving a company and an anonymous claim of "death spiral" don't add up to much, in my opinion. Thinly sourced and inaccurate in places = unconvincing to me. Interesting to learn about the execs leaving, but not enough to say more than "hmmm...."

Now, if the CEO comes out and says "my company is in a death spiral," then it'll convince me :)

This! I write for Apple Magazine and if I had a grudge it would take only.a few minutes to cause an issue for somebody or some company. (I pride myself in being transparent and wouldn’t do it, but other people may not be as honest).

 

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7 hours ago, Dave-in-Decatur said:

One -- I'd settle for one solid release, so I can finally feel confident about updating.

I'm in the same boat as you, @Dave-in-Decatur, but I feel as though the latest general release (6.14.5) is pretty good, all things considered.  There are still a few quirks, but I have found myself using it more and more after becoming quite disgruntled a few months back. 

Funny how much of a good influence it is to be able to use a piece of software without having to consciously steel oneself for problems!  Hopefully the ‘downward spiral’ is simply part of the usual process of change most organisations go through regularly.

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16 hours ago, raindog said:

...- They could not innovate their way out of the commoditization trap.  When they started, OneNote didn't even exist. ...

False, OneNote has been around since 2003, but has only been free for two or three years.

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After reading headlines, of Evernote’s recent woes, I started to shake my head ... again. This isn’t the first time reading controversy headlines about Evernote. In the past few years there been more negative press than positive. Rising membership prices, privacy concerns, downsizing and now the Death spiral (higher ups leaving). It doesn’t appear to look good for Evernote but for all we know it could just be fine. 
 
In a moment I’m going to share my insights and how Evernote can make a “shift” in a better direction. But before I do, it’s without suggesting that a lot of people have a grim outlook (within and external of this community) despite recent changes at Evernote. Avid and passionate users such as myself have a ill feeling for what may happen to our beloved green elephant. Maybe it’s the note industry, maybe it’s just the people running Evernote, maybe it’s just there’s too much competition that only the innovative ones stay profitable. I don’t think Evernote in a dire situation but I feel this is a pattern that keep repeating itself. In yoga there’s this saying, “you repeat what you don’t repair.” At this point it seems, whether or not Evernote is doing fine or steering for the worse, I feel they are loosing the confidence of the passionate loyal user base. And I feel it’s becuase Evernote may be making the same mistakes again and again. But, here are some of my insights and suggestions as to what is missing. 
 
Evernote has focused on team development, then focused on eliminating the noise and getting clarity on core functionality, then focused on focused on business enterprise with spaces, then focused on social media, then not to recently Evernote then did a rebrand /refresh. 
 
But at what point do they realize they must get back to their user base??? The loyal user base the ones who just take notes. The student, the small business owner, the creative, the busy mom and anyone who wants to “remember everythig.” Improving note taking experience seems to be the most important yet forgotten “ingredient” Evernote has fallen out of touch with. 
 
Being in sales all of my life there are acouple fundimental flaws Evernote is repeatedly missing each year. 
 
1- People buy the benefit of the benefit. Example is spaces people don’t use Spaces to use the “what’s new” feature or even to keep on top of their teams correspondence. The benefit of the benefit might be as a business owner “I don’t want to have the stress of things falling through and having team forget things” 
2-  in the sale conversation I ALWAYS listen more than I talk. The more you tell the less you sell. Listening to your customer, they tell you what they want, what they don’t want, etc. And this type of dialing builds a deep level of trust because when a person feels heard and understood they will buy from you and only you, even though you charge more than your competitors.
 
I feel Evernote higher ups have ignored the day to day user and overall user experience. There’s times when working on a project or in a sales process or trying to research and write and using Evernote is frustrating to navigate and use. Something as simple as a small font can really make work more difficult than it has to be. Or not being able to annotate PDFs with freedom or flexibility. Have you tried jumping in and out of annotating PDFs in Evernote? It’s miserable.
 
When you look at the note taking applications that people are moving to they are typically note taking apps that look better. Have a better UI and text editor. Most notably Bear comes to mind. Having attracted many people from Evernote I feel it’s as though it’s because of the look and feel of the editor. Distraction free writing, more font options (sizes, font types and even spacing), more formatting choices (H1, H2, etc) and many useful editor tools. Evernote has many features and useful functions that Bear doesn’t have. So it makes me wonder, why have people made the transition? I think it’s because of the look and feel when people are taking notes. You want to be able to get lost in writing not squinting to see what you wrote. You want to be able to have attractive typography that you can structure and organize your notes with easy. You want to be in the state of “flow” when your researching and taking notes. 
 
Lastly, what I will also say about features is that in order to charge more you must offer MORE value. Over the course of the years I’ve noticed that Evernote focused  on stability and improving core features like search. And that’s very important.  However, people don’t buy stability necessarily, it just pushes them away when things are unstable. Introducing new features and upgraded features is what attracts new users and keeps fan base excited using a platform that they keep EVERYTHING IN. 
 
 
 
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19 minutes ago, OMNIZEN said:

After reading headlines, of Evernote’s recent woes, I started to shake my head

My reaction too, shaking my head
Here's the start of another tempest in a teapot.  The tech rags and some users are going to blow this up into a major news story.
There's going to be posts anouncing death spiral/bed and analysis of Evernote's failures, and how the company should be fixed.

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On 9/5/2018 at 9:01 AM, GrumpyMonkey said:

This is the "if there's smoke, there must be fire" interpretation. It's totally reasonable, and I imagine many people reading the article will assume the same.

However, (to continue the analogy) there seems to be a difference between some smoke and a "Skyscraper" movie-scale conflagration, especially when the fire and smoke is coming from a single tip. It doesn't take much to get in the tech news in a good or bad way. Sometimes, all it takes is a single blog post somewhere for your company to get written up. Some people leaving a company and an anonymous claim of "death spiral" don't add up to much, in my opinion. Thinly sourced and inaccurate in places = unconvincing to me. Interesting to learn about the execs leaving, but not enough to say more than "hmmm...."

Now, if the CEO comes out and says "my company is in a death spiral," then it'll convince me :)

1

"Some people" haven't left Evernote, four key executives have. Evernote confirmed it, so how is that "thinly sourced"? Such departures from any company would be newsworthy.  When do you think the CEO publicly admits that his or her company is in a death spiral? Never. There are all kinds of practical business and legal reasons why one wouldn't, including attempting to protect the value investors have put into the company.

Having said this, I hope that Evernote's problems aren't dire.

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On 9/7/2018 at 10:43 AM, OMNIZEN said:
After reading headlines, of Evernote’s recent woes, I started to shake my head ... again. This isn’t the first time reading controversy headlines about Evernote. In the past few years there been more negative press than positive. Rising membership prices, privacy concerns, downsizing and now the Death spiral (higher ups leaving). It doesn’t appear to look good for Evernote but for all we know it could just fine. 
 
A lot of people have mentioned notable suggestions and viewpoints, all with a grim fortune. Avid and passionate users such as myself have a ill feeling for what may happen to our beloved green elephant. Maybe it’s the note industry, maybe it’s just the people running Evernote, maybe it’s just there’s too much competition that only the innovative ones stay profitable. This point it seems Evernote is loosing the confidence of the passionate user base. Here are some of my insights and suggestions as to what is missing. 
 
Evernote has focused on team development, then focused on eliminating the noise and getting clarity on core functionality, then focused on focused on business enterprise with spaces, then focused on social media, then not to recently Evernote then did a rebrand /refresh. 
 
But at what point do they realize they must get back to their user base??? The loyal user base the ones who just take notes. The student, the small business owner, the creative, the busy mom and anyone who wants to “remember everythig.” Improving note taking experience seems to be the most important yet forgotten thing Evernote has fallen out of touch with. 
 
Being in sales all of my life there are acouple fundimental flaws Evernote is repeatedly missing each year. 
 
1- People buy the benefit of the benefit. Example is spaces people don’t use Spaces to use the “what’s new” feature or even to keep on top of their teams correspondence. The benefit of the benefit might be as a business owner “I don’t want to have the stress of things falling through and having team forget things” 
2-  in the sale conversation I ALWAYS listen more than I talk. The more you tell the less you sell. Listening to your customer, they tell you what they want what they don’t want. Having this conversation builds trust because when a person feels heard and understood they will buy from you even though you charge more than your competitors
 
I feel Evernote higher ups have ignored the day to day user and overall user experience. There’s times when working on a project or in a sales process or trying to research and write and using Evernote is frautrating navigating and using. Something as simple as small font can really make work more difficult than it has to be. Or not being able to annotate PDFs with freedom. Or having difficulty switching and using other Evernote’s.
 
When you look at the note taking applications that people are moving to they are typically note taking apps that look better. Have a better UI and text editor. Most notably Bear comes to mind. Having attracted many people from Evernote I feel it’s as though because of the look and feel of the editor. Distraction free writing, more font options (sizes, font types and even spacing), more formatting choices (H1, H2, etc) and many useful editor tools. Evernote has many features and useful functions that Bear doesn’t have. So it makes me wonder, why have people made the transition? I think it’s because of the look and feel when people are taking notes. You want to be able to get lost in writing not squinting to see what you wrote. You want to be able to have attractive typography that you can structure and organize your notes with easy. You want to be in the state of “flow” when your researching and note taking. 
 
Lastly, what I will also say about features is that in order to charge more you must give MORE value. Over the course of the years I’ve noticed that Evernote focused  on stability and improving core features like search. However, people don’t buy stability necessarily, as much as I do “new and improved.” I think it’s important to keep the platform stable and prioritize bugs but introducing features is what attracts new users and keeps load fan base excited using a platform that they keep EVERYTHING IN. 
 
 
 

Well said.

EN is a either a product you love or a product you love to hate. And people love speculating EN's future.

But the thing is like you said, us, EN's userbase we are not happy with the product's direction. We didn't ask for teams. I get that the company needs to make money but stability and new visual features that never took place brought us to where we are today.

Let's hope this will be a new start for something great and not the death of the product we loved.

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On 9/7/2018 at 10:43 AM, OMNIZEN said:

When you look at the note taking applications that people are moving to they are typically note taking apps that look better. Have a better UI and text editor. Most notably Bear comes to mind. Having attracted many people from Evernote I feel it’s as though because of the look and feel of the editor. Distraction free writing, more font options (sizes, font types and even spacing), more formatting choices (H1, H2, etc) and many useful editor tools. Evernote has many features and useful functions that Bear doesn’t have. So it makes me wonder, why have people made the transition? I think it’s because of the look and feel when people are taking notes. You want to be able to get lost in writing not squinting to see what you wrote. You want to be able to have attractive typography that you can structure and organize your notes with easy. You want to be in the state of “flow” when your researching and note taking. 

Yes, this.  Absolutely.  100%.

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On 9/5/2018 at 11:32 AM, s2sailor said:

My take away from the article is that they may be out fund raising again.  I thought they had weaned themselves off and are now self sufficient.

I don't even know how to judge that news of fund raising; if it's a good thing, or a bad thing.
We know the existence of Evernote was built on invested capital.

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A few reasons that they'd be out raising money...they are looking to make acquisitions and require the capital, they see the need for investment to drive the product to where they believe it needs to be, they are running out of cash...

One and two are fine, good even. Three, not so much.

By the way, any journalist (or forum punter) that knows for "definite" that the company is in a "death spiral" but can't point to financial records is probably having a bit of a guess.....

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Tired of this topic already...  Evernote have made special offer prices for their products regularly for years.  A tad unfortunate that the exec evac happened at the same time,  but AFAIK one does not have any significance over the other. 

We've discussed (many,  many,  many times) how to prepare for the Apocalypse if Evernote stops,  and my attitude is still the same.  I'll continue to use Evernote - until I find something better,  or until its no longer available.  Meantime I have my backups,  my youth and health (well,  one out of three ain't bad anyway...) and I'll worry about switching if I switch and when I know what I'm switching to.

This guy seems to have a slightly more balanced view - I like the closing paragraphs including -

Quote

When using any website, program or service where you upload your own data, it is your responsibility to have an “exit strategy.” Think of it this way: if you were given 30 days or even one week’s notice that a site like Ancestry.com was shutting down, do you know how you would export your data? And do you know your options for importing it into another program?

https://abundantgenealogy.com/whats-going-on-at-evernote-and-why-genealogists-should-be-concerned/

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1 hour ago, gazumped said:

if you were given 30 days or even one week’s notice that a site like Ancestry.com was shutting down, do you know how you would export your data?

Oh Great, now I have to be concerned about the Ancestory Death Spiral (I read it on the the internet)
I do back up my genealogy data - I store the data in Evernote

And my Evernote data is backed up; daily incremental, weekly full, and Mac Time Machine.
I use a read-able export format; html instead of enex

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LOL - I believe that was by way of being an example,  or "hypothetical" scenario to illustrate the sort of situation that one might face with any software.  Don't panic: the sky's not falliing!

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Isn't it interesting that almost five days later no one at Evernote has chimed in on this topic, either on an official channel (Blog, etc.) or in this thread? It might be a very deliberate strategy (i.e. avoid attracting more attention to a negative subject, even if the 'death spiral' claim could be easily refuted). Or, it could be because there isn't anything good to say, and they are furiously trying to figure out the next move.

a) is fine, b) not so much.

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6 minutes ago, Paul A. said:

Isn't it interesting that almost five days later no one at Evernote has chimed in on this topic, either on an official channel (Blog, etc.) or in this thread? It might be a very deliberate strategy

I think it is more their norm.  They rarely comment on stuff like this.

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21 minutes ago, Paul A. said:

Isn't it interesting that almost five days later no one at Evernote has chimed in on this topic

According to the article "The company would not comment on the funding but confirmed the staff departures"
So we can take it as fact that there were personnel changes at Evernote

As to all the rest, we don't usually see a response when users post messages indicating the end of Evernote.

 

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21 hours ago, DTLow said:

According to the article "The company would not comment on the funding but confirmed the staff departures"
So we can take it as fact that there were personnel changes at Evernote

As to all the rest, we don't usually see a response when users post messages indicating the end of Evernote.

 

 

21 hours ago, DTLow said:

According to the article "The company would not comment on the funding but confirmed the staff departures"
So we can take it as fact that there were personnel changes at Evernote

As to all the rest, we don't usually see a response when users post messages indicating the end of Evernote.

 

Now they got rid of all these Chiefs,they can hire more developers to finally fix the actual product...

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22 hours ago, s2sailor said:

I think it is more their norm.  They rarely comment on stuff like this.

They rarely comment on anything of importance to users. Example: the rebuild of a few months ago that still is not functioning at 100%. All kinds of rumors floated here, such as the rebuild having been in response to Google Chrome. Nothing was clarified.

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4 hours ago, Etonreve said:

They rarely comment on anything of importance to users

AFAIK Evernote have a company policy for staff and themselves not to comment on rumors,  or to answer individual requests and queries in a public forum.  I got fed up with explaining the reasons behind that,  so I wrote it down... https://medium.com/@gazumped/why-dont-they-explain-themselves-fd4bdd2513a7

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11 minutes ago, gazumped said:

AFAIK Evernote have a company policy for staff and themselves not to comment on rumors,  or to answer individual requests and queries in a public forum.  I got fed up with explaining the reasons behind that,  so I wrote it down... https://medium.com/@gazumped/why-dont-they-explain-themselves-fd4bdd2513a7

That is an enjoyable article. I'm glad I'm out of the business. In my option, the two views that were especially important:

  • Competitors gaining insider intelligence
  • And the unanswerable customer statement: My suggestion is obviously better.

 

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I can't comment on specifics of the company's financial state, but I have confidently put thousands of notes into Evernote and continue to do so, because:

  • Evernote exports to HTML
  • Evernote exports to well-documented XML (ENEX)
  • Evernote for Mac can be scripted client-side to move data out

And all of this is supported on the desktop, no need for the servers to be running at all. With the servers up and running, there are even more options....

In other words, whatever happens to Evernote eventually, I know I can get my data out and do something useful with it (even if it's just saving a bunch of HTML into a folder on my Google Drive or something). On top of that, I have 99% confidence that the company would give us a chance to get data out before shuttering their doors.

And, hey, I'm prepaid through 2021 or something... here's hoping I don't lose that prepayment! (Yeah, went nuts before the price hike buying gift certificates!)

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1 hour ago, wcarozza said:

Do we know for sure that the Premium offer does not apply to current Premium members? 

I tried the discount on my Premium account; I would have happily prepaid for another year  --- No joy

Its an introductory offer for new accounts.  There's also a student discount for new accounts.

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Although I agree that EN is buggy, I make strong use of the Local Notebook feature, everyday, for work.  I tried OneNote and found it too clunky, and love EN's simplicity. 

Some of the bugs drive me bat-sh*t crazy, but I still love it.  EN, take this moment to listen to the complaints of your current/past users.

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10 minutes ago, Jimson said:

Although I agree that EN is buggy, I make strong use of the Local Notebook feature, everyday, for work.


Evernote is a cloud service, and offers so much more than the Local Notebooks.  You really should try the full service.

Which bugs are you finding in the Local Notebook feature?
I do find bugs in the editor; it's also limited for anything beyond basic notes.

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Today, my Premium subscription renewed via iTunes at $69.99.  I feel it is a small price for a resource that has helped me in so many ways.  Now, we have templates available.  I reviewed them and realized some I will use and others I will not use.  The ones I will use will be a benefit to me and the others will not.  Whatever the future holds for my beloved Evernote is yet to be seen.  All I know is today is Wednesday and I will be using the app multiple times today enjoying it for better or for worse.  Till death do us part.  And, if death does arrive in the form of a spiral, I will be sad as I arrived late to this forum and have so enjoyed reading the posts and learning so much. ?

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Hey, been seeing a lot of this Evernote death spiral in youtube and in some other sites on the internet? Is Evernote really dying and on the verge of shutting down? I see almost everyone is saying EverNote is at the end of its life cycle.

And how come the CTO, CFO, CPO, and HR left almost together? What is happening?

Anyone knows what is really going on? Should we start taking backup of our notes?

Regards.

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There's an acronym FUD that describes the news.  There is no concrete information.

>>left almost together? What is happening?

s*x scandal? unhappy with year end bonuses?

>>Should we start taking backup of our notes?

No particular reason at this time; but I always back up my data.
It takes 20 minutes to export my data.  I have daily incremental and weekly full backups.

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19 minutes ago, DTLow said:

There's an acronym FUD that describes the news.  There is no concrete information.

>>left almost together? What is happening?

s*x scandal? unhappy with year end bonuses?

>>Should we start taking backup of our notes?

No particular reason at this time; but I always back up my data.
It takes 20 minutes to export my data.  I have daily incremental and weekly full backups.

Thanks as always for the reply.

However, supposedly something happens (I don't want them to close evernote), how can we view our notebooks and notes? I mean those are stored in Evernote's format right? So, how do we access and see our notes and notebooks? Any other application to open the files?

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23 minutes ago, Mr Jumbo Guy said:

However, supposedly something happens (I don't want them to close evernote), how can we view our notebooks and notes? I mean those are stored in Evernote's format right? So, how do we access and see our notes and notebooks? Any other application to open the files?

My weekly full backup is an export in html format.  The notes can be viewed using any web browser.

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1 hour ago, DTLow said:

My weekly full backup is an export in html format.  The notes can be viewed using any web browser.

Thanks mate!

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Your files are automatically downloaded and stored on your computer (assuming you login using your computer -- mobile devices need to be a paid plan, and you need to then set the notebooks to be downloaded for offline use). If Evernote disappeared in the next few seconds, all of your data would be fine. And, the additional backups mentioned above ensure that even if your data is somehow corrupted and synced to every device, and all of your note histories were destroyed on Evernote's servers, you'd still be OK.

In other words, death spiral or not, you're fine.

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I jumped ship several years ago. I just didn't want to invest my time and effort into a platform that IMHO did not have a long-term financial future. For those who think having a back up will save them, try importing into one of the alternatives. It's a mess. There is nothing even close to EN. I figured change was unfortunately inevitable and I might as well get the pain overwith and embrace something new. 

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5 hours ago, spice3d said:

I jumped ship several years ago. ... There is nothing even close to EN.  ...

Please share the service you switched to.
I'm still benefiting from the Evernote features, and anticipate more years.

>>For those who think having a back up will save them, try importing into one of the alternatives. It's a mess.

My backups are in html format and are completely functional in the Mac OS.
I can't speak for the alternatives or importing.

>>I figured change was unfortunately inevitable

I agree; and in the long run we all die.
In the meantime, as I said, I'm benefiting from the Evernote features.

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