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jbenson2

(Archived) Evernote jumps the shark

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Evernote embraces the corporate world

I have thoroughly enjoyed the Evernote program until hearing their latest podcast #24.

I have grave reservations about their decision to jump with both feet into the corporate world of SAP, Blackberry, and Adobe type organizations. The never-ending demands from these new corporate overlords will overwhelm any feedback from individual Evernote users. The current user-requests for a PIN code for iPads will pale in comparison once the IT juggernauts get their claws into Evernote. Some of the Evernote staff have had experience with this sort of corporate life-style and enterprise government security in the past, so they know what they are getting into.

As "Sponsored Accounts" start their long march toward total domination of the company, you can mark December 8, 2010 as a sad day in the history of Evernote. I've seen this happen to other companies desperately looking for quick ways to burn off their sudden influx of investor money. You heard it here first.

Read the story about Evernote's plans for Groups Of Any Size:

http://blog.evernote.com/2010/12/08/spo ... -any-size/

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I am absolutely, ABSOLUTELY no fan of corporate IT ... without exception, those places are case studies of the Peter Principle at its worst, with their arbitrary policies that do nothing more than hamper productivity and increase cost.

But unfortunately, that's also where the real revenue stream is for the vast majority of tech vendors ... and if Evernote is going to be here for the long term they need to respond to that fact. I want them to be successful so I can continue using them, and I have faith that they're not suddenly going to become all Dilbert-esque on us. I'm sure they're smart enough to know that long-term success will require keeping both individual and group users excited about the product.

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You're right of course - we have to have faith in Evernote.

I used to believe in another software company that served the general public, but decided to market to the huge corporations. A couple years later, they changed their billing practice and created a new annual charge for "software maintenance". This recurring maintenance fee for the new and improved software was just over $400/year and they stopped all support on their current program. The special upgrade cost for current users to the new version was an additional $1,100.

They are still in business, so you can stay they made the right decision. But they lost of a lot of customers and employees with the change. The only winners, in my opinion, were the IT folks who were required to administer the program. Sort of like how accountants benefit, when the IRS adds more rules.

 

search 48SW37

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Jbenson2,

Ok, I got my calendar marked, let's see how it goes...

If anything, sponsored accounts are our rejection of the typical enterprise software market. Instead of making any changes to the core service (and, believe me, we get a ton of requests) all we did is make it easy for people to buy accounts for more than one person at a time and (next step) to use that as a shortcut for specifying who they want to share with. This is functionality that's probably better suited to a 4 person family, a 10 person startup or a 40 person classroom than a 20,000 employee corporation.

On the other hand, if some Fortune 500 company wants to give Evernote Premium accounts to all its people and is fine with having no additional control over ownership, versions or content than they already do when their folks use Evernote unofficially today... well, that's an enlightened company that we're happy to work with. We don't expect to see much of that right away, but we think eventually more and more corporate folk will realize that their normal enterprise software is crappy and unappealing and, as these people get into senior management positions, things like Evernote will gain some official traction. We're not going to make an "enterprise" version of Evernote. We're going to wait until enterprises are ready for the "human" version. About 80% of Evernote users says they use Evernote at work and at home, so the lines are blurring already.

Our goal is to be the permanent, trusted and ubiquitous place for all your lifetime memories. We're committed to making Evernote fit into every part of that life - school, work, family, hobbies, etc. The focus will always be on you, the person experiencing that life, not on your friends, or your teachers, or your boss. There's already enough stuff that focuses on those.

Oh, and thanks for using Evernote and for listening to the podcast! I'll give a shout-out to your end-of-the-world prediction prediction on the next one, if Andrew lets me.

Pitamakan,

You're right about corporate being the revenue stream for most tech vendors, but happily that's not the case for us. Our direct consumer revenues from premium subscriptions and partner products are more than enough to make us a profitable and sustainable long-term company. The consumer business is booming for us and we have no financial incentive to switch focus.

Thanks again!

---

Phil Libin

CEO, Evernote

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Phil Libin -

Thank you for the insight into Sponsored Accounts.

I do some precog work on the side. Precogs may see different visions of the future, and as a safeguard 2 precogs have to agree.

Perhaps my vision is the minority report, and you know what happens to the minority report.

To be on the safe side, I also store my notes in Evernote.

Korekaramo ganbatte kudasai.

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I just wanted to express my thanks to Phil for his thoughtful and straightforward response.

As I've been learning about Evernote the past few weeks, the thing that's probably impressed me the most is the honesty and openness with which this company conducts business. It's uncommon in this world, but it's extraordinarily refreshing … and at least for me, it really inspires confidence in the product and its future.

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As "Sponsored Accounts" start their long march toward total domination of the company, you can mark December 8, 2010 as a sad day in the history of Evernote.

Quick to rush to judgment, eh? :lol: I'm not saying that won't happen. But I certainly hope it won't (b/c for every hour I spend on a computer, I use Evernote at least once & usually more than that) & I think it's premature to make such a statement.

I just wanted to express my thanks to Phil for his thoughtful and straightforward response.

As I've been learning about Evernote the past few weeks, the thing that's probably impressed me the most is the honesty and openness with which this company conducts business. It's uncommon in this world, but it's extraordinarily refreshing … and at least for me, it really inspires confidence in the product and its future.

Ditto what Pitamakan said. I've listened to most of the blogcasts. I've dealt with Dave a few times away from the message board b/c on the few occasions I've had a problem with EN, it tends to get escalated to "tier Dave." I also dealt with Phil during Christmas 2009, when I was a beta tester for the iPhone app. My impression of these "faces" of Evernote is that they seem to not only be good people, but people who enjoy their product (and each other) & take great pride in it and they want it to work well for their customers. Of course, their goals for the product may not always parallel what some users want (encryption, pin codes, reminders, image editing, etc.) But based upon this most recent announcement, I see no reason to start looking for alternatives.

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Phil neglected to mention that our last company sold enterprise cryptography software to huge organizations like federal government agencies and multinational companies. That meant we spent a lot of time flying around in suits with enterprise sales guys working on commission, to sit through tedious meetings in stuffy conference rooms for a 9-18 month sales cycle to close 7-figure contracts. I even moved to Washington DC for two years since it was easier than flying every week.

So we know what it means to build a business that sells to "the enterprise," but we have no desire (or need) to turn Evernote into that kind of business. We'd rather just build great software that individuals can grab and use for free for a few months, and then pay us a small amount (directly) when they feel like Premium fits their needs. Sponsored Accounts are just a small billing option for one person to pay the subscription charges for other Premium accounts.

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Sponsored Accounts are just a small billing option for one person to pay the subscription charges for other Premium accounts.

Which is exactly what I took away from the podcast.

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You expect to read some BS on forums like this one. But to make a claim like the one in this thread based on the release of a new way of billing is really quite outstanding work.

My congratulations - your prescience is a boon to us all.

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You expect to read some BS on forums like this one. But to make a claim like the one in this thread based on the release of a new way of billing is really quite outstanding work.

My congratulations - your prescience is a boon to us all.

Thank you for your kind words of support.

And a Happy New Year as well.

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