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Frank.dg

"Evernote is looking for a new CEO"

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@Frank:  Thanks for sharing.

 

I have to go with GM's profound statement:  "Wow"  :o

 

I figured Libin would hang around until the IPO, where he would be come a multi-millionaire, maybe even billionaire.

 

Someone must have made him "an offer he couldn't refuse".  ;)

 

I have NO inside knowledge, but my WAG (Wild A s s  Guess) is that the Evernote culture *is* the culture developed and pushed by Libin.

It will be interesting to see how things changes, particularly the attitude towards customers.

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I thought he owned the company?

 

Evernote is a privately held corporation, so it will have a number of shareholders.

I don't know, but I would guess the Libin is the primary, if not majority, shareholder.

Just a WAG -- I have NO actual insight into this.

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well, I am sure Libin is a good guy, he is certainly reflexive given that he is searching for his own successor. I hope he does well in whatever he does, whether is continues with evernote in a new role, or takes on something elsewhere. Either way I think some change could do Evernote some real good. Libin has done well getting Evernote off the ground but there seems to be a wide range of strange trends noted here and elsewhere that, while not directly attributable to Libin, might just need some serious shaking up to resolve. 

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well, I am sure Libin is a good guy, he is certainly reflexive given that he is searching for his own successor.

 

I don't know if he is a "good guy" or not, since I have never met him, nor worked with him in any way.  I certainly don't know him personally.

Senior executives can be strange people, showing one face in public, and another in private.

From my perspective as either a customer or a future stockholder, all that matters is results.

 

BTW, I'm not sure I know what you mean by "reflexive".  Dictionary definition (#4):  "characterized by habitual and unthinking behavior"

Since I'm not an English major, these big words sometimes escape me.  ;)

 

This I definitely agree with:

 

but there seems to be a wide range of strange trends noted here and elsewhere that, while not directly attributable to Libin, might just need some serious shaking up to resolve.

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May not be the case, but valuation has been flat for a while and VCs do like to be sure they get rewards for their investments.  Could be asking how exactly are we leveraging a purported 100M customers.  On the other hand, sometimes people work at something long enough they just need a change.  Entrepreneurs aren't known for having the longest attention spans.....

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Entrepreneurs aren't known for having the longest attention spans.....

 

So, what about that plan for a "100-year company"? :lol:

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Some completely wild guesses coming....

Business hasn't taken off at the rate they need it to. The pivot hasn't worked.

Conversion of personal customers has remained pretty flat.

No one gives a monkeys about socks etc.

The VC people (who really own the company) are bored of seeing PL flying round the world spouting click bait at conferences and would rather have someone with a clear vision drive the company forward.

In a lot of ways PL has done great stuff, the core idea and most of the delivery has been really pretty good. It's been very clear that they can't make enough money from personal users and unfortunately they have failed to find a more satisfying revenue stream. Dave and Andrew to go next?

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I'm not surprised at all. Compare the essence/flavor of Evernote in the past couple of years to the Evernote of the previous four years (although I beta tested Evernote in 2008, I didn't
really get into Evernote until mid 2009).  There has been a huge disconnect, during the past couple of years on several fronts.  IMO, it was just a matter of time.

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Entrepreneurs aren't known for having the longest attention spans.....

 

So, what about that plan for a "100-year company"? :lol:

 

Will have to be management teams 2 to n.

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@Cal:  You keep turning my attempts at humor into serious discussions.  :D

 

Actually it was an attempt at humor and sarcasm.  :ph34r:

Oh well.

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@JM,

 

Nope, nothing serious here.  Hence the 2-n reference, my own form of sarcasm.  Plus, in some cases the exit of the entrepreneur enables the 100 years.  ;)  

 

Assuming that in 100 years things like EN aren't embedded in some organic OS which lives in a tatoo on your butt.

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@Cal:  Now you've gone toooooo far.  It will take a while to get that gross image out of my mind.  :(

(is there an emoticon for "yuck" ?)

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well, I am sure Libin is a good guy, he is certainly reflexive given that he is searching for his own successor.

 

I don't know if he is a "good guy" or not, since I have never met him, nor worked with him in any way.  I certainly don't know him personally.

Senior executives can be strange people, showing one face in public, and another in private.

From my perspective as either a customer or a future stockholder, all that matters is results.

I don't know either, but I'm "sure" (read: "assuming") he's a good guy (Which is my default assumption about most people when there's a total lack of evidence one way or another). Like you, I don't know, but I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt that he isn't a horrendous human being and that he isn't in need of a good "whooping" by being ousted. 

 

BTW, I'm not sure I know what you mean by "reflexive".  Dictionary definition (#4):  "characterized by habitual and unthinking behavior"

Since I'm not an English major, these big words sometimes escape me.   ;)

You're right, that's not the correct word in this context, at least not the definition you've chosen to provide. I suppose meant it in the sense that he seems capable of referring back to himself (e.g., a reflexive verb) and the role he might be playing in Evernote's future development (or lack thereof). I get this sense because he seems to be on board with the CEO change. If he didn't see himself as part of the problem, he'd probably not be quite so on board. It was a clumsy choice of words! (also not an english major! Perhaps if I was I wouldn't have botched this one up!)

 

This I definitely agree with:

 

but there seems to be a wide range of strange trends noted here and elsewhere that, while not directly attributable to Libin, might just need some serious shaking up to resolve.

 

B)

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Cal, didn't intend to turn you into my Internet assistant!  :lol:

 

Since I've already hijacked this thread, this will be my last off-topic post.

I like this one:

 

Yuck-emoticon.jpg

 

My apologies, everyone.

 

And now back to your regularly scheduled program.

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BTW, I'm not sure I know what you mean by "reflexive".  Dictionary definition (#4):  "characterized by habitual and unthinking behavior"

Since I'm not an English major, these big words sometimes escape me.   ;)

You're right, that's not the correct word in this context, at least not the definition you've chosen to provide. I suppose meant it in the sense that he seems capable of referring back to himself (e.g., a reflexive verb) and the role he might be playing in Evernote's future development (or lack thereof). I get this sense because he seems to be on board with the CEO change. If he didn't see himself as part of the problem, he'd probably not be quite so on board. It was a clumsy choice of words! (also not an english major! Perhaps if I was I wouldn't have botched this one up!)

Scott,

 

Might try reflective next time.  :)

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BTW, I'm not sure I know what you mean by "reflexive".  Dictionary definition (#4):  "characterized by habitual and unthinking behavior"

Since I'm not an English major, these big words sometimes escape me.   ;)

You're right, that's not the correct word in this context, at least not the definition you've chosen to provide. I suppose meant it in the sense that he seems capable of referring back to himself (e.g., a reflexive verb) and the role he might be playing in Evernote's future development (or lack thereof). I get this sense because he seems to be on board with the CEO change. If he didn't see himself as part of the problem, he'd probably not be quite so on board. It was a clumsy choice of words! (also not an english major! Perhaps if I was I wouldn't have botched this one up!)

Scott,

 

Might try reflective next time.  :)

 

Yeah that'd probably be the more obvious choice :)

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OK, I  lied.   Another off-topic post.  But Scott and Cal made me do it.  :lol:

 

One of the things I love about using the Kindle reader apps is the instant access to a dictionary, translator, and google.  Just click/tap on a word and instantly the definition appears, with options for Google and more.

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Well this kind of sums it up, from http://www.inquisitr.com/2181002/evernote-ceo-looking-to-be-replaced-soon-as-possible/

 

Fortune is reporting that Libin, CEO of the upstart “unicorn” tech company since 2007, is looking for a new CEO to spark the company. Evernote needs “someone who is going to be better than me at it,” said Libin. “I’m a product person, they need a professional CEO.” Libin also stated that Evernote may be close to hiring a new CEO soon.

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Also from the same article at inquisitr.com:

 

Libin says the main goal at Evernote is to become compatible with as many devices as possible.

“We still want to be in every reasonable device; every device that we think is cool and has a shot of success,” he said.

 

“The wearable market is going to become extremely significant for us,” said Libin.

 

This seems like a strange main goal to me.

 

I also don't get the emphasis on the wearable market.  The EN iOS apps for iPhone/iPad still need a lot of work, and continue to have major bugs.  Seems like they would want to make their smartphone/tablet apps work well first.

 

But then Evernote seems to have a preoccupation with what they perceive as "cool".  It seems to me that they often want to move to something that is new and cool long before they have finished work on the current features.

 

Maybe all of this will become irrelevant with the on-boarding of a new CEO.  I suppose time will tell.

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This just struck as being a bit strange.  Don't know why it took so long.

 

If you were on the board of a company and wanted a new CEO that is better and more "professional" (whatever that means) than the current CEO, would you give the recruiting job to the current CEO?

 

All executives have larger than normal egos, especially CEOs.  They have to -- it's the nature of the beast.

So would the current CEO's ego really allow him/her to find someone better?

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Jesse Patel from WorkFlowy has given us an app that I've NEVER seen a bug on. Sure, it is a "simple" outliner tool... but, they have to rewrite large portions of their code every time they come out with a new, simple feature. When I think of WorkFlowy, I think of consistency. I read in a blog post from years back:

 

"Here in WorkFlowy land, we have a release checklist that includes a testing process. We run tests for every platform that WorkFlowy can run on before releasing a new version."

http://blog.workflowy.com/2012/05/16/instantly-duplicate-any-sub-list/

 

They come out with new features that are compatible (not necessarily available) across the platforms they build for. They don't jump the gun in haste and come out with bug-ridden versions. Here in the Evernote forum, more than novel feature requests, I mostly see people asking for the software we already have to work as it should. I'm using WorkFlowy as an example here because the app is as simple as they come, with a limited set of features... but it never fails to deliver. Ever. We all just want something reliable. When people beg for a Windows smartphone app for WorkFlowy, Jesse Patel, unapologetically says that they probably never will come out with one. They rarely come out with new blog posts, and often you'll hear that this is because they're too busy working on the app itself. They don't feel like they need to be cool and be everywhere. They cater to the platforms they've chosen very well.  

 

The main thing I'm getting at is this: most people would choose stability and reliability over innovation that they may never use.

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The main thing I'm getting at is this: most people would choose stability and reliability over innovation that they may never use.

The magic is to have leadership that can accomplish both, create a solid product and enhance it with what is important.  Not universal, but most organizations have to have both to survive.  But that's why leadership gets paid the big bucks.  ;)

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Jesse Patel from WorkFlowy has given us an app that I've NEVER seen a bug on. Sure, it is a "simple" outliner tool... but, they have to rewrite large portions of their code every time they come out with a new, simple feature. When I think of WorkFlowy, I think of consistency. I read in a blog post from years back:

 

"Here in WorkFlowy land, we have a release checklist that includes a testing process. We run tests for every platform that WorkFlowy can run on before releasing a new version."

http://blog.workflowy.com/2012/05/16/instantly-duplicate-any-sub-list/

 

They come out with new features that are compatible (not necessarily available) across the platforms they build for. They don't jump the gun in haste and come out with bug-ridden versions. Here in the Evernote forum, more than novel feature requests, I mostly see people asking for the software we already have to work as it should. I'm using WorkFlowy as an example here because the app is as simple as they come, with a limited set of features... but it never fails to deliver. Ever. We all just want something reliable. When people beg for a Windows smartphone app for WorkFlowy, Jesse Patel, unapologetically says that they probably never will come out with one. They rarely come out with new blog posts, and often you'll hear that this is because they're too busy working on the app itself. They don't feel like they need to be cool and be everywhere. They cater to the platforms they've chosen very well.  

 

The main thing I'm getting at is this: most people would choose stability and reliability over innovation that they may never use.

Yeah but Work Chat.....oh never mind.

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I also don't get the emphasis on the wearable market.  

 

Yup.  iPhone/iPad are my primary interfaces to EN.  With 3rd party iOS apps, and the Web Clipper as the primary input sources.

I never thought the natural language and contextual awareness were at a point where the focus on Google Glass made sense.

And I'm not seeing utility in having it on my apple watch.

I get more Evernote usage through Gneo and Swipes on the watch, syncing to EN on the backend, but even still...

For me the Apple watch usage priorities are:

  1. Notifications
  2. Watch
  3. Fitness

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This just struck as being a bit strange.  Don't know why it took so long.

 

If you were on the board of a company and wanted a new CEO that is better and more "professional" (whatever that means) than the current CEO, would you give the recruiting job to the current CEO?

 

All executives have larger than normal egos, especially CEOs.  They have to -- it's the nature of the beast.

So would the current CEO's ego really allow him/her to find someone better?

I would take that with a huge grain of salt. Libin may be playing a role in the search, but I doubt he's the one making the final decision. It's better for all the shareholders (Libin, senior employees and venture capital investors) that the transition is seen as a positive transition in the company's life, not as a correction of a *****-up.

 

And Libin, by virtue of his shareholdings, has a powerful interest in seeing someone well-suited for the job replace him. A huge payday from an IPO goes a long way toward comforting a wounded ego, if that is the case here.

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Some completely wild guesses coming....

Business hasn't taken off at the rate they need it to. The pivot hasn't worked.

I don't think anyone who has been on this forum a long time would be surprised if businesses weren't racing to incorporate Evernote into their workflow. 

 

I think back to the blog that called EN out a while back and which Libin publicly responded to. Has he or EN delivered on his statements in that response? Nope. But businesses are supposed to hang their necks out on this app?? I still laugh when I think about Libin's comments about replacing Office. Only someone who has never used EN could believe that hype!

 

Hopefully the change in management will turn things around.

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Thanks for sharing the mashable.com article, Cal.  Very interesting.

 

I found two quotes of interest, particularly with regard to the new Evernote plans:

 

Libin pointed to Evernote's longstanding freemium business model. For years, the company used a freemium model with two tiers (free and Premium) which Libin "randomly" decided and priced himself, without bothering to do research: a serious marketing faux pas.
 
The numbers look promising so far, Evernote COO Linda Kozlowzki told Mashable. The company claims it may double its annual revenues over the next two years because of the new pricing options. 
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The numbers look promising so far, Evernote COO Linda Kozlowzki told Mashable. The company claims it may double its annual revenues over the next two years because of the new pricing options. 

 

Well, we'll see about that. I'm an Evernote user for 5 years now. Two of them as premium user. That's over now. I'm switching to OneNote.

Not being able to access my notes without being online is an absolute deal breaker for me. The nag screen isn't helping, too.

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The numbers look promising so far, Evernote COO Linda Kozlowzki told Mashable. The company claims it may double its annual revenues over the next two years because of the new pricing options.

 

Well, we'll see about that. I'm an Evernote user for 5 years now. Two of them as premium user. That's over now. I'm switching to OneNote.

Not being able to access my notes without being online is an absolute deal breaker for me. The nag screen isn't helping, too.

It's always helpful to mention what client(s) you're using. Mac and Windows desktop users have been able to access their notes when not online for years. Mobile clients for premium accounts have been able to access notebooks they've designated for offline use for years.

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I'm wondering whether the issue is with paying for premium to access offline notes... or simply not knowing that there is offline capability on mobile for premium users. The latter would be hard to fathom - coming from any long-time Evernote user.

 

Evernote goes out of their way to promote offline notes as a benefit of paid plans.

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