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Two articles here re new CEO making changes.  http://venturebeat.com/2015/09/29/evernote-lays-off-47-people-and-closes-3-offices-in-effort-to-build-a-more-focused-team/ and http://www.theverge.com/2015/9/29/9420031/evernote-layoffs-office-closures

 

Most interesting to me is this quote from the second article:  He intends to hone the company's focus on "notes, sync, and search." That'll be noticeable within the next few months, he says, as Evernote rolls out "major foundational product improvements" while it pulls away from failing services.

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Seems like the new CEO wants to focus on the core features of Evernote, which is good! The former CEO wanted to make Evernote a 'do-it-all' type of software, which never worked. And if they can communicate clearly what Evernote is about, we will stop seeing users who to try to use Evernote for things it isn't designed for (to-do-list, writing software).

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The concluding statement from the Verge article:

"Evernote has more than 150 million users — it just needs to get more of them to pay for it."

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Would someone at Evernote please comment on whether any features or supported platforms (Windows Phone, Windows Touch) are being discontinued as part of these layoffs?  Thanks!

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Would someone at Evernote please comment on whether any features or supported platforms (Windows Phone, Windows Touch) are being discontinued as part of these layoffs?  Thanks!

You won't see any change in support for our current features and platforms (Windows Phone and Windows Touch included). 

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I think the above sources are drawing from this Evernote Blog:

A Note from Chris O'Neill (new Evernote CEO)

 

I'm very very encouraged by what I read.  In spite of the failures of the former CEO to follow through, I'm giving Mr. O'Neill the full benefit of doubt, and I'm going to take him at his word until he proves otherwise.

 

I especially like these statements by Mr. O'Neill:

 

Evernote’s strength is in its core: notes, sync, and search. That’s where we’re going to focus.

 

Here are two things that you can expect from us over the next several months: we will launch major foundational product improvements around the core features that you care about most, and we will pull back on initiatives that fail to support our mission.

 

 In the meantime, please send your thoughts to me directly at ceochris@evernote.com.

 

 

 

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I'm a huge fan of Evernote and I'm glad they are focusing on the product AND the business.  When the article about Evernote being in a death spiral as the first dying unicorn company came out, I was hoping it was a wake-up call.  

 

I had previously hoped that being called out by former Techcrunch writer Jason Kincaid would do the trick.  Progress was made, but there was still reason to worry.

 

I rely on Evernote personally and even built a business around it as a developer.  I have a vested interest in its success and have been a Premium and Business subscriber.  I've been to its last two conferences and had the pleasure of meeting Phil, several executives, product people, partners and support staff.

 

When I first jumped ship from OneNote, I thought two things:

  1. Evernote is far more connected to the modern world than OneNote
  2. Evernote has an identity problem

Evernote is still more connected than the competition, but tech doesn’t stand still and Microsoft has finally smelled the coffee and OneNote is improving greatly as is their overall strategy to broaden the  ecosystem.  As for the identity problem, I get asked about it so much, I wrote my own post just a few weeks ago. 

 

With 150 million users, Evernote is not near dying, but I'm hoping it's not too late to regain some of its former momentum.  When you start laying off in Silicon Valley before you even file for an IPO, it's not good from a hiring/keeping talent perspective.  Sure, if you can convince talent that re-focusing will bring greater returns down-the-line, that might work.  Or, they might just believe it's the beginning of the end.  When that bright 22-year old hears your pitch, it's now questionable.  In tech, talent rules.  Anyone looking at the markets recently also knows the IPO window for companies that need a high valuation like Evernote may be closing.  We'll see.

 

BTW, Saying subscribers grew 40% is great, but let's be real.  You just changed your pricing to prompt/force some of those fence-sitters off the fence.  It was great and long overdue, but let’s see the growth rate next year with a stable pricing scheme.  Freemium companies like Evernote need to keep watch on the business/revenue, not just subscriber growth.  Kudos to O'Neill for being honest about it.  Many unicorns are beginning to feel this heat. 

 

Feature creep is always a challenge in tech and I’m glad the CEO is at least temporarily heeding the call to get the house in order first.  Let's hope they can do it with there existing funding because I would not want to look for new money at this point.  Unfortunately, competitors have had substantial time to get better and won’t sit still while the house is cleaned up.  

 

It’s going to be an interesting ride folks. 

 

I’m going to go out and get that $85 set of Evernote socks, just for nostalgia.  They might not be around long.

 

 

 

 

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