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Paranam Kid

EN senior management moves

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i think at this point phil libin, philip constantinou, linda kozlowski, pearl woon-tai, alex pachikov, and andrew sinkov are the senior management who have left in the last year. before that, we lost long-time staff like heather wilde (head of customer service) and other senior staff such as chris traganos (developer stuff). i'm sure there have been more that have gone under the radar. plenty of turnover there.

is it good or bad for the company? well, probably not great for users to have so much churn at the top, support for products being dropped, and so forth in the short term. if evernote is in a perpetual identity crisis, it'll eventually fold. but, perhaps this will lead to a clearer and better focus in the long term that will ultimately prove better for evernote and its users. time will tell.

good luck and best wishes to all of the folks that have helped bring evernote this far! 

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19 hours ago, GrumpyMonkey said:

is it good or bad for the company? well, probably not great for users to have so much churn at the top, support for products being dropped, and so forth in the short term. if evernote is in a perpetual identity crisis, it'll eventually fold. but, perhaps this will lead to a clearer and better focus in the long term that will ultimately prove better for evernote and its users. time will tell.

This is good for the company and imho a long time coming - here is why.  The execution (multiple unrelated products) has been in conflict with the stated strategy (100 year brain etc).  The core evernote has seen new features and solid efficiency updates but not enough to work in the 100 year view.  Over the years i have constantly migrated work and stored items into other cloud storage for safekeeping.  The reason is that i don't want to have a gigabyte file resident on my current computer.  This is not a long term strategy.  

The company needs to revisit its technology architecture in context of the business strategy and customer promise.  

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3 hours ago, Colin said:

This is good for the company and imho a long time coming - here is why.  The execution (multiple unrelated products) has been in conflict with the stated strategy (100 year brain etc).  The core evernote has seen new features and solid efficiency updates but not enough to work in the 100 year view.  Over the years i have constantly migrated work and stored items into other cloud storage for safekeeping.  The reason is that i don't want to have a gigabyte file resident on my current computer.  This is not a long term strategy.  

The company needs to revisit its technology architecture in context of the business strategy and customer promise.  

EN has said a lot of things over the years. Which one is the "good" Evernote and which one is the "evil" one with a van d-y-k-e beard? I don't know.

Some of the stuff they have said is in harmony such as "remember everything," your "external brain," "the anti-social app," and a "100-year-old startup." Others like "work chat," and "presentation mode" may not be. It seems to me that Evernote has moved its focus to the last two items, and that may be its new identity. It's difficult to tell.

I think Evernote is working through an identity crisis and changes at the top are not necessarily going to result in them going back to what they have said in the past. There's a new CEO and new management, so there may be a new vision. It might be that something new is needed to make the business profitable, and whatever that is, it may not be compatible with a 100-year-old startup vision.

If there is a re-invention, is it going to be good or bad? Maybe bad for me if they don't introduce selective sync on the desktop and zero-knowledge encryption for notebooks. But, if they do something else, maybe it will good for the service, so it is a tough call. I'll be interested to see what Evernote has in store for 2016. 

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For reference, this topic, the future of Evernote, is an ongoing discussion in a number of threads:

As GM has stated, we've seen lots of words, lots of promises, from Evernote in the past that have not been fulfilled.  However, all of those were made by former executives, mostly former CEO Phil Libin, who are now gone or going.

I am very much encouraged by:

  1. Statement by new CEO Chris O'Neill that they are returning focus on their core product, core features.
  2. Recent announcement and beginning implementation of a common Note Editor for all platforms.
  3. Much improved participation and responsiveness by Evernote employees in these forums.

Only time will tell, but so far all evidence I've seen since CEO Chris O'Neill came onboard has supported his refocus on the core product.  I've seen statements by a number of Evernote employees posting in these forums supporting this.

So, until Evernote shows me different, I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt, and assume they will make good on their new word.  :)

 

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2 hours ago, JMichaelTX said:

As GM has stated, we've seen lots of words, lots of promises, from Evernote in the past that have not been fulfilled.  However, all of those were made by former executives, mostly former CEO Phil Libin, who are now gone or going.

Phil Libin is executive chairman, and although he is not involved in the day-to-day running, he is not leaving Evernote, as far as I know.

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1 hour ago, Paranam Kid said:

Phil Libin is executive chairman, and although he is not involved in the day-to-day running

Technically, you're correct, Libin is still there.

But my point was what you said:  "he is not involved in the day-to-day running".

Frankly, given his personality, I don't expect him to be there long, unless he is just a figurehead collecting stock options.  IAC, his influence is past.

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Just to clarify, I wasn't suggesting that Evernote has broken any promises. A lot of things have been said over time, and it is unclear to me which stated strategy we ought to expect Evernote to adhere to, or whether looking to the past is necessarily going to be in Evernote's best interest going forward.

Personally, I was originally inspired by the "external brain," "100-year-old startup," and "personal brain" aspect of the service. When I signed up to join Evernote a few months after it launched, I hoped that the service would develop in certain ways. That hasn't happened, but I don't feel like any promises were broken. The service just moved out of alignment with my needs. I would like to see Evernote re-commit to some of its earlier vision statements, but I cannot say whether that would be good or bad for Evernote. I can only say that it would be good for me :)

I don't think the new CEO has been there long enough to say much about his performance. The common note editor hardly seems like a success we should attribute to him, because it was developed while Libin was the CEO and implemented a short time after he stepped down as CEO. He did not leave the company, as has been noted, and it is difficult to say much about the internal dynamics, because we cannot see much from our vantage points as users. 

Personally, I am not too thrilled with how the commitment to core features has played out so far, because it means the Pebble watch I just purchased (ordered for Christmas a few days before the Evernote announcement -- bad timing) will no longer have Evernote support. It's sad to see Evernote retreat from one of its earliest aims of being available on every major platform, especially mobile. Oh well. Like I said, bad for me, but maybe good for Evernote. Not a broken promise, though.

As for employee participation, there was a ton of it before, and there continues to be a lot. It waxes and wanes, probably due at least in part to development schedules and personal lives, but it's always been there. Developers are only a PM away, and they have always been as open and forthcoming as possible with me about feature development. I don't know of all that many other major applications that put you into direct, regular support with staff. Frankly speaking, I am surprised they have time to visit here at all, much less comment on posts.

Personally, I'd like to have more employee development, especially from Dave (in the old days of the forum, he made major contributions that we are still quoting and discussing nearly a decade later). But, Evernote is going through an identity crisis (I think), and I am not surprised that they are a bit busy actually doing stuff rather than talking to us about doing stuff. I'm satisfied that what we say here is being read, though I don't think we should expect them to follow all of our advice. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, JMichaelTX said:

IAC, his influence is past.

Is it? How do you know? His position of executive chairman might be an honorary one, but remember, Evernote is his baby so I would not be surprised if to some degree he continues to be active behind the scenes, even if O'Neill is mostly running the show. Be that as it may, what is important is how EN shapes up ultimately, and only time will tell.

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58 minutes ago, Paranam Kid said:

Is it? How do you know?

You're absolutely right. I don't know.  It's just a guess on my part based on observing his past behavior, current public remarks, and the direction Evernote is now taking.  Back in the day we used to call statements like mine a "WAG", wild a$$ guess.

But I hope I'm right.  IMO, Libin is the one who ultimately led Evernote away from its primary focus/mission, because he was bored with a "note taking app".  It wasn't enough that Evernote the app, was one of the best cross-platform, syncing PIMs (Personal Information Manager) ever, and had really great potential with the right development and marketing.  He wanted something that would "bend the universe", whatever that means.  LOL

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My perspective on the Evernote management style:

1.) I would have more confidence in Evernote's future if the next Marketing Manager occasionally participated in this forum. The former fellow, Andrew Sinkov, had a forum account but never posted anything here. I wondered if he bothered to even lurk in the forum to view some customer intelligence.

2.) The new CEO has been in charge for half a year now, but all I have seen is his single memo when he started. No visibility from the head guy since that time. 

3.) In other words, less ostrich-style "head in the sand" management and more openness with their customers OR with the media.

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Let's face it, Libin had become a parody of a CEO. Travelling the world on the company dime, striking up deals and doing interviews that created lots of press but probably didn't add very large numbers of paying users. Sinkov did a marvellous job of marketing without doing traditional marketing, but people soon get bored of hearing the same things again and again and he didn't seem to have the imagination to move the message along.

The new guy has been quiet, but maybe that's his style - I don't really care as long as they concentrate on the core service and apps, which is the one thing he has said he will do. All the other people that have gone, well that's not very surprising - the company is changing, the CEO has gone, loyalty evaporates quickly. Hopefully, the new CEO brings in fresh, energetic but focused people - personally I'm bored of the scatter gun approach to features and development. Using Evernote should be something I do without having to think, too much of the time now it's an effort. That's them failing in my mind.

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19 hours ago, JMichaelTX said:

For reference, this topic, the future of Evernote, is an ongoing discussion in a number of threads:

As GM has stated, we've seen lots of words, lots of promises, from Evernote in the past that have not been fulfilled.  However, all of those were made by former executives, mostly former CEO Phil Libin, who are now gone or going.

I am very much encouraged by:

  1. Statement by new CEO Chris O'Neill that they are returning focus on their core product, core features.
  2. Recent announcement and beginning implementation of a common Note Editor for all platforms.
  3. Much improved participation and responsiveness by Evernote employees in these forums.

Only time will tell, but so far all evidence I've seen since CEO Chris O'Neill came onboard has supported his refocus on the core product.  I've seen statements by a number of Evernote employees posting in these forums supporting this.

So, until Evernote shows me different, I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt, and assume they will make good on their new word.  :)

 

Very good write up JMichael. Brings a lot of perspective to the conversation. I think because theres so much "loss" or perceiving negative news, it just seems bleak. If there was some good coming new out of EN to dilute issues such as management moves it would be more palatable.

 

Like EN adding handwriting to notes, or the new version of Penultimate are amazing for myself and loyal users. But, how can EN stage of comeback? Against the onslaught of negative critics & "bad news" (people leaving, cutting apps, eat)? 

 

I wish there wouldn't be so much negativity looming. As EN is really a invaluable asset of mine. Hope for better to come. How could I help you my beloved Evernote? 

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11 hours ago, jbenson2 said:

2.) The new CEO has been in charge for half a year now, but all I have seen is his single memo when he started. No visibility from the head guy since that time

JB, while we may not have heard much directly from the new CEO, we have seen some significant changes, in the right direction:

  1. Evernote has dropped most of their spinoff apps like EN Food.
  2. They have cut offices and personnel who were not contributing to the core product/mission.
  3. They have begun the deployment of the common Note Editor, with stated goals to make it robust.
  4. They have made some significant improvements in the EN Mac product
  5. There has been a significant shift in attitude.  Now they are showing true responsiveness to user complaints/requests, including a number of Evernote generated surveys.  Under Libin's leadership, user requests/preferences were definitely 2nd tier, if not lower.

So I definitely see progress.  I'm willing to give Mr. O'Neill at least a year before I start drawing any conclusions.

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I don't see a change in direction at all yet. I think the past is being ignored or forgotten in favor of an undefined future. Libin announced a quality focus back in 2014. They worked on the new editor stuff under him. They laid off staff under him (remember what happened to customer service?), the Mac improved a lot under him (list view, ability to search joined and owned stuff simultaneously, speed improvements, etc.), and there were plenty of responsive, engaged staff (jack, who used to run mac development, for example) who sought the opinions of users.

I'm not saying O'Neill is bad. A few months is just not enough time to accurately evaluate any major personnel changes. 

I also don't think Phil was bad. Sure, I didn't agree with a lot of stuff, but a lot of other stuff he did was amazing. 

What's missing for me now is an inspiring vision. OK. We'll "focus" on something, but what do we want that something to be? I think "we" want a lot of different things, and we read a lot of what we want into the vague statements we've gotten so far, which is why people are kind of OK with stuff. What'd be exciting for me is if Evernote turned out an external brain with stuff like encrypted notebooks, selective sync, related notes we could scroll through, diagnostic tools to fine-tune and understand the condition of our brains, information density, etc. 

Another way of saying this: I want to see an amalgamation of gordon bell (recording life bits), edward tufte (information design), stewart brand (the long now), and phil zimmermann (privacy). When we can point to this as a goal and start advancing again towards it (Evernote's early days used to be about some elements of this), then I'll say we're finally headed again in the right direction. Getting the editor right is something Notepad did in the 90s. I'm ready for something more, but until O'Neill articulates a vision, I think Evernote will remain in an identity crisis.

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6 hours ago, GrumpyMonkey said:

I don't see a change in direction at all yet

It's curious that you don't see any changes.  I just delineated them.

You can defend Libin all you want, and no doubt he is to be credited and applauded for making the initial Evernote start a success.  But he is also the one who lead (if not initiated) major changes in Evernote that pulled support, reduced Evernote presence in the Forum, and made a major change in focus to EN Context and EN Chat, while ignoring many of the major issues as discussed in Alternatives to EN Discussion.  Libin is the one who lead Evernote away from its core product/mission.

Perhaps some of the developmental changes started under Libin.  All I know is that they didn't get put into the product until Mr. O'Neill arrived.  IMO, Libin was putting huge resources in the the EN Context development (a huge undertaking), while pretty much ignoring everything else.

As I said, time will tell.  For now, I remain hopeful.

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As I said for all of the the items you mentioned, they began under Libin, so it does not make sense to credit O'Neill with everything positive and Libin with everything negative.

What is Evernote's core product or mission? I know what I think it ought to be, but after about eight years of constant development, I'd say Evernote has actually been a lot of things as defined by the guy who led the company,  and now it has to choose which thing it wants to be. Focusing on the "core" product doesn't make a lot of sense to me if O'Neill doesn't define what that is. Obviously, Food and stuff isn't the core, but it never was, and Libin had already killed it. You see what I mean? So far, O'Neill is still playing out a lot of the stuff that began before he got there.

This isn't a criticism of O'Neill. It simply takes time before we can see the effect of personnel changes. 

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Skitch and Clearly are clearly following the same trend which saw the integration of the core features of Hello into the core Evernote product. I think this began under Libin.

Also, Libin did say, "Apps as a concept don’t make a whole lot of sense anymore..."  

Either way, I'm all for the pruning. Skitch and Clearly will live on in the Evernote client (and Mac) and the Web clipper. I won't miss Clearly's popups. 

 

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53 minutes ago, Frank.dg said:

Skitch and Clearly are clearly following the same trend which saw the integration of the core features of Hello into the core Evernote product. I think this began under Libin.

Also, Libin did say, "Apps as a concept don’t make a whole lot of sense anymore..."  

Either way, I'm all for the pruning. Skitch and Clearly will live on in the Evernote client (and Mac) and the Web clipper. I won't miss Clearly's popups. 

 

 

I'm not sure how I feel about the pruning and consolidation, but if it works, that's great. As for the death of apps, Phil has an amazing capacity for coming up with new perspectives on old problems. He was speaking in the context of attention spans, and his thinking is that powerful apps made for long attention spans are giving way to services made for teeny-tiny attention spans: think Adobe Creative Suite versus scribbling on your Apple Watch. I think wearables have an exciting future, but not necessarily as productivity devices for creation. In other words, I'd really like something to track my runs and do all kinds of fancy stuff with that data, but I don't want to write my book on my watch or read through my medical records on my watch.

Ideally, I'd like to have a super powerful app somewhere (maybe on my desktop) with lesser versions of itself tailored to each platform, perhaps focused on gathering data, and in that sense, I agree with Libin (this is how we've gotten where we are). The challenge is for Evernote to remain a presence in this Internet of Things even though they can't realistically do everything there. Referring to one of my earlier posts in this thread, Evernote on the desktops might organize the little bits of our lives that the other devices collect. 

This brings us to the recent cutbacks under O'Neill. Evernote axed its Pebble app, but pointed us in the direction of another app that uses the Evernote service. Maybe, he isn't so far from Libin after all -- he just wants to go a step further to outsource the Internet of Things and have it all connect with the Evernote service instead of trying to have an official app (or several apps doing dedicated tasks) hanging out on every device. We'll see how that goes. It'd be interesting if major changes to the API came down the pipe next.

At any rate, I am unwilling to collect all of this data on myself and others and store it unencrypted. I still think that aspect of the app needs attention, and I am still surprised it hasn't gotten it nearly three years after the Snowden revelations, and after many, many years of horrific hacking incidents.

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Perhaps focusing on the core product is a page from the New Coke debacle of so long ago.  A company messes with a formula that has been working, a company says oops, and then a company says back to the basics. 

Now if the external brain across platforms was the basics, how do you get back to that core and buttress it with all of the "sameness", security and whatever the most oft requested other functional enhancements are.  All the while making it so reliable and easy to use that it accommodates any Luddite or technophile.  Sounds simple to me.  ;)

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12 minutes ago, csihilling said:

Perhaps focusing on the core product is a page from the New Coke debacle of so long ago.  A company messes with a formula that has been working, a company says oops, and then a company says back to the basics. 

Now if the external brain across platforms was the basics, how do you get back to that core and buttress it with all of the "sameness", security and whatever the most oft requested other functional enhancements are.  All the while making it so reliable and easy to use that it accommodates any Luddite or technophile.  Sounds simple to me.  ;)

Other apps have managed it, in one form or another, the most obvious one being Microsoft's Office, which has seen some serious development under the new CEO and a brand new focus. They have been pretty clear with what they want to do: productivity and platforms. This means being the best for productivity on every platform, even if it isn't Microsoft's OS. Finally. And, although the scale is far more massive than Evernote's, it isn't too different from the idea pushed by Phil to be in the cloud and on mobile everywhere. Encryption? Yes, for OneNote. Everywhere? Not exactly, but on all of the stuff I use. Productive? Sure, I use Microsoft Office apps every day. The very idea that Evernote could take on Microsoft Office (proposed by Phil) is kind of ridiculous -- these are some of the most powerful and ubiquitous productivity apps made (there is incredible depth in them if you are a writer / researcher). I think Phil had in mind an Office experience that was "good enough" for most folks, but I'm not interested in good enough myself.

Evernote has the skilled staff, the funds, the platform, and the reach to make something like I suggested above work: an amalgamation of gordon bell (recording life bits), edward tufte (information design), stewart brand (the long now), and phil zimmermann (privacy). Will this become part of the "focus"? I don't know. Maybe the core features in the product are "work chat" or "presentation" now. I really don't know, but wouldn't mind seeing it spelled out. Perhaps O'Neill will be able to do what Nudella managed with Microsoft -- make it relevant again. 

 

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7 hours ago, GrumpyMonkey said:

What is Evernote's core product or mission?

Here's how the new CEO Chris O'Neill defined it:

A Note from Chris ONeill 

Quote

Evernote’s strength is in its core: notes, sync, and search.

Seems pretty clear to me.

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Here is an example of corporate transparency I am suggesting. This is what the former Evernote Marketing Manager should have done. Just imagine an hour-long informal discussion of pros and cons on the Evernote developments over the past year.

Yes, I can imagine your response. Oh, come on John, get real! The big shots at Evernote have more important things to do than talk to their customers. You should be satisfied with a one-page memo from the CEO issued months ago.

Well, consider what a big shot at Microsoft just did.

The Microsoft Marketing Chief Chris Capossela joined the Twit group for an hour-long round of Questions & Answers, Windows 10, Surface 4 and Surface Book update, hands on with HoloLens part 3, One Drive problems, Windows 10 Mobile with Continuum.

https://twit.tv/shows/windows-weekly/episodes/445?autostart=false
 

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39 minutes ago, jbenson2 said:

Here is an example of corporate transparency I am suggesting.

JB, do you really believe or trust anything a marketing guy says?  I don't.  IMO, marketeers are like politicians, as soon as they open their mouth you know they are . . .  :D

Sorry, but I don't see this a transparency at all.  I see this as hype to get new customers, developers, and investors.

Transparency, to me, would be for Evernote to:

  1. Publish, and maintain, their major bug list showing date first reported and number of reports.  
  2. Publish their product testing and QC process
  3. Publish their feature request list, with the ability for users to vote up/down

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Yes, I do believe what the Microsoft Marketing Chief said. MS has made major improvements in their communications and transparency since their new CEO took over. If the huge battleship of Microsoft can make the major directional change, then the recently downsized Evernote should be able to the same.

In my opinion, after listening to the Q&A discussion, Microsoft is open about their marketing operations. And yes, marketing is how a company gets "new customers, developers, and investors". They actually listen to their customers.  I cannot say the same for Evernote's marketing department.

Frankly, your view of transparency (the 3 published points) is a pipe dream. I predict it will never happen at Evernote.

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i don't know anyone who does what jm suggests, and i am not even sure it would help, especially the up and down voting stuff. i'm reminded here of homer's car.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Pw9gaEiQAxY

transparency could be a lot of things. for me, one important aspect is to signal future changes to your customer. if you are dropping support for something (pebble, skitch, etc.), you let your customers know and transition them out of it (microsoft is usually pretty good about this, in my experience). if you are keeping something around, you also let everyone know (microsoft did a great job of this with the surface, telling folks long ago that they were committed to the device). this is what mature companies do. evernote may be relatively old in silicon valley years, but it is still a startup, and i am not surprised that it is not very transparent. like other startups, it has to be ready to pivot (from anti-social to social, personal to business, etc.). it's not fun for us, but that's how it goes until the ipo.

i don't know why anyone would disparage marketing folks. they're doing a job, just like anyone else, trying to reach out to customers, and in many cases, gathering feedback from them. trust is something that travels with the individual, not the job title. 

as i noted above, and as jb's link attests, microsoft is doing some amazing stuff under their new ceo (including transforming onenote into a multi-platform competitor for evernote). i think evernote could benefit from following their lead. i think if you compare o'neill's laconic vision of "notes, sync, and search" to microsoft's lengthy statements / interviews, you'll get a better sense of what i mean when i say his viaion is unclear. o'neill doesn't have to be a clone of any other ceo, but if he's going to have a low profile and only communicate with the outside world a few times a year, i hope he's doing a lot of great work internally.

again, o'neill might be doing amazing things behind the scenes, but that's not getting communicated, and i don't see changes for the better yet. in fact, arbitrarily and suddenly ending support for stuff is a longtime dysfunctional pattern at evernote that i've disliked for many years. unfortunately, it's more of the same, from my perspective. it's too soon to say anything for sure, of course. maybe 2016 will be the year. encrypted notebooks and selective sync, please :)

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3 hours ago, jbenson2 said:

Frankly, your view of transparency (the 3 published points) is a pipe dream. I predict it will never happen at Evernote.

You're probably right.  Nevertheless, that's my definition of transparency.  If a company does not publish something about their internal processes, then how can it be transparent?  How will we ever know, or hold accountable, what the company is actually doing vs what they say they are doing?  Libin said in Jan 2014 that he was going to focus on, and improve product quality.  Did this actually happen?  We need stats to really know, but Evernote has not published any.  All other "evidence" is purely anecdotal.  Clearly @GrumpyMonkey and I have different views on this, but neither of us have any hard facts.

Talk is cheap, as we have found with Evernote, and lots of other companies.  What specifically has Microsoft done that provides real transparency?

4 hours ago, jbenson2 said:

Yes, I do believe what the Microsoft Marketing Chief said

Marketeers have only one goal:  Increase sales (and maybe company image).  I'll paraphrase President Reagan:  Trust (maybe), but verify for sure.  ;)

I don't really care what the marketeers say.  I want detailed commitments and follow-up from senior management:  CEO, Senior product VPs, etc.  New CEO O'Neill promised a return of focus to "notes, sync, and search."  I'd like a progress report from him no later than 12 months after his statement, as well as an independent review/assessment of achievement.

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2 hours ago, GrumpyMonkey said:

i don't know anyone who does what jm suggests, and i am not even sure it would help, especially the up and down voting stuff.

Just because you personally are not aware of this, doesn't mean some companies aren't doing it.  Over the years I have observed many smaller companies/developers that are upfront about bugs and know issues in each release of the software.  While I agree it is very uncommon with larger companies, particurly public companies, it doesn't mean it doesn't exist.  NetSuite is one company that I've worked with that provides detailed access to bugs, issues, and requests to both their customers and solution providers.  I'm sure a lot of public companies don't do it for fear of how it might affect their stock value.  While not generally public, and limited by non-disclosure agreements, Apple does provide some insight of their bugs to Apple developers.

DropBox is one company that provides/maintains a request list with voting.  This forum was just updated with the "Product Feedback" forums providing a up/down voting.

Although customer feedback and voting is just one element of evaluating feature requests, it is nevertheless, IMO, an important one.  In a way, this is no different that the numerous surveys the Evernote has been conducting since Libin left.

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2 hours ago, GrumpyMonkey said:

i don't know why anyone would disparage marketing folks.

Really?  What world do you live in?  Most people I know don't trust marketing folks because most of the time they are mislead by them.  Do you also believe all of the ads you see on TV and the Internet?  Did you ever notice how many times the former Evernote marketeer used the word "awesome"?  Do you remember him talking about being bored with Evernote the "note taking, syncing, searching" tool because he wanted to do something that would "bend the universe"?

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Obviously, we're going to have to agree to disagree again. I don't expect, and I am not even sure I want the Evernote CEO to submit himself to an independent review of his progress. As your own post shows, no company does those three things you are asking Evernote to do. And, I'm not terribly interested in discounting an entire profession or the folks working in it based on a few bad experiences. 

 

What I would like to see is Evernote do better in 2016, and I hope that this will include more than just a less buggy app. I don't need it to bend the universe, but some kind of vision would be nice.

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14 hours ago, GrumpyMonkey said:

As your own post shows, no company does those three things you are asking Evernote to do.

That is NOT what I said.  You seem to be reading/interpreting my remarks in a very subjective way to suit your own purpose.

You don't know my experience with marketing people, so you have no basis to say "based on a few bad experiences".  I think you live and work in an academic world, which evidently is quite different from my life experience in engineering and business.

IAC, all of this is pure speculation until we see how Evernote performs and changes their core product, the Evernote app on all of its supported platforms.

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On December 28, 2015 at 11:39 PM, JMichaelTX said:

Here's how the new CEO Chris O'Neill defined it:

A Note from Chris ONeill 

Seems pretty clear to me.

I like JMTX reference back to Chris blog post which was late September (a mere 3 months ago). At that time he also said:

I believe that a smaller, more focused team today will set us up for growth and expansion tomorrow. 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.

I still believe that's a well expressed target and one that sets a new direction for the company. It's worth saying out loud here that changes involving focus is that not everyone will be satisfied. Those who joined Evernote for new 'shiny objects' will be disappointed. Those who joined Evernote pre 2010 and came to count on it over the years now have some hope. 

I use the verb 'joined' pointedly. Those with a longer term view won't be satisfied with free, nor will they pay for a service with insufficient value. The real challenge for a smart CEO is to define a business and technology strategy that addresses notes, sync and search. 

We've spoken a lot here about business strategy. I would argue that the technology strategy has been ill defined to date and largely playing catch up to address growth. For the most part the focus has been on one of the three points Chris raised i.e. Sync. 

What about a technology strategy to address the three points and do so over time. That means new customer laptops, phones and OS every 2 - 5 years for most people. It also means the company has to have a renewal strategy for its own hardware which it clearly doesn't after the 2014 debacle when we learned us early users were still on 2008 hardware 6 years later. Where is the cloud strategy implicit in the technology strategy.

I would argue the discussion must engage with how EN can rejuvenate a technology strategy. The previous unfocus that Libin wraught drove a technology strategy that tries to support multiple and diverse demands and that's a recipe for disaster. I would further argue that the comments from the folks here who I've read and respected for years have their problems at the core of a technology company trying to do too much and doing nothing well (and a CTO who is probably pulling his hair out. )

Business focus will bring technology focus and most of us will be happier and have the luxury of requesting more from a stable platform. 

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2 hours ago, JMichaelTX said:

That is NOT what I said.  You seem to be reading/interpreting my remarks in a very subjective way to suit your own purpose.

You don't know my experience with marketing people, so you have no basis to say "based on a few bad experiences".  I think you live and work in an academic world, which evidently is quite different from my life experience in engineering and business.

IAC, all of this is pure speculation until we see how Evernote performs and changes their core product, the Evernote app on all of its supported platforms.

ah, the ad hominem, a particularly unpleasant logical fallacy that ignores what is said and attacks who said it instead. marketers must be untrustworthy because of who they are and academics must be out of touch with the world because of who they are, so we can ignore what they say. we'll have to agree to disagree again -- this time about the relative value of people with marketing or academic backgrounds.

getting back to the topic at hand (senior management shakeups rather than grumpymonkey), i'd say colin made an interesting point, and i am curiousto see if dave sticks around or not. like ive at apple (to continue my apple comparison), he has been at the heart of the business since the beginning, and his departure or retention could have a huge impact on the future.

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3 hours ago, GrumpyMonkey said:

ah, the ad hominem, a particularly unpleasant logical fallacy that ignores what is said and attacks who said it instead. marketers must be untrustworthy because of who they are and academics must be out of touch with the world because of who they are, so we can ignore what they say.

There you go again, completely misreading my statement.  You are the one who attacked me by saying "based on a few bad experiences".  And now you're accusing me of "ad hominem".  I have not attacked anyone because of who they are.  Rather, based on what they say and do, I have drawn some conclusions.  I am not attacking you, but I feel I must point out that you continue to misrepresent what I have said.  Real world experience does matter when evaluating what company representative say.

I was trying to get back on topic with my last post, but you seem determined to drag us back into a side discussion that no one cares about, except you.  I'd like to move on, but if you misquote/misstate me again, I will have to correct your error.

I'm fine with we will have to agree to disagree.

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On 12/29/2015 at 4:53 PM, jbenson2 said:

Frankly, your view of transparency (the 3 published points) is a pipe dream.

I don't believe I gave my view of transparency anywhere... 

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On old quote:  "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn."

Anyone know the source, without doing a google?  Don't cheat.  :)

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