Josh Dickson thinks EverNote is flailing. Much like DropBox, the core product has changed little over the past several years despite the company being flush with cash, traction, and resources... Evernote hasn't made even good products for a long time. Like many others I've talked to, I was once a heavy Evernote user, and its died a slow death of irrelevance in my work flow. It fails to even do one thing great, and instead tries to make up for it by doing a number of other things poorly... Most business customers are using other products already that more than adequately address the need of a Note Taking application. (Ugh I don't really agree those NoteBook alternatives - Google Docs, OneNote - are good, but from the general user's perspective I suppose they're Good Enough.)
It's unclear where Evernote for business might have ever fit in to business workflows, but with the additional openness that tools like SlackCom promote, Evernote is making a decidedly siloed application in a business world that's becoming more open, accessible, and real-time at every turn.
The idea of taking notes has always been a part of a larger mission around workplace productivity, just ask Phil Libin in 2012. The product roll outs that have occurred, like Work Chat, have been lackluster and late to market. It's core product remains too useful for free to encourage anyone but power users, of which there are becoming fewer, to upgrade. And it's hard to see how Evernote will have success in selling into corporations after it never built out a sales force or enterprise-focused product offerings.
Beau Blinder thinks mission-creep, both to be a "100 year company" and to chase money given challenges of FreemIum model, has caused them to lose their way. Here is Evernote’s current tagline: "Evernote: The workspace for your life’s work" - I have no idea what that means... Evernote’s expectation is that they can help you turn those ideas into a finished product now, but that doesn’t really jibe with how people work... Evernote needs to get back to its roots. Or, Evernote needs a new mission. Their current business doesn’t fit their vision and their products are suffering because of it.
DHH thinks they, like DropBox, repeated the Flip Video error of living on the wrong timeline. I bet you that both thought they were going to be around forever, so no amount of investment in the future would be too great. I bet you that even the mere suggestion that they should be taking profits during their first, seven fat years of prosperity would have been laughed out of the boardrooms.
Oct03: Eugene Kim on their woes. Evernote has laid off roughly 18% of its workforce in the past nine months, and said it will shut down three of its 10 global offices last week. ... “It’s going to be a tough road ahead,” one source familiar with the matter told us. “They want to go public, and, to do that, the focus on revenue now has to be a ruthless prioritization on things that make money.”... Several former employees believe a lack of focus hampered Evernote’s growth. Instead of focusing on its core note-taking product and on converting users to the paid service, Evernote spent more time releasing a bunch of new products and features that only helped it grab news headlines, they said... Evernote recently began adding new pricing tiers, designed to offer more options for nonpaying users to give the company money. That move is long overdue, say some people close to the company... But perhaps the biggest savings will come from canceling its annual developers conference, called Evernote Conference, which has been held in San Francisco for the past four years... Evernote appears to be downsizing the team in charge of the PlatForm it provides for developers. Among the employees let go in the recent round of layoffs were its director of developer relations, Chris Traganos, as well as several members of his team. But contrary to recent rumors of Evernote closing off its API, the company said it’s still open... “It’s not a fundamentally flawed business. It’s just not working as well as people expected it to,” Byron Deeter said. “They’re still likely worth hundreds of millions of dollars. They’re just probably not worth billions today.”