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Evernote raises another $85M (pandodaily.com)
46 points by frankphilips 1755 days ago | hide | past | web | 42 comments | favorite

I'm an Evernote user, but I feel like I'm just plain missing something about Evernote. Why is it worth $1 billion? Am I using it wrong? I've never even came close to needing to upgrade.

On another note the app seems to get heavier and heavier each update, it takes as long to launch as MS Word on my Mac.

There's probably a robust enterprise client base for it. I can imagine teams using Evernote over Google Docs, for example, and Evernote Premium gives you collaboration.

I can see tons of arguments for going premium, too. Going paperless would push you over 60MB in a heartbeat. People who travel might want offline access. You can also get note versioning. This one's actually cool: they provide PDF search, which is sweet because most PDF searching and organization apps suck (please don't mention Papers).

[Note: I am not an Evernote employee. Just someone who's used it since 2009 for everything.]

> please don't mention Papers

Mind if I ask why not? I'm a big fan, though I admit it's a bit niche. It only works well for academic papers, really.

For more general PDF organisation, have you tried Yep? It's been a few years since I've used it, but seemed to work well.

Links: http://www.mekentosj.com/papers/ http://www.ironicsoftware.com/yep/

Heh I tried using it and felt like it was the PDF equivalent of dumping files into /home/user/. I just use Dropbox + GoodReader to read/annotate/organize them.

I've tried to use it so many times, but I just can't work it into my own productivity cycle consistently. I end up using it for a few days, and then slowly forget about it. I know a few people with a similar story, but nobody who has actually settled on it successfully.

That said, I did pay for it for the year hoping that it would encourage me to use it (better organizing my work-life seems like a problem worth solving) - it just didn't...

I use evernote everyday. I put everything in there -- status reports I update every week, my own git cheatsheet, business ideas, documents I use repeatedly (e.g. instructions to ramp up new developers on my project), etc..

But what really got me using evernote is the combination of Fuji Scansnap + Evernote. Now any important mail or receipts I need archived I just scan them and they're in evernote forever.

And their iPhone app is a life saver, anything I need on the go, I retrieve from evernote. Forgot my health card? No worries it's scanned and available on my phone via evernote.

I love the product, but yeah it still boggles me why they need so much money and how you can build a big company from such an inexpensive product.

Evernote's killer feature for me is they do OCR of pictures you upload. I love it for snapping pictures of business cards, whiteboard drawings, notepads and sticky notes. You can go search for a word or phrase later and get a picture of your hand written meeting notes with the search term highlighted.

Their 60mb/mo free offering is much more capacity than I actually use though, so I've never needed to upgrade. But I totally would if my needs increased or if they had to lower their free tier allowance to stay viable.

Agreed. I don't see the value if it's clunky. If it gets any clunkier, I'll just switch back to jotting stuff in Notepad.

I switched to Notational Velocity years ago after trying to type things into Evernote, yet I am a premium user. Why? Because Evernote's killer feature is pasting in any kind of content and syncing that across devices. It is an extremely useful dumping ground for miscellaneous pasted content.

Imagine the position Evernote will be in if (when?) wearable computing becomes ubiquitous - it could be a private, searchable, and seamlessly created record of everyone that you meet, everything that you eat, everything that you see and find interesting, etc..

Evernote already has a large number of paying users who trust them enough to keep this type of notes with them using things like evernote hello, evernote food, etc.

My wife works from home. She turns in her work to her boss via Evernote (paid account). They used to FedEx weekly. She likes it.

If you travel and are someplace where your phone does not have internet access, you will not have access to your notes. This happened to me in Japan and I was not happy. They got my $10 for that month...

Enable offline notebooks and your problem is solved.

That doesn't work with non-premium accounts. You can't guarantee that any given note will be there next time you fire up your offline client.

To all those asking what they are spending the money on: secondary financing means that the money is not going to Evernote. Instead, the new investors are purchasing $85M of shares from existing investors. Evernote's bank account does not grow by $85M.

According to crunchbase they have raised $251m. What have they spent that on? Evernote is a note taking application. If you developed 25 different native apps (this is an overestimate), and spent $1M on each of them (to hire 4 developers full time per app for one year) it would cost $25m. Add another 3m for infrastructure, and you have $28m and nothing left to spend money on other than advertising and marketing.

Why isn't this considered absurd? What a joke!

Evernote has 8 main apps (some of which were purchased). They're listed on the homepage. [0]

In addition, they have Evernote apps for almost every major platform [1] (Mac, Windows, browser plugins for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, plus iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry, WP7, and webOS). If you're not on any of those platforms, or those apps aren't installed on the machine you're using, you can ALSO use their web interface.

All of that is supported by a ridiculous server infrastructure. They jumped from 4M to 10M users in 10 months [2, 3], and that was 2011. They're now at 34M users. [4]

Evernote users aren't just tweeting back-and-forth, either. They're saving PDFs, uploading scanned notes from class, searching through OCRed image results, clipping web pages, etc. That all requires tons of storage, as well as the infrastructure to retrieve and back up that storage as quickly and reliably as possible.

Soooooo yeah they're a pretty big deal. 4 engineers for a native app is an understatement--between product managers, designers, front-end work, back-end work, and ops team, you're probably looking at a 12-18 person team per serious app. Possibly more, if it's popular (like iOS or the web interface).

EDIT: estimated 20-30 person teams, but that's a bit much. Probably less than that

[0] http://evernote.com/

[1] http://evernote.com/evernote

[2] http://www.intomobile.com/2011/06/09/evernote-hits-10-millio...

[3] http://mashable.com/2010/08/17/evernote-surpasses-4-million-...

[4] http://techcrunch.com/2012/06/19/evernote-by-the-numbers-34m...

No Linux client though:(

ive used nixnote in the past but overall am not fond of evernote, and have switched to a combination of a personal wiki and google docs.

I've found nixnote to be bulky and awkward. I love it on my phone and the web interface is good enough for use (though I'd still want a native linux client).

You're oversimplifying.

Your post is the business equivalent of a developer saying "I could create a stackoverflow clone in a weekend."

I'm sure the money would go towards the following:

1) Infrastructure 2) Building out a kick-ass enterprise sales force 3) Global expansion 4) Acquisitions 5) Liquidating existing investors

You forgot Evernote purchasing Skitch and integrating that. (Which by your numbers, I think would double the 28M).

It's pretty killer as a library. I use it to clip books (with its web clipper) from my browsings around the web. With the tag feature, it's bloody simple to build a highly organized library.

Its architecture applied to any data store (books, websites, articles, thoughts, poems, art, jokes), with easy storage, easy tagging and easy retrieval, makes for an excellent thinking tool.

I'm a fan.

> The longer [people] use, the most likely they are to convert

That is why Evernote is worth so much. Few, if any, other products can make that claim.


I've actually found Evernote to be pretty helpful in turning my random internet readings into more long term knowledge. I read a lot of random articles about tcpdump or economics and read them but don't apply anything immediately. In my head that knowledge goes into a place where I sort of remember things but not the details. With clipping plus the google search integration, it's nice to search for a vague idea and see the actual article and my notes about it. Helps a lot with completing ideas and turning things into long term knowledge.

"I've actually found Evernote to be pretty helpful in turning my random internet readings into more long term knowledge."

Well said. My experience has been the same.

Having never done this, I find it mystifying.

Would love to see a proper, long writeup of how this works in practice.

I really, really hope this means they can implement 3-way merge on sync for text-only notes. Any time one of my clients silently decides to stop syncing, I'm then stuck doing a hand baseless merge on every device.

It wouldn't be an issue if it was infrequent, but this is a weekly problem with multiple OSX and iOS clients (maybe not on Windows?).

I noticed late this year that Evernote seems to be trying hard to increase the number of paid users: 1. I got a coupon for a year of Evernote included in the MacHeist bundle 2. Evernote sent an email a few days ago for "two years for the price of one"

I never like to see a company change behavior like this right before an IPO.

CEO adamant there will be no IPO before 2015

I don't get the hype around evernote. I find their app rather clunky, but more importantly their security story is a disaster waiting to happen. Last I checked encryption was only available selectively for individual notes, and again the UI was so clunky that it's probably hardly being used.

Thus it takes only one disgruntled employee or motivated cracker to make many people very, very unhappy.

That is refreshingly honest, Phil Libin sounds like someone I could get along with. Too often people at that level of the company focus on the exit (theirs, the companies, etc) and lose site of the product. Great companies don't do that, they focus on the product even if it means they don't get to cash out this year.

I love Evernote. I use it as a kind of 2nd brain. I have tabs for personal development, book summaries, business notes..

And I just search for things when they're needed. It's like Google, but instead of searching for information out there in the world, it finds information related to my personal life.

I use Emacs/Orgmode for that. Not fancy but works.

Orgmode won't let you take a photo on your phone and search for the text in the photo from your home computer though:)

I will give you that.

But do you really want me to enumerate the list of things that OrgMode can do and other guys don't ? :-)

(Esp. for me its ability to do integrated Calendaring, Task Management with Time tracking is priceless. I haven't seen anything that even comes close to that functionality. Commercial or Free.)

Am I alone in feeling what a person needs Evernote for? Sharing files? I use Dropbox. Clippings? I just use bookmarks. I downloaded it a couple of years ago, but what are the common use cases from the HN crowd? I visited their website and was disappointed.

Here's a recent piece on LifeHacker that helps outline several different use cases:


Hope that helps.

What would be awesome: a way to sync my nvALT/Simplenote notes (in Markdown) into Evernote along with mixed-media content (scanned receipts, web clippings etc) that I'd create in Evernote only

They could buy and destroy a lot of products with that money.

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