A NOTE ON EVERNOTE
We’ve seen iterations of note taking programs for decades now. From Windows Notepad to Apple’s Text Edit to a number of apps available across mobile platforms like iOS and Android, desktop and mobile users have been exposed to a variety of useful ways to store notes, reminders and archive valuable content like images and music. Evernote offers services of similar capacity in paid (ad free) and free form in the productivity vertical of apps. They currently provide software and services through various platforms to create notes, tag them and store them in folders on a user’s desktop or favorite mobile device. The notes can include a variety of data like music or images and are accessible across their various apps (Hello, for instance, is an app to help you remember people, and platforms (a note can be accessed from mobile and desktop operating systems of various kinds).
Evernote launched in 2008 and has seen tremendous growth and popularity. Having recently been valued at 2 billion dollars, it has over 45 million users and is available across various platforms (iOS, Android, OSX, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, and others) which can be attributed to its success in reaching so many users. To industry analysts, part of the reason why they have such positive perception is because they have continued to grow the company through customer centric innovations in their products. Beyond note taking, for instance, they recognized that users read on their devices (blog posts, articles, etc) so they created an app called CLEARLY. It helps a reader make edits, highlight, and save content from online reading and turn that content into valuable notes. So while the company has been diversifying in their services, they have been related to the core business of productivity. To users, Evernote is simply an easy and intuitive way to create and track notes. The amount of content consumed in our generation is massive. For many consumers, morning routines involve reaching for our smartphone to check up on ZITE as soon as we wake up. Then we spend the majority of the day in front of a laptop. Only to return home and enjoy all our electronic devices simultaneously. The Evernote services are centered at trying to organize and make sense out of all the content users are exposed to. And they are easily searchable once archived.
One other reason why I believe Evernote is a potential champion is because they are aggressive where many app creators are not. CEO Phil Libin recently announced that the company will begin creating co branded hardware and in a not so distant future will also create its own products. These are the kind of moves that get the industry and consumers excited as they extend their reach beyond traditional desktop and mobile application platforms.
An exciting aspect of this is also the possibility of creating their own platform and ecosystem for productivity. While it sounds risky, like Samsung leaving Android for Tizen later this year, Evernote may be able to find a niche worth pursuing. One can imagine a future where an Evernote device is what a businessperson or student seeks for the best in productivity. If this is where Evernote is headed it’s worth keeping an eye on how they grow in the next couple of years and the types of acquisitions they make. They recently entered agreements in China and India so that 45-million user count may grow substantially in 2013.
Regardless of what happens, it’s exciting to see a company that has seen success and continues to push boundaries. I’m especially excited about their hardware ambitions and the possibility of building a larger ecosystem of productivity services.