Engadget (Devinda Hardawar) have published this interview with Evernote’s CEO Chris O’Neill.
I have quoted the following statement from O’Neill as a reaction to recent unrest from Evernote users following recent pricing changes.
We have an obligation to our users to be a sustaining company that lasts forever. We call it Evernote for a reason. If we want to invest and make the service incredible, we need to make decisions on how to sustain the business model. Freemium is fantastic to build scale, but ultimately we felt it was the right move for the company to set us up for the long term. … There’s social-media noise, but then people vote with their feet. And we’re far, far ahead of our expectations.
We’re not being bashful about it — we’re being open. We’re being transparent and saying we have something of value. We have a free tier to the product; it’s quite generous and robust, and people who use the product extensively, we’re not being shy about asking them to pay. There’s no such thing as a free lunch in life.
Are you worried about not attracting as many users if the free offering is more limited? Or is the focus now more on trying to get the people who actually use it to pay?
You need to invest across all stages of the funnel. We haven’t seen noticeable changes to our registered-user count, which are hovering north of 75,000 every day. … We’ll continue to invest in that, we’ll continue to invest in engagement with the product, which is in many ways the biggest challenge. That’s true for ourselves and any productivity-related app. How do you introduce someone, explain the value — it doesn’t happen right away. The benefits pay off over time. But once the people use the product, they’re generally more than happy to pay.
Comment (my personal view):
I have long been an Evernote user and in recent years a Premium subscription user. Evernote was the hub of everything I kept digitally and it was readily accessible across all my devices.
However I have now cancelled my subscription and moved to a new platform (blog post to follow) as I was disappointed that, without any noticeable improvement in the application, my annual subscription costs kept rising. Together with Evernote’s continued inability to easily extract any inputted data in a usable format (in other words, NOT a shareable link), I called time on this application.
I am usually loyal to these types of systems but in the end voted with my feet…I will be interested to see if O’Neill’s Evernote will be able to entice me back.
Related blog post, here
Engadget full article, here