The First Million is Always the Hardest

Posted by Phil Libin on 21 May 2009

Posted by Phil Libin on 21 May 2009


I’m delighted to announce that, less than a year after leaving closed beta, Evernote now has more than one million registered users! That’s a lot of people. It’s enough to make us the 10th largest city in the US or the 155th largest country in the world (take that, Djibouti)! Think of it this way: if you queued up every Evernote user single-file, there would be a million people in that line.

We wanted to make Evernote useful to anyone who values what’s in their brains, people that have substantive things that they want to remember for work, school or play. I’m really happy (and relieved) that there are enough of you out there to give us such a quickly growing business.

It took New York City 250 years to grow to a million people. It took AOL nine years. Twitter got to a million users in about a year and a half. We did it in less than one.

And, of course, we got here the hard way.

The conventional wisdom on how to make a fast-growing Internet service goes something like this: (1) make it web-only, (2) load it up with active social and viral features, (3) go after the young people who’ll try anything new, and (4) don’t worry about revenue. We did the exact opposite: native downloadable software, nothing inherently social (yet!), a user base made up of college students and older professionals, and a business model that’s got us pointed at profitability in the not-too-distant future.

So, if you’re one of the thirty people who works at Evernote: thanks for the insanely hard work this past year! You just built something that a million people use! How cool is that?

If you’re one of the million people who use Evernote: we can only say thank you for finding us and for sticking with us! We’ve got a ton of great stuff coming out soon, which will make your external brain the envy of all your friends.

If you’re one of the other six billion, six hundred and thirty three million people on the planet: come on in, we’re saving you a spot.


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63 Comments RSS

  • Kevin

    Congrats guys and gals!

  • Jeff M. Miller


    Funny, I just convinced my boss to register and download today.

  • pendolino

    nice. you’ve got a good product and you deserve your success so far but do try to develop it faster especially with the iPhone version that I still consider to be the weakest link in your offering. (better offline support, stable photo notes, zippier interface)

  • SonofGroucho

    Fanatastic news. I am totally hooked.

  • Filostro

    Well done, congratulations!!

  • Ehgitmj

    Evernote saves me all the time. It is my long term memory. I am so happy for both of us that you are doing well. Congrats, Congrats.

  • Thai

    Congrats ! i love the app

  • Jim Scott

    Way to go guys, congratulations. With a huge fan base like us it was not a far away dream . I know i am addicted to it.

    Jim Scott

  • Milan

    Congrats from Brussels!!! Great app, bright future ahead!!

  • Nick

    Congrats and keep up the good work, O Mighty Elephant of Truth. Anxiously awaiting the delicious Windows update!

  • Scott Gould

    Congrats guys and gals at Evernote

    Your service has changed my digital life!

  • Cris

    I want a t-shirt!

  • Duncan

    Nice job guys!

  • Daniel

    I totally agree on the multi-platform choice especially. One of Evernote’s biggest selling points to me is “any device, any time”. I’ve used Evernote on web, Windows, iPhone, and WiMo and everything “just works”. As much as I love my iPhone, there’s almost an off-putting snobbery in some of these startups that only seem interested in iPhone or Mac apps.

  • munch

    Congrats ! Evernote is very cool 😀

  • homeion

    Congrats. And thanks for calling me “young”. It’s been a while. Greetings from Norway.

  • Chris Hopf

    Way to buck conventional wisdom and step up and lead. Keep innovating and keep the momentum on your side. Congrats, well done.

  • Werner

    I’m hooked. I’m curious how many Evernote users have premium accounts. It’s a lifesaver for me, between home and office. I’m a lifer.

    • Andrew Sinkov

      TechCrunch has a great post with stats about this milestone. Check it out.

  • Javier Plumey

    Congrats! Evernote has changed my life. I am MUCH more organized now. Thanks and keep up the great work.

  • Richard van Denderen

    congrats! can’t wait for that ton of great stuff 😛

  • Jeff Greene

    I love!! this product!!

  • Charles

    I love EN

  • Paul Bentley

    Really impressed by how Evernote has continued to develop over the past five months. The iPhone is a great conversation starter and you work great with the Clarify so have been demonstrated from a restaurant in China Town to the Regent Street Apple Store (UK). Congratulations on your success – so glad you’ll be around for the future.

  • Dano Manion

    Congrats, EN is awesome.

  • Craig Shipp

    Great service! Now make it so I can tweet some notes and we’re home free.

  • xiaolang

    I love EN! Is there a sticker or bookmark?

  • BrianJ

    Congrats! I just found this site from a friend and love it!

  • Margarita Jackson

    Congratulations everyone!

  • justpauleaston

    Really a nice application…and yea congratulation…hope for more apps like this in future..:)

  • Alexander Korolev


  • Mitja

    Congratulations from Slovenia! Can’t function without you! P.S. Any chance for a native s60 application?

  • Ed

    Uhm, guys, you released Evernote 1.x in 2004. That means 5 years to grow to 1M. I am glad you are growing and love the product – I am one of the paid subscribers, but you don’t get to call it ground zero just because 3.x was new a year ago. MS is releasing a new search engine next week. Do they get to claim millions of new users the day after because all of their existing users will be on the new version?

    • Phil Libin


      I’m glad you remember Evernote for Windows 1.x, but we started again from scratch in 2008 and changed pretty much everything except the name :). We’re really happy that many of our “original” users have made the switch, but they only represent about 2% of our current base – they were far-sighted, not numerous! Even if we subtract out all of the people who used Evernote before 2008, we still get over one million new users in less than a year!

  • Darren Lim

    This Is Awesome!

  • Carl

    Nice job guys and gals at Evernote, keep up the good
    pace. 🙂

  • Bhavesh Patel

    Just want to say congratulations. I’ve been an EverNote user for a while, but stopped using it for a while because it wasn’t feeling like a total solution to me. However, I just decided to get back on to it and having watched the new Intro Video, I’m totally excited about it again. The web based functionality, and the handwriting recognition are awesome. Can’t wait to integrate this into my workflow.

    Thanks for making a great product. I’m sure I’ll find a way to integrate this into a GTD type system very nicely.


  • copano

    CONGRATS! but please development a version for TIGER OS! i need it!!!!

  • Los Angeles Criminal Lawyers

    congrats!i love evernote very much

  • Allen

    My computer crashed and I am unable to install Evernote on my new computer. When I try to download, I get a message stating that my email address and my password are taken. I need to keep my email address, but could, if necessary, change my password. How can I install Evernote on my new computer? Thanks

    • Andrew Sinkov

      @Allen Please contact Evernote support with your question:

  • Chris

    hmmm… so you got there the hard way… Interesting… I wonder if Techcrunch had anything to do with it… hmmmmmm…

  • Chris

    One word…. Android.

  • Andy Forman

    Congrats! Everyday is easier thanks to Evernote.


    Firstly, that is a good job. then, hope wo perfect the edit interface and function like the Microsoft word2007, after all, most have adapted it. your truth. ivan yan…..

  • Hassayampa Slim

    CONGRATS ! …. Your app is definitely filling a need in the market. Please don’t sacrifice any current features as you bring on new ones. Speed and portability are your strong points, so amplify on them, don’t sacrifice them.
    I’m one of those “young” retirees who use your product to keep market news where I can get to it and analyze it quickly to make buy and sell decisions. It definitely works for me.


  • xiara

    Wow!congrats. Wish you had something new.

  • Thorsten von Plotho-Kettner

    Went over to premium after “my trial” of “40 MB”, when you use EN for real, it´s a no-brainer 🙂


  • marc

    Congrats from Switzerland.
    It would be great if we could add to Evernote PDF documents the same way we add web pages.
    When will that be?

    • Phil Libin


      You can already add PDF documents to any version of Evernote.

  • English

    I love Evernote! It’s like post-it notes that don’t get laundered, ripped and forgotten. Congratulations and best wishes for a profitable future!

  • Francisco Barros

    Congrats from Brazil!

  • Larry M. Wong

    Thanks for this great act.

  • Bruno Cassol

    I don’t know how is Evernote being developed in terms of technology. Bit I’d really like to see it working under Linux.

    Maybe you can create an open API so open-source clients could be developed by the community.

    Evernote type of software fits nice in the webservice niche.

    • Andrew Sinkov

      @Bruno You’ll be happy to hear that we released our API a few months ago. You can find all the documentation here:

  • California DUI

    evernote is one of the best application i have ever used

  • Andrew Vevers

    Congratulations for what is rapidly becoming a must have “birthright” tool for me and my PC. Only been a user for 6 months but already finding it indespensible. I look forward to future innovations.

    Thanks for an excellent service and interesting podcast!


  • Ernest London

    Every time that I use the application I find better ways, either by myself or by coming back to learn new “tricks” from the community.



  • Arnaud

    This is the first time I hear of Evernote. Congrats for the GOOD work done!!! I do not know whether it is available in India, will check out.

  • Subconscious Mind

    Congrats guys. Great site, great content, great community. So I guess the ‘race’ is on to hit the 2 million mark. Or is it the 10 million mark? lol. At this rate that won’t be very hard to do.

  • marketing psychology

    Your app is definitely filling a need in the market. Please don’t sacrifice any current features as you bring on new ones. Speed and portability are your strong points, so amplify on them even more.

    I’m one of those “young” retirees who use your product to keep market news where I can get to it and analyze it quickly to make buy and sell decisions. It definitely works for me.

  • mark foley

    Putting back some of the features removed from EN Version 2 would add further to the user base (me, for example!) Lots of that million probably don’t know what they are missing out on.


  • Spencer

    Awesome software. I love the desktop frontend with the cloud/web interface backend. It is exactly what I want out of cloud software. I just wish there was a Linux client. I’m on a Mac right now, but I have Linux machine’s I’d love to integrate into my Evernote experience. Surely source could allow this?