News

Turning an Elephant

Turning an Elephant

Posted by Chris O'Neill on 13 Feb 2017

Posted by Chris O'Neill on 13 Feb 2017

Fifteen months ago, Business Insider called Evernote the first dead unicorn. While some might despair at such criticism, we took it as a challenge. In a conversation with Jason Lemkin last week at SaaStr Annual, I announced that we’re cash flow positive and in control of our financial destiny as a company. From here on, our operations will be self-funding, and we’re investing in new experiences that our users have told us would help them get more done. In the last year, we’ve added our 200 millionth user, doubled the number of paying users, moved three petabytes of data to the Google Cloud Platform, redesigned our Windows app and Evernote for iPhone, and begun winning awards again. But the thing I’m most proud of is the “Notable Herd” of Evernote employees that came together to achieve those milestones.

To be sure, turning an elephant around isn’t easy. We had to have the courage and discipline to make some tough calls, tune out the noise, and focus on what users expect from us: making them organized and productive. Throughout this journey, I’ve been inspired by customers reaching out to tell us the amazing things they do with Evernote, from running logistics companies to producing records to conducting research. We couldn’t have gotten here without their encouragement, steadfast support from our community, and the resilience of a determined workforce who simply wouldn’t fail.

But we’re just getting started. Building a service that could organize five billion notes from individuals and keep them in sync was an incredible challenge. These memories and thoughts are captured in every form from text to picture to voice and handwriting, and finding a way to retrieve the right note just when a user needs it was a great accomplishment. Now we are taking the next step, from helping people capture information to helping them put it to work. The technical challenges become even harder when you’re serving teams of people who all have different ways of organizing and that’s what we’re tackling now. At the end of 2015, I asked everyone to stay tuned as we began to turn this elephant, and I do so again today. We’re facing the right direction and ready to start charging.

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