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How Evernote Almost Died

Evernote death

If you’re an Evernote fan, then Inc.com has a must-read article for you that takes a behind-the-curtain look at the company. Did you know that the company’s CEO was hours away from pulling the plug on Evernote and laying off everyone in the entire companya few years ago, but for a well-timed email from a fan offering a much-needed infusion of cash? The rest is history, as they say, with Evernote not only receiving millions in funding since then, but actually turning a profit and growing by a million users every month.

The article sheds some light on the makeup of the Evernote team, most of which has been together through a couple of other startups. I also wasn’t aware that the current Evernote team came about after a merger of the CEO’s startup (which had grand plans to do what Evernote does now) with another startup. That second startup was the one that actually had created an app called “Evernote,” which was a tool to snap a photo and do character recognition on text in the photo.

Evernote also has an interesting business model – give away almost every feature for free, and count on your users becoming so invested in the product that, over time, they’ll want to pay for it in order to support it. So far, it seems to be working (in fact, that’s why I pay for it). The article sheds some light on the conversion rate over time of freemium users into paying customers. At the point three years after a user first uses the app, that rate is 15%.

The article got me thinking about life without Evernote. There are competing products now, like OneNote or even Springpad, but I wonder if I would have latched onto one of them the way that I’ve made Evernote such a part of my daily workflow.

How would your life or workflow be different without Evernote?

Evernote: Company of the Year [Inc.]

For a look at one way to use Evernote, check out Dan Gold’s book, Evernote, the Unofficial guide to capturing everything and getting things done. The second edition is out, costing $5.00. If you follow the link to make your purchase, 40Tech gets a small cut. You can also check out our review of the book, which was written before we became an affiliate.

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