Evernote is a phenomenal product. Simply put, it is a productivity tool, but Evernote CEO Phil Libin calls it our "second brain." It is a cloud-based app which you can run on the Web, from downloaded client apps on the desktop, and on every major mobile platform. In it you can store your notes, website clips (even for offline reading), pictures, voice recordings, and more (e.g., importing notes from apps like NoteTaker for the iPad or LiveScribe).
But Evernote is also a platform. There are APIs, and more than 10,000 developers have taken advantage of those APIs to extend both Evernote's and their own applications' functionality. Additionally, Evernote recently acquired Skitch, a nifty and useful application that lets you take and annotate screenshots. There's even a version of it for the iPad.
As Libin said: "It's a platform--but it's a platform for the world's memory." The idea is to take your information and make it that much more useful.
All of which begs the question: Where is Evernote heading? And, while we're at it, since both Evernote and Skitch are free (Evernote has a premium version with some added functionality), how does Evernote make money?
Libin joined my colleague David Berlind and me during our most recent Valley View (a monthly, live Web TV show produced in San Francisco) to talk more about what Evernote has become, and what's coming next, especially in the enterprise where the likes of SAP has latched onto the Evernote platform to extend its collaboration software. You can hear what Libin had to say by watching the short video embedded below.
For me, the highlight was that Evernote understands most of its users are professionals (75% use the product both at home and in the office), and that the company must now do more to ensure the product is integrated with IT policies and software.
Libin talks about new products, like Evernote Food, and about one of his favorite Evernote apps, called Expensify (it helps automate expense reports, but also, because of Evernote's capability, it can consolidate all information about an expense--notes about who you ate with, what you ate, what you talked about, and so on). He talks about why he formed the company, and about the business model. He jokes that the model is based on the premise that "'it's more important that you stay than that you pay,' and that's true because it rhymes ... we looked around for a biz model until we found the one that rhymes."
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