Evernote Story and Business Case Study: How it Survived?

Evernote Startup Story - Your Second Brain
By Ayush Sharma - May 5 2021 1:02PM - 4135 Read
Evernote Startup Story - Your Second Brain

People might ask, “What is Evernote?” after paying attention to the name the very first time. Let me tell you that Evernote is a place to store everything digitally. It’s your second brain to store your data.

Evernote is a multi-platform application used to capture, organize, and share notes from any place in the world. It is free to use with monthly usage limits and offers paid plans for expanded limits. The founder of this startup is Eric Libin, and he suggests that it is more than a tool to store images, photos, and files; it is your intellectual brain, as said by him.

People often forget what’s going on in their minds. But if they have something to write upon and it is easily accessible, then why shouldn’t they? I like Evernote because it is the place to get all my thoughts out and, for keeping it a secret, I rely on Evernote.

Evernote Funding Story

Today, Evernote generates about $50.3 Million in revenue. All this is not a one-day story, but there are many struggles to build it. Success stories don’t always start in the way people see them.

Evernote raised investment in 2009, but earlier to that, funding was generally done by CEO Eric, his family, and close friends only. The financial crisis of the year 2008, the most difficult one for this startup, and it was decided to close Evernote because they were running short on money. Even the investors backed out in a time of need.

But a miracle happened; no one would have expected that. A user called the Evernote team, telling them how the tool helped him. The application made him organized and stress-free. The user, who wants to remain unnamed, offered some kind of investment. After a week or so, he transferred half a million dollars.

Libin thought, if one guy can feel the difference, then there might be others as well. It made things turn so quickly in times of uncertainty.

Users of Evernote Story

The below-given graph might give you a clear picture of the early growth of the app. There is an FYI – Evernote is currently active in 193 countries, out of which 30% in Asia and 25% in U.S and Canada.

It reached 1 million users in 446 days and another million in half the earlier. Since then, the growth has been excellent.

How did Evernote Story Grow?

It has its growth engine. Below is a list of some works that they did to grow. It is not all, but these are the ones that played a crucial role.

  • Starting a Product for Yourself: It is perfectly said, “Passion shines through in your product.” If you do a job and it’s your passion, then it gets reflected in your work. In the same way, Libin said it’s the first company he was passionate about working on for life. But, what makes Evernote so special?
    • Evernote is a simple tool to store everything, with no limits and no complications to remember, as it is your second brain.
    • It has the best user experience as they have spent a lot of time and effort making it a cross-platform application.
    • In addition to this, the possibility to make contents sync across devices is just awesome and, if it is your brain, then it is compulsory to be with you everywhere.
  • Timing of Release: When it was introduced in the market, there were not many apps like this available in the market. Libin quoted,” We were very lucky with the timing. We were very fortunate that the app stores were launching right as we were getting ready. If we were 6 months behind in our development, we would have missed all of it.”
  • Freemium model: This puzzled out for Evernote very effectively. They got users in freemium and kept them hanging around, ultimately getting them converted into paying customers. Libin says, “We don’t care if you pay; we tend to simply wish you to stay around and keep using it and get all your friends to use it.”
    An interesting fact; Evernote’s revenue stats show the price per active user was $0.09 per month, and they created around $0.25 per user per month.
  • Closed Beta access: In about 4 months, the beta version was launched in 2008, reached 125,000 users in just four months. It was for user testing only, but it worked big. Building a community around your product is equally important because people who are with you from the start guide you towards developing and giving shape.

Evernote Story Downfall

  • Relying heavily on freemium acquisition rather than timely development leaves Evernote with many unengaged and sad users. Early experimentation with a niche product like Evernote Food failing and force the main target off from their core price proposition — syncing seamlessly across devices.
  • Trying to create a product that pleased everybody stagnated development and unfocused options, creating it harder to contend as new services entering the market.
Rounding Up

There is diverse thought for Evernote. I feel it made many people and organizations prearranged. Still, instead of focusing on the current stuff, the management went on to try their hands on different products, which gave opportunities to rivals.

Also, when people see you make mistakes, they try to pay attention to every minute detail overlooked by the former. Only if Evernote’s organization had worked out what their users want and tried not to focus on niche apps early, they would have sustained.

Ayush Sharma
Ayush Sharma

I am a fitness enthusiast as well as a scholar in english. I am pursuing my bachelor's in economics. I love to write especially on technology and fitness. I have started to explore this part of myself a while ago. I want to excel in the work that I like and do.

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