AUSTIN—Evernote has had a rough few years. The pioneering productivity app has millions of loyal fans, but for awhile, it was losing money as competitors gained ground.
Evernote had to make some tough choices, like a 2016 price hike. But it’s now cash-flow positive, investing in machine learning, and launching business-focused collaboration tools. CEO Chris O’Neill likens the process to “rebuilding a house while people still lived in it.”
This week, Evernote is the official note-taking app for SXSW, offering digests of show events. PCMag caught up with O’Neill here, where we discussed the Evernote turnaround, the move to Google’s Cloud Platform, and more.
“The professional [and] personal are blended,” O’Neill says. “We are overloaded with more information than ever before. People are bringing Evernote into their life to help them feel a little more organized.”
Indeed, helping users deal with the paralysis of information overload has always been Evernote’s core value proposition. At a time when most users were still saving copies of web pages to their hard drive to find them again, Evernote delivered a seamless, searchable online archive that could be accessed on any device.
“We were creating our own cloud before the word cloud was in vogue, before AWS,” O’Neill says. “Save something anywhere, anytime, and in any format, and then you can retrieve it later. That is what we are good at.”
Now Evernote is moving into the collaboration space with Spaces. According to O’Neill, most people already used Evernote in some capacity at work. Spaces will layer in more hierarchy and a sharing function so users can share notes and tasks among teams.
Check out the full interview with O’Neill in the video above.
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