Monday, July 10, 2023

Evernote Acquisition and Layoffs

Joshua Bote:

The Redwood City-based note-taking company — which has weathered all manner of tumult over the past decade, capped off last November by the sale of the company to Italian app maker Bending Spoons — axed nearly all its employees in the United States and Chile, according to a statement from Bending Spoons CEO Luca Ferrari provided to SFGATE.

Most of the company’s “operations will be transitioned to Europe,” Ferrari said in the statement, due to the “significant boost in operational efficiency that will come as a consequence of centralizing operations in Europe.”


The layoffs come less than six months after the company eliminated 129 workers — a decision that came as a result of the company’s unprofitability making it “unsustainable in the long term,” a spokesperson told TechCrunch at the time.

Via Dare Obasanjo (and Christina Warren):

VC funding may not be right for every app. You don’t need $290M in funding to build a note taking app and you definitely can’t live up to the billions in valuation it implies.

Martin Pilkington:

When I was there initially there was a lot of “build new products” rather than focusing purely on the core app. Then it pivoted (correctly IMO) into build up the business tools to help bring in more revenue.

Unfortunately expectations of revenue seemed to be a bit out of whack for what the initial steps were, so there were cut backs and some higher ups left.

Unfortunately that led to a new CTO coming in who didn’t really know about or care for native apps, so pushed for electron rewrites, at which point some of the engineering org was let go (most of the contractors, including myself) and a lot of the rest left very soon after.

If you’re in the market for a replacement, I know of one that can import from Evernote and convert your data to standard formats.

Gleb Dolgich:

I’m using EagleFiler with Resilio Sync to mirror the entire library across all family computers and iOS devices, works like a charm.

Resilio Sync is interesting because it works peer-to-peer. You can sync very large amounts of data quickly, without actually storing it in the cloud. EagleFiler also works with more traditional cloud services such as iCloud Drive and Dropbox.

See also: Hacker News.


Update (2023-12-11): Ben Lovejoy:

After an earlier test, all Evernote free users now have their accounts limited to a single notebook containing just 50 notes.


7 Comments RSS · Twitter · Mastodon

Evernote’s early days of using that VC funding to both build / run a lot of infrastructure and keep it very affordable or even free for many users (with fairly generous limits), probably spelt the death of many of its competitors at the time. While those tactics were fairly typical for the early App Store gold rush, I worried that was always going to end badly, as prices would inevitably need to rise, and the less well funded competition caught up.

It’s good they kept the ENEX file export. I’d encourage Evernote users to export those for all their notebooks occasionally, just in case, and if anyone is considering moving from Evernote to another app they should consider how well you can get your notes back out of that app, because you may have a nasty shock (e.g. Apple Notes and One Note are not great). That will not, of course, be the case with apps from reputable indie developers, such as EagleFiler, or I dunno, maybe some others.

Beatrix Willius

I found the Electron crap version to be terribly slow. I moved to Joplin which is a bit ironic because Joplin is also Electron. But Joplin is simple and does what a note taking app needs to do.

Other options Joplin (as mentioned by Beatrix above — I'm using with Backblaze's B3 storage for sync) and Obsidian (which I'm syncing with Syncthing — you could also use iCloud if you're all Apple but some have reported issues). Both have a paid sync version that I'm sure works well.

@Steve Yes, it’s a real shame that Evernote made getting your data out more difficult by removing AppleScript support in version 10 and by limiting the number of notes that can be exported at once. But Apple Notes and some others from the big companies aren’t great, either.

Old Unix Geek

I used Evernote on Windows, when all your notes were in an infinite scroll. I liked it -- it was fast. Then it was bought by VC people, who were mesmerized by "sharing" on the internet, and as far as I was concerned, wrecked it.

If anyone knows where one can get the original Windows binary, I'd like to download it. It might still work on recent Windows boxes like X1 does.

Old Unix Geek

Why is Resilio better than SyncThing?

Obisidan (at is a great alternative for the kinds of people who read this blog. It's cross-platform, all notes are just plain-text markdown files, and it has tons of great plugins that allow you to do all kinds of things, like have kanban notes, task lists, query your notes like a database, etc.

It's also cross-platform, including mobile platforms, and while it has a paid sync service, you can also sync using something like Dropbox, if you want to.

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