We recently spoke to Phil Constantinou, VP of Product at Evernote, Inc. Magazine’s “Company Of The Year,” and one of our favourite apps to use.Frankly, if you’re not using Evernote to organise everything in your life from notes to photos to to-do lists, you’re nuts.
Constantinou, who’s been working at Evernote “since the first line of code was written,” told us all about what has made Evernote such a hit, and what we can look forward to in the near future.
He even told us a bit about Evernote’s lead designer, who designed the box for the first iPhone. And where did that oddly compelling elephant logo come from, anyway?
Here’s what we learned:
Once People Try Evernote, They Really Stick With It
Constantinou said that there are over 2 million daily Evernote users, which is about a third of how many monthly users there are.
The mobile app on Android alone has a million daily users, which is extraordinary retention for a free mobile app.
About 6% of Evernote users pay for the Premium model, which costs $4.99/month and allows share-able notebooks, offline usage capabilities, and the ability to do text search of all your documents (even photos with text in them).
But what is Evernote’s killer feature? Constantinou iterated something someone once told him: “Evernote is the first product for work that doesn’t look crappy.”
Plus, “everything is always in sync.”
The Source Of Evernote’s Impeccable Style
Evernote as a company has always held the motto “experience first,” and this mantra resonates maybe most fully with Evernote’s Creative Director Gabe Campodonico.Campodonico once worked at Apple and has “a deep understanding of the Apple design aesthetic,” according to Constantinou.
He helped design the original iPhone packaging, as well as some of the apps you’ll find in the Apple Store.
Campodonico, one of 130 employees at Evernote, makes all the high-level design decisions, and even crafted the original elephant logo, which took him dozens of tries to get right.
In order to come up with the elephant symbol, Constantinou and co. sat in a room and threw around ideas for a while. “We soon realised that there was one decision here, and that’s the elephant. An elephant never forgets, and that’s what Evernote’s all about. Don’t mess with the elephant.”
Evernote’s New Projects
Evernote recently debuted Evernote Food (which documents what you eat) and Evernote Hello (which keeps track of who you meet). Constantinou says the apps have been moderate successes thus far, but are used by different groups of people.
“Evernote Food usage tends to spike on weekends when people are out eating good food, while Evernote Hello usage is mostly among business people,” Constantinou said. “We want to capture all the things most important to our users.”
Evidently, while not all of Evernote’s products will be as successful as its flagship note-keeping product (Evernote), the company wants to dip its toes into everything.
Evernote Peek, the company’s flashcard app for iPad 2’s equipped with Smart Covers, has not taken off so much, but serves a small niche of users, and the company is content with that.
“We see two curves,” Constantinou said. “We see one curve where people use a product every day for work, and another curve where people want to capture important memories, meals, experiences, and keepsakes, but less frequently” Evernote wants to provide products for both scenarios.
What The Skitch Buy Means To Evernote
Evernote has had its eye on Skitch, a cult favourite app for sticking text and arrows on pictures, for quite some time, Constantinou said. “We loved Skitch around the office.” It fills the void of quickly and easily pointing out the important parts of an image.
Evernote purchased Skitch in August, made Skitch for Mac free, and soon after released an app for Android which already has 4 million users.
As far as adding other note-manipulation apps, Constantinou said “video editing would be really interesting, but Skitch’s photo manipulation is so quick,” he added. “It’s something we’ll think about.”
For now, Constantinou is focused on outing Skitch apps for every other platform and getting Skitch integrated with Evernote.
The Money Evernote Is Making
“Two million daily users ensures you a lot of ad impressions,” Constantinou said regarding the tiny ad that inhabits a bottom corner of Evernote’s desktop app.
“Plus, we have deals with [cell carriers] DoCoMo and Orange where they pay us to ship Evernote on all of their mobile devices.” There are also sponsored accounts programs that let businesses purchase Evernote wholesale.
And if 6% of Evernote’s 6 million monthly users are paying for a monthly subscription like Constantinou said, that’s $21.6 million of revenue per year right there.