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How Evernote will become a full-fledged collaboration platform

Matt Weinberger | Oct. 3, 2014
Evernote is in a good position coming into its fourth annual Evernote Conference here in San Francisco. With 100 million users, plenty of people are using the note-taking, memory-augmenting app across their smartphones, tablets, and computers at home and at work. A year ago, Evernote launched the Evernote Market, a shop for physical goods (like notebooks, scanners, and a stylus) designed to make it easier to get stuff into the system.

Which is even more impressive when you consider Libin's claim that Evernote for Business users are 3 times as likely to purchase Evernote Market goods as Evernote Premium users, and 80 times as likely as a free version user. So even when a company is paying for Evernote licenses for their employees, people love it enough to spend their own money on notebooks, scanners, and other tools that make it better for them to use. 

"If you give [people] a great experience, they're going to look for something to spend money on," Libin says. 

It's a dream scenario for any cloud software company that's trying to appeal to businesses with a user-first approach. They have a steady revenue stream from the subscriptions, bolstered by individual users who buy more product. And the free users keep getting Evernote for free, with apparently the same propensity for spending money on their own time.

Not every startup can follow in Evernote's footsteps, but it's a good object lesson in how there's more than one way to build a platform — though the company does have an active developer community, judging from the Evernote Conference show floor.

 

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