Saturday, January 30, 2016
Evernote's "5% Problem"
I have been following tech news about the Evernote productivity app/service for some time, being an occasional user and seeing sporadic predictions of the company's demise lately. One such piece made a point that might be useful generally:
[The then CEO Phil Libin] conceded that Evernote had so many features, in fact, that it could sometimes be difficult to explain to newcomers exactly what Evernote was:This might also explain something I have observed several times: Some people swear that they could never get by without Evernote, while many others don't quite get what all the fuss is about. I am one of the latter. Perhaps the five percent I tried wasn't the right five percent to hook me...
"What winds up happening at Evernote conferences is that people go and they say, 'Oh, I love Evernote and I've been using it for years and now I realize I've only been using it for 5 percent of what it can do,' " Libin said. "And the problem is that it's a different 5 percent for everyone. If everyone just found the same 5 percent, then we'd just cut the other 95 percent and save ourselves a lot of money. It's a very broad usage base. And we need to be a lot better about tying it together. And I think we have. We've got a few things we're launching over the next few months to help with that."
Evernote had spread itself too thin, and there was no core experience. Though Evernote did, in fact, continue to push out new features and products, they never managed to fix the underlying problem. [bold added]
"Assuming you genuinely want to keep a rational resolution but your motivation is flagging, here are a few techniques that might help you achieve your goal." -- Paul Hsieh, in "Are You Struggling to Keep Those New Year's Resolutions?" at Forbes
"The aurocentric view also makes the question a lot simpler." -- Keith Weiner, in "Will Gold Outperform Stocks?" at SNB & CHF
"If work refers to a constant state of negotiation or angst, then there's something not right in the match between the two people." -- Michael Hurd, in "One More Time: Good Relationships Are Not Work!" at The Delaware Wave
"Fear is too often motivated by the search for an impossible and unnecessary 'security.'" -- Michael Hurd, in "Why Be So Afraid of Fear?" at The Delaware Coast Press
"It is revealing of our present intellectual climate that a reputable, intellectual magazine -- for decades a bastion of American liberalism -- has published an article that calls for putting hammer and chisel to the wall separating religion from state as a means of abating the threat from a cause seeking religious totalitarianism." -- Elan Journo, in "Devaluing Secular Government?" at The Times of Israel
I Wish More of Microsoft's Customers Thought Like Her
The Evil HR Lady writes of time-tracking software:
I love data. In fact, I spent many, many years doing data based HR jobs. Data, properly used can tell you things you never imagined. Like, did you know that it's taking your employees 20 hours a week to create reports in Excel? That doesn't mean they are slacking off. That's how long it takes. Could time be used more wisely by paying a programmer to come in and automate the reporting process? Maybe. It depends on the reports and your business, but I'm of the mindset that anything that can be automated should be.Microsoft's GUI-centric approach to everything stops or slows down more advanced users from making simple automations. I think it also thwarts curiosity and experimentation by its user base, who never develop computational expertise past a certain very basic, naive point.
That said, I recently encountered a very good article that purports to explain how, in its words, "Shitty Products Survive (and Thrive!)." Perhaps not having to train people up more than makes up for inflexibility in most use cases.