Musings: Evernote’s Pricing Change – One step closer towards going public?

Evernote recently announced on the 28th of June that they were making changes to their pricing plans. Now, I’ve been a heavy user of Evernote over the past couple of years and it has made itself a staple in my daily activities.

The new pricing plans not only saw an increase in the price of some of their packages, it also saw new restrictions being put in place on their Free plan. The Free plan now limits access to only 2 devices.

Now, for the vast majority of Evernote users, 2 devices simply just isn’t enough. I for one have Evernote installed on:

  1. iPhone
  2. iPad
  3. Office Computer
  4. Home Computer

The simplicity of moving from one device to another to continue working or reviewing any notes I’ve made was the key reason I chose Evernote over other alternatives early on (OneNote wasn’t available then, Apple Notes didn’t have a native app on Windows).

This change severely limits the use of Evernote for me. And i’m not the only one that is upset by this. Check out #evernote on Twitter and you’ll see a whole flurry of negative responses to this change.

Suffice to say, Google searches for “Evernote Alternatives” went up as well.

Google Trends - Evernote Alternatives
Google Trends – Evernote Alternatives

I wonder, was this decision driven by Product Managers, or was this decision driven solely by an Executive looking to try and boost the revenues of the company in the short term?

I’m inclined to think that this was a decision that was sparked by an overzealous Executive that looked purely at the numbers. While I don’t agree with such a decision, I can certainly understand why an Executive may have made this decision. Evernote was one of the earliest unicorns back in 2012 with many speculating it would go public soon. Fast forward till today, they haven’t gone public and things don’t look so rosy anymore.

It was reported sometime in July 2015 that CEO Phil Libin was stepping down as CEO, citing a lack of passion to lead a company public. Since then, the entire business has been restructuring itself, laying off almost 20% of its workforce as well as shutting down offices.

I believe the intention to go public is still there and the decision to raise prices and limit devices intends to spur some short term growth in revenues. One step closer to an eventual listing. Looking forward to see how this pans out.

For now, I’m keeping a lookout for an free alternative. If you have any suggestions, let me know. Here’s a Product Hunt Collection of Evernote Alternatives to get you started.