Evernote is everything: “We’ve built tech that mimics your brain”

evernoteWhile Evernote didn’t announced anything at SXSW this year, I had the chance to sit down and talk to lead marketer Andrew Sinkov about the company’s continuing growth and where the platform is going (platform being the operative word).

Evernote doesn’t really need to announce user numbers anymore: it’s got a lot, and it would take something pretty dramatic to change that. Still, the metrics bear mentioning. “We’re growing at a rate of 45 to 50 thousand users a day,” says Sinkov.

“We built a product that was for us. When we started building Evernote we wanted to build something that as founders we wanted built,” he says, explaining why users have so attached themselves to the app. “The problem was that we all have too much information to deal with and we needed a way to solve that. When you’re building a product for yourself it turns out working, and it turns out there are a lot of people like you with the same problem.”

The service has some of the most devoted fans of any app out there. If you have any semblance of a professional or busy life and a smartphone and you don’t use the app, then you’ve probably experienced the dumb-founded, slack-jawed faces that question how you continue to exist.

Part of that total devotion stems from the fact that, very quickly, Evernote became more than just a scheduling and organization app. I talked about this last year when the company launched Food and Hello, and Sinkov says I hit the nail on the head. “As a world, we’re shifting to an acceptance of technology as a way to help you — we’re better thanks to tech,” he says. “The way we see Evernote is that… we want to help people remember things. There are a lot of things in our lives and we want to capture them in beautiful ways.”

He says we can think of the company’s complementary properties (which also include Skitch) as a layer on top of Evernote — which is going to get thicker soon. Sinkov quotes CEO Phil Libin, saying Evernote’s working on a “to-do type application.” He won’t offer other examples, but says that Evernote has a few things in common with the Facebook Timeline. “I think Facebook Timeline is awesome — it’s a validation of what we’ve been doing for years… [With Evernote] you realize it’s capturing your life’s work. It’s everything that’s important to you in one place.”

trunkThere is no shortage of developers to (literally) build off of Evernote’s momentum. There are some 9,000 developers working off the Evernote API, and the Trunk app store is bursting with activity.

If it weren’t already clear, Evernote doesn’t fit in the “productivity app” bracket as easily as it might have originally, and its plans only solidify that. “Technology can mimic how your brain works now,” says Sinkov. It’s already sneaked its way inside our heads, and now we’re finding out what it’s going to do with all that information.


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