Just released a YouTube video we are proud of

May 27, 2010

This is a new marketing video for our MobileNoter product. It’s incredible what you can do even with a small budget these days. Anyway, here you go:

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How to sell to large companies

May 24, 2010

There is an insanely useful guest post on the Jason Cohen’s blog: Bending over: How to sell to large companies. It’s not about the sales magic, i.e. not about how to get a large company like your software and decide to buy it. It is about different technical problems that can occur on the way, including weird contract clauses, the curse of the purchase orders, and so on.

I’ve encountered all of those problems firsthand and thus I highly recommend reading the post.


The best thing Facebook ever did

May 16, 2010

What will let Facebook own the internet advertisement? How will Facebook displace Google from being the top advertising platform?

Well, that’s obvious now. With the help of their Like button placed all over the whole darn internet. OK, maybe it’s not that obvious, but there are only three pieces to this puzzle:

First, Facebook is the company that finally owns our online identity. Microsoft couldn’t do it with its HailStorm and Passport. Google couldn’t do it with Gmail/Google account. Facebook, with all the sites that use Facebook Connect is the 800-pound gorilla in the online identity market.

Second, web search is quickly becoming a commodity. It’s not hard for a large company to build a search engine or license someone else’s search engine. Its search quality won’t be as good as that of Google, but see the next point.

Surprise! The search quality as it has been understood by Google is not important to the consumers anymore. That’s why there are new players in the field, who innovate by delivering different search experience: Bing, Wolfram Alpha, and others. While Google does a good job of counting incoming links and clearing search results off spam, 99.99% of those search results are still irrelevant for me and you. But imagine what would happen if Google sorted the search results by bringing the posts “liked” by your friends to the top? Now, this would be like by thousand times more relevant! The only problem is that Google doesn’t know who my friends are, leave alone what pages they “liked”.

The mathematical approach of Google to the web search fails miserably when compared to the social approach. People always want to know what movies their friends watch, what music they listen to, where they go to dine, get excited. There will always be hardcore users who will use Google for search, but the rest of the population and advertisement dollars will go to Facebook.

P.S. Just when I was about to finish, I found this fresh post: Will Facebook Be Tomorrow’s Google, and Google Tomorrow’s Microsoft? , expressing similar ideas. It’s fun to read it too, especially since it comes from a former Google Group Product Manager.


iPad’s impact on our sales

May 14, 2010

We released MobileNoter for iPad about a month and a half ago, just at the iPad grand opening. Looking back, we can review the impact it had on our sales.

The release resulted in a huge spike in downloads and a modest spike in sales. It turned out that iPhone version sales were up, while iPad version sales were not good immediately after the release. How that happened? Simply enough:

1. The iPad version of MobileNoter had some problems that we could not find without testing it on a physical device. Thus not a lot of people was buying it.

2. All the iPad buzz and discussion of how Microsoft OneNote was good for tablets in general and for iPad in particular led to more downloads of the iPhone version of MobileNoter and consequently to more sales.

Therefore we were able to ride Apple’s marketing hype of iPad and increase our sales.

Once we got the device in our hands, we released a significantly improved version for iPad, and people are downloading and purchasing iPad version of MobileNoter in droves. The total sales increased by roughly 50% and continue climbing.

It seems that EverNote’s growth of paying customers is more or less flat recently. If this continues, we expect to match them in the number of new paying customers added monthly by the end of this year!


iPad’s main problem…

May 13, 2010

Our iPad arrived a couple of weeks ago. We use it to test iPad’s version of MobileNoter. While all previous comments and comparison to the rock still apply, there is a new problem with the iPad.

It is surprisingly heavy. So heavy that it is definitely not going to become a widespread household device that everybody wants. The iPad is nice, sleek, and all that. But when you take it into hand, you immediately realize that it is just another computer, not a miracle device.

Most modern netbooks and tablets (iPad included) are powerful enough for average Joe. They can render sites, play YouTube and even run sophisticated games. Thus device weight and battery life are becoming the most important features and main differentiator. The iPad doesn’t have any significant advantage in these categories against netbooks. So the battle with netbooks is not over.