Catch – an unlikely competitor to Evernote

October 24, 2010

Update: I wrote a new post about Catch recently. For some Google-knows-why reason a lot of people stumble upon this old post, instead of the new one.

Meet Catch – “the easiest way to capture what matters to you” as they boast on their web-site. Even though they don’t say so, some tech review sites name them as a competitor to Evernote. Have they got what it takes to be an Evernote competitor? OK, they got a great name – Catch. This is much better than “3banana” as they used to be called (I’m NOT kidding on this one). What else? A client for iPhone/iPad, a client for Android. Calling themselves a platform. You know, it’s not cool to be an app these days. You have to be a global platform for human memory or at least simply a platform, so that some VCs will give you money.

However, what they are missing the most is a business model and customers. You read that right. Catch doesn’t have any paying users at the time of this writing. With this trait, I am not even sure they can be considered as a competitor to anyone. Any startup that offers a free product or service has to pull the trigger one day and start charging money. When they do it, the users start hating them and the product/service doesn’t even look so cute anymore. Because Evernote is making some buck, Catch will definitely be under pressure to start charging money soon too.

How is MobileNoter doing? Steadily growing. We plan to get more than 100,000 customers by the end of 2011. Microsoft OneNote will be incarnated on everything that is not Windows.

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Evernote just squeezed more money out of investors!

October 23, 2010

Evernote just raised another $20m. That’s on top of $9m left from previous round and a claim that it’s a profitable and sustainable business. Makes you wonder why they need all this money. My guess is that’s a preparing for M&A kind of things. Now, some users have comments about this news:

  • Do you now have enough to update the Palm/HP webOS application?
  • one thing I would ask would be that you streamline and improve the performance of the various clients out there.
  • I want to be excited about this but I have seen funding come and go and so many desires of the users go ignored.

 

We’ll see what the users get out of this new round of funding. I, personally, find the idea of creating a global platform for human memory out of a note-taking software to be a bit, er, misleading. The real global platforms for human memory are Google and Facebook. It’s not the ability to store information, it’s the ability to find information, based on relevancy or your social context.


I wish other companies were like Apple…

October 21, 2010

… and declared optical disks dead.

Not that I have anything against optical disks. It’s just that I haven’t used any of the hundreds of DVDs that I have in home for like 2-3 last years. Even if I buy a gadget that comes with an installation CD, most of the time Windows 7 doesn’t need the disc to work with the device. It downloads drivers via internet.

It’s a real bummer that you can’t buy a decent notebook without an optical drive built-in. The only models without optical drive are netbooks and subnotebooks, all under 13.3″ screen. It’s time to start offering some good models without optical drives and see how customers react. That’s what Apple started doing at least a year ago with their Air series.


lifehacker.com – your access to 21st century thinking people? Think twice!

October 19, 2010

You know lifehacker.com of course – it’s been in different “top blogs” lists like forever (since 2005 when it was founded). If you google “What is lifehacker?”, you’ll get the following nice things said about it:

  • The definition of the term “life hack” has since expanded – today, anything that solves an everyday problem in a clever way might be called a life hack.
  • Lifehacker is an online community dedicated to 21st century thinking people.
  • Lifehacker, the software and productivity guide, is a blog that covers tips and tricks for streamlining your life with computers.

OK, take a look at what kind of tips and tricks they got for 21st century thinking people who streamline their lives with computers:

and this:

The Two-Bowl Method? Come on, you can’t make this up! I hope somebody did get a patent for that.


Sad but true: software startups don’t wanna sell

October 10, 2010

I came across a nice list of tools and services for lean startups. A lean startup here means more efficient than usual. The tools and services in the list provide all kind of help for the startups: communications, planning, collaboration, marketing, sales, etc. The list seems to be fine at the first glance. I personally use a few services from the top ten: Skype, Google Apps, WordPress, and Microsoft’s DropBox alternative – LiveMesh.
Notably, a web startup darling Basecamp is only on 22nd place. However, it is shocking to find out that there are only 3 CRM and invoice consolidation systems out of the 65 entries in the list. And they don’t even come up high: 18, 39, and 47 place. Obviously, the “efficient startups” are only concerned about communications, version control, UML diagrams, cloud server management, but not sales. Who needs sales if you can spend your time by doing fancy UML?
Dilbert.com


The blog is back in town

October 9, 2010

I haven’t been posting anything for 3 months, but luckily apparently noone cared. I’ve been working on too many things during this time, soon to be revealed.

In the meantime, MobileNoter has been cash-flow positive for last several months. Not only that, we are also bringing new people in and working on really ambitious things now.

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