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Why is Evernote asking to be paid bad?

One of my most used programs is Evernote.  I use it all day, every day.  From my Mac, my Ubuntu boxes, my Blackberry and my iPod touch.  I’m a premium user which costs me $45/year.  A reasonable price to me.
Last night, they updated the Mac client to include a small ad box in the lower left hand corner that serves some ads (and a bunch of really awesome features).  It’s a small box and as a premium user I have a preferences option to disable it (which I did).  There has been a minor uproar this morning about privacy issues and some people using the words “Evernote is adware”.

As of right now I have no reason to believe that they are mining my notes information to serve me ads (a privacy issue which would be a serious problem considering what they do as a service).

It’s standard practice for web services to have a free add supported version and an ad-free paid for version.

I’m not sure I see what the fuss is all about.

They provide a great service and want to make some money.  What’s wrong with that?

8 thoughts on “Why is Evernote asking to be paid bad?

  1. the (minor) uproar (grrr) is because this adware update changes the value proposition of the product. evernote is no longer a freemium product – it’s adware with an upgrade option.
    and on the mac version of the software there is only an xml export option so no easy migration of data out of their system. so the roach motel model there.
    happily on the pc version there is a plain text output – gosh me saying happily and pc in the same sentence, who would have thought.
    i signed up for a freemium model with iphone integration. i leave with having to futz around to get my data out of their system as i in no way want adverts on my screen and i don’t store over the free file size limit as i mainly work in just text files.
    shame, it was a nice product.

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  2. to up sell me to the premium model. and continue to make the premium model more attractive rather than making the free version less attractive

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  3. Premium costs less than a single McD’s combo meal for a month’s usage. Given the amount of additional productivity and usefulness it provides me, I think it’s an amazing bargain. I’ve seen all the grousing on the web, and I really can’t understand how people can complain about the Evernote folks having the gall to charge to use the application they spend scarce resources to create. Or splash some ads on your screen in an attempt to keep a free version.

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  4. Aside from the grumbling about the ad space on the free addition (I was ready to upgrade to the premium addition), I am moving away from Evernote as a result of a more serious concern. Their own security terms indicate that they cannot guarantee that Google crawlers and similar services will NOT be able to gather information about notes stored on the Evernote servers. To me, this is a serious problem, as I intended to use the Evernote services to store time entries and notes on client matters, which could contain confidential information. In this case, going with something that stores information locally (such as DevonThink), rather than in an unprotected “cloud” is more secure. All depends on whether you’re using Evernote to store your grocery list or your latest invention information . . .

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  5. Also, for what it’s worth, and not to sound too paranoid, the executive appointed by Evernote as Vice President of Product Development in 2006 is Dmitry Stavisky. He previously worked on enterprise-class distributed systems, software development tools, decision support and data mining [yes DATA MINING] at various technology companies. This is a bit concerning to me. See Evernote’s own press release here: http://evernote.com/about/corp/news/pr/2006-09-13.php

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  6. Glad to find someone who agrees with me. I can't believe how entitled people feel to things they contribute nothing to and get for free. I'm not a premium user as of now, although I will consider paying for it as my usage increases. For now, I'm fine with such a tiny unobtrusive ad in a space that wasn't being used for anything anyway.

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  7. Just wondering if you’ve found any reasons to suspect data mining of your notes since you posted this article? Thanks.

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