Jason Kincaid, a former TechCrunch writer with a reputation for his clever commentary, analysis, and wit yesterday published an eviscerating critique of the world’s most popular note-taking app, Evernote
Entitled, “Evernote, the bug-ridden elephant,” it was perhaps the most damning story ever about a tech company screwup, and it went viral.
While Kincaid is a popular tech writer, his bio says that what he really wants to be is a standup comic, and his latest passion is playing guitar and songwriting, and this very creative guy has saved years of ideas for jokes, columns, and songs on Evernote only to learn that some of his best ideas may have been lost forever by Evernote's cloud-based app.
“I’ve long held a deep-seated fear that perhaps some of my data has not been saved, that through a syncing error, an accidental overwrite — some of these ideas have been forgotten,” reports Kincaid. “As of last month, I am all but sure of it.” Kincaid goes on to say that he is certain some guitar riffs he recorded are missing, but he fears the extent of Evernote’s failures is far larger than that.
“Evernote’s applications are glitchy to the extreme,” Kincaid says. “They often feel as if they’re held together by the engineering equivalent of duct tape.”
Kincaid’s review of Evernote caused the company’s CEO to contact him and write an overly lengthy reply promising to do better in 2014. Indeed we can be sure Evernote will try to do better.
However, Kincaid should have known better than to entrust a consumer app with his most important asset, his intellectual property.
Evernote has used the freemium pricing model to build a popular consumer app that's great because it is free, but Evernote makes most of its money on a premium service that cost just $45 a year. Companies using a freemium price plan have proven unreliable for professional use.
Kincaid an experienced tech writer and a reallt smart guy who I'd love to have a drkink with, but he should have known that massively popular apps like Evernote have experienced massive failures unacceptable to professoinals.
Kincaid should not be trusting a consumer app to store his ideas without having a reliable backup.
If you make your living on your ideas and trust an app like Evernote, Dropbox, or even Google to store your ideas, you're taking a huge business risk.
This reminds me of the story I wrote about two weeks ago about an advisor who used Gmail's archiving app to meet his RIA's regulatory requirements only to receive an email from Google apologizing for deleting an unknown number of emails that it was supposed to have saved.