Evernote boss Phil Libin: wearables and war

We sat down with Evernote's CEO to chat Google Glass, cults and conflict

Evernote, the cloud-synced note-taking and archiving super-app, is going through something of a reinvention at the moment. It's aiming to move further into business, and even launching a range of physical products. As O2 revealed a deal to give all its business customers free access to the service, we talked to the company's CEO Phil Libin.

Can a year save the gear?

The firm, which brings all your notes - be they web clips, text, photos or video - together in one app, was one of the first to create an app for Google’s Glass, and CEO Phil Libin told Stuff he believes wearables are the future - but not the present.

Libin, who was wearing a Galaxy Gear, admitted he had struggled with the Samsung smartwatch.

“It feels like it’ll be mainstream and useful in a year or so, people need to work out the use cases for it.

“I wouldn’t recommend my wife get one - yet.”

He also said Glass faced similar issues.

“Glass is not ready for primetime, but a future version is going to be incredibly powerful.

“We got involved in Glass really early, and we didn’t ever consider not getting involved.

“It’s very basic right now, but we’re all giant nerds so we wanted to use it." However, he believes wearables will change the way we think of technology.

“I believe wearables will profoundly change the world in the next few years.

“We want to be involved, and it's not just wearables, all of these different devices will be used together.”

We met Libin at Evernote’s annual conference, where fans flock to seminars on how best to use the firm, with levels of enthusiasm rarely seen outside an Apple event. The firm has 75 million users worldwide, and the UK is Evernote’s largest market in Europe, with 2.8 million users currently using the service.

“People who like Evernote really, really like it - you need to go all in,” he admitted - but said this is also the firm’s biggest issue.

“We’re trying to make the product more approachable, and it really does make you work smarter.

“It’s a challenge explaining what we do.”

The firm has lofty long term goals, and Libin claims he wants Evernote to be a 100 year startup.

“We want to reduce the amount of ambient stupidity online," he said.

He also, rather oddly, hit out at the startup world's hijacking of sports analogies.

"I’m so tired of sports analogies in business - its not a case of somebody wins and somebody loses.

"In fact, it’s modelled on war - but that’s not how the actual military talks anymore.

"They’ve realised they can’t win by making the other person lose."

Free for O2

O2 and Evernote have just announce a deal to provide one-year Evernote Premium accounts to all O2 business customers in the UK.

In the first partnership of its kind for Evernote in the UK, O2 business customers will be able to store their ideas, better organise their digital footprint and share information using the Evernote Premium app.

The offer, which is worth £35, is available for 12 months.