News You Might Have Missed: Week of Sept 7th, 2018

Evernote’s Troubles

In the past month, Evernote lost its Chief Technology Officer, Anirban Kundu, its Chief Financial Officer Vincent Toolan and its head of HR Michelle Wagner. As it’s getting ready to raise more money it slashed its premium subscription from $70 to $42 a year.

Via TechCrunch 

  • Evernote was the first of its kind to allow people to write short notes, saved them in the cloud and access them from any device. This was great as people were finding dipping their toes in the cloud
  • Unfortunately for Evernote, the big platforms got better and Microsoft, Google, and Apple all developed tools that, at one degree or another, integrate what Evernote does in a more natural workflow rather than a standalone app.
  • So for people who are invested in a platform with hardware and services OneNote, Notes, Google Keep make much more sense especially when they come free.
  • “Platformication” of apps for lack of a better term is a big risk developer face all the time. Some like Slack, for instance, are smart at keeping ahead in innovation and differentiation like the integration of other apps in their own app which creates multiple ties for the user.
  • Unfortunately, Evernote did not keep ahead of the competition and also made it difficult for people to continue loving the app by starting to charge for features that used to be free and killing off features.
  • Hard to imagine this round of funding going well for the company.

Google Oct 9 Event

On Thursday Google sent out invites for an event in New York City where the Made by Google team is expected to launch the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.

Via The Verge 

  • Some of the details on the new devices have already been leaked courtesy of someone forgetting a Pixel 3 prototype in a Lyft car.
  • What I am more interested to hear from Google is their distribution strategy. After a few initial glitches, the Pixel 2 established itself as a good product but the impact on the overall market was very much limited due to the distribution strategy Google adopted
  • Deals with carriers, an upgrade program, and a stronger in-store presence are all necessary to grow sales.
  • Last year we saw a very strong marketing campaign which I would expect to see repeated this year. But it is really more about sales reps pushing the products, in-store props to highlight the camera features and in general help consumers seeing to believe there is an alternative to Apple and Samsung is what Google needs.
  • We should also see some updates to the Google Home line up and possibly to Pixel Buds. Such updates might not be bounce and leaps in innovation but they would help consumers growing confidence that Made by Google is here to stay.

Samsung’s Foldable Phone and Mid-Tier Portfolio

DJ Koh stated that it is time for Samsung to take care of the mid-tier and in order to do that he plans to deliver new technology to the mid-tier before flagship products get it. As part of the interview, he also said we might be seeing a foldable device in November.

Via ZDNet

  • Samsung is holding its developer conference (SDC) in early November so it could be feasible to see a product launch there, especially if the foldable is a true foldable display which would call for apps to be redesigned to take advantage of the new screen.
  • I do not think it is feasible however to introduce the device at SDC in November and have it ship this year.
  • If the phone came out under the Note brand it might also help Samsung to move away from the August launch schedule making it easier for the Note to get back on top of the tech cycle compared to the Galaxy S line launching in February/March
  • As far as introducing new tech in the mid-tier before introducing it into a flagship product I am sure DJ Koh did not mean foldable displays coming to mid-tier first, as I really struggle to see how Samsung could hit the right price point and deliver a profitable product.
  • That said, Samsung needs something new for the mid-tier. For a long time, users in the US and Europe who were more price conscious turned to buy one or two-year-old high-end products and be satisfied by the price point and the tech they were getting for it. As prices continue to increase, a year old product is still too expensive to please a buyer looking for a mid-tier product.
  • In developing markets aside from price point there is also the issue that a lot of the tech included in flagship products might not be as relevant making the user feel they are paying for something they will not use. A more tailored approach to buyers in China and India would help Samsung quite a bit in the fight for market share against the Chinese.

Senate Hearing

This week Sheryl Sandberg and Jack Dorsey went to Washington to discuss social media, foreign hacks on elections and their anticompetitive nature when it comes to monitoring discourse and banning from the platform.


  • The link takes you to the most entertaining part of the hearing when a pro-Trump protester interrupted the proceedings and Mr. Long from Missouri went off auctioning her phone!
  • As far as the hearing it seems that Senators and law makers were much more informed than those who had attended Zuckerberg’s hearing a few months ago
  • It was also clear that they all played to their political agenda with the mid-terms as their highest concern
  • I thought that Sandberg came across well, genuinely interested in being there and listening, willing to explain using a jargon many could relate – including using the term “alternative facts”!
  • Jack on the other hand, came across quite like Zuckerberg: uncomfortable, apologetic, not on top of his own business and gave little confidence that he knows how to make things better
  • Google, of course, was not there, which resulted in being pretty much found guilty by default.

Published by

Carolina Milanesi

Carolina is a Principal Analyst at Creative Strategies, Inc, a market intelligence and strategy consulting firm based in Silicon Valley and recognized as one of the premier sources of quantitative and qualitative research and insights in tech. At Creative Strategies, Carolina focuses on consumer tech across the board. From hardware to services, she analyzes today to help predict and shape tomorrow. In her prior role as Chief of Research at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, she drove thought leadership research by marrying her deep understanding of global market dynamics with the wealth of data coming from ComTech’s longitudinal studies on smartphones and tablets. Prior to her ComTech role, Carolina spent 14 years at Gartner, most recently as their Consumer Devices Research VP and Agenda Manager. In this role, she led the forecast and market share teams on smartphones, tablets, and PCs. She spent most of her time advising clients from VC firms, to technology providers, to traditional enterprise clients. Carolina is often quoted as an industry expert and commentator in publications such as The Financial Times, Bloomberg, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. She regularly appears on BBC, Bloomberg TV, Fox, NBC News and other networks. Her Twitter account was recently listed in the “101 accounts to follow to make Twitter more interesting” by Wired Italy.

One thought on “News You Might Have Missed: Week of Sept 7th, 2018”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *