Evernote for Business. Honestly, why?

By Deane Barker on August 28, 2012

Evernote finally creates business version: I genuinely love Evernote – I have a paid subscription, even.  But, just I don’t get this.

[…] Evernote has added an administrative console where administrators can control access and sharing to company notebooks. It has also made it simple to add new users with a business email address. What’s more, businesses can create central notebooks, such as an HR notebook, where all employees can have access to key information.

They seem to be trying to position Evernote as a distributed intranet, which I’m just not seeing.  Remember Groove (holy cow, is that seriously still around)?  Remember Joel Spolsky’s efficient dissection of it when Microsoft LiveMesh came out?

It’s Groove, rewritten from scratch, one more time. Ray Ozzie just can’t stop rewriting this damn app, again and again and again, and taking 5-7 years each time. And the fact that customers never asked for this feature and none of the earlier versions really took off as huge platforms doesn’t stop him.

Groove had the benefit of being peer-to-peer, which provided some advantages in security and synchronization, but Evernote doesn’t even have that.  It can only sync against the mothership.

The question is, could (would?) a business ever switch to Evernote for Business in place of their traditional intranet?  Probably not, so now you’re looking at yet another place where the enterprise is going to store information, and that’s not helpful.  Repository redundancy is epidemic in the enterprise.  (Believe me, I know – we struggle with this at Blend, and we only have ~20 employees.)

I think a better plan would be to have a traditional intranet with offline capabilities.  Have a browser plugin or something that downloaded and refreshed certain critical pages whenever someone was online, and allowed employees to select other pages to be synced offline.

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