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Categorized | Industry Leaders, Mobile

GMIC 2012: Phil Libin, CEO of Evernote – To Bridge Silicon Valley and Beijing

From the perspective of Evernote’s CEO Phil Libin, the leading note-taking and archiving software company, the company would not exist if it were not for the impact of today’s global and mobile technologies. He credits these technologies for creating and molding the environment in which Evernote can today pursue its main goals: to build a service that will make everyone happier, smarter, and more productive by making information more useful.

Mr. Libin proceeded by highlighting how mobile and social technologies have changed many fundamental aspects of the industry. Today, companies’ focus has shifted exclusively to the quality of the product. Having done so, mobile technologies are also bringing new opportunities.

These new opportunities concentrate on creating the best possible product and translate into three big changes. They have:

1) Changed the way companies allocate their resources, placing more emphasis on product design and development.

2) Changed the way companies think of competition. Mobile and social technologies are shifting the environment from universal competition to one of partnership and cooperation.

3) Changed the way companies look at their global impact. Mr. Libin’s advice in this regard: “Assume from the beginning that you’re not just a Silicon Valley company or a Chinese company or a Japanese company. By default you need to think of yourself as a global company.”

In his view, being a global company does not mean that your products are sold around the world. Instead, they are built around the entire world and not just made in and for local markets.

The big announcement that Mr. Libin delivered during his speech was that of the launching of a new Evernote service in China, which caters entirely to the Chinese market and needs. The launch of a new service for the Chinese market stems from Chinese users’ feedback and their number one request: to make Evernote faster and more usable.

This new service has three main benefits:

1) Performance, reliability, and speed.

2) Integration by tapping into the massive creativity of China. The new Evernote service in China will launch a Chinese API that will make it much easier for developers to create Evernote applications.

3) Full customer support in Chinese based in China.

In his opinion, Mr. Libin believes this customized service will “allow for a real Chinese experience.”

Despite some initial opposition in Silicon Valley to Evernote’s commitment in China, Mr. Libin decided to launch the new service, invest in the long-term, and try to set an example as a young Silicon Valley company thinking globally. Mr. Libin believes that it is essential to bridge Silicon Valley and Beijing in order to take advantage of the great energy and innovation found in this mega-city. He asserts that doing business in China is difficult, but in his own words, “it would be foolish to deprive ourselves of this source of innovation.”

The Evernote Beijing office is already open, currently operating with 6 people but in the process of hiring and expanding. Everything for China Evernote will be based from the Beijing office. The new team is motivated and energized more than ever to build Evernote in China, and together with Silicon Valley, make a better Evernote for the whole world.

Edgard Duque

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