Evernote - The Place Where You Can Store Everything!
Often called the Pioneer of Silicon Valley, this fascinating individual changed the lives of millions when it comes to organizing and achieving files. That man is none other than the charismatic Russian intellectual, Stepan Pachikov, the founder of Evernote - one of the most successful startups.
Obsessed with the human brain, Stepan felt the need to create software that allowed computers to understand human handwriting.
The idea about Evernote was inside his mind for a long time, a vision about an application that served as an extension of the brain, a place to store countless pieces of information and data.
How did one man come up with such an idea?
Read the story here:
The Visionary Inventor
Stepan Pachikov was born in the USSR on February 1, 1950, in today's Azerbaijan, with a dream to travel and change the world. Stepan attended 3 universities across the USSR, where he earned an honorary master's degree in mathematical economics at Moscow State University. In 1975, Stepan earned a Ph.D. at the USSR Academy of Science in the field of fuzzy logic.
In the mid-80's, Stepan moved to Moscow and founded the Moscow Children Computer club, which eventually helped the growth of the Russian Tech scene. His interest in computers only grew and in 1988, he started a job at ParaGraph which eventually signed a multi-million contract with Apple to develop a handwriting recognition system. He and his team were given $6 million from Apple who insisted that he needed to move to the United States. This move opened his world of possibilities and decided to accomplish his visions far from home.
His life changed to the core when he arrived at Silicon Valley, with no intention to stay there. One of the first steps that would later lead to Evernote was Stepan's new invention, the visual time machine called Alter Ego that could help children learn history.
Although Apple's Newton project failed, it served as a stepping stone to developing the handwriting recognition system by computers. Stepan never truly abandoned this, instead putting it on pause but still considering it an important tool for the future.
The Birth of Evernote
Stepan had a goal: create technology that could serve as an extension of the human brain. He believed that the world couldn't be a better place if no one remembered what you did, and Evernote was his vision to create a physical extension of the human brain, to preserve notes and files to be accessible whenever needed.
He was obsessed with the human brain and the memories and determined his life on trying to create the best memory storage there is. While working on similar projects throughout the '90s, he put some more thought into the idea that had been lurking in his brain for quite some time now, and the Evernote plan was set in motion.
The plans for Evernote began in 2002, and Stepan released a prototype version two years later, in 2004 which was available on beta for Windows. This is where Stepan remembered the failed Apple Newton and used the same recognition system to design EverNote, its first name with a capital N.
The first users were businesses that owned hundreds of computers and desperately seeking a solution to organize their notes and data. Evernote was started with fundings from close friends and family members, mostly from the new CEO Phil Libin. It took 466 days for Evernote to reach 1 million users and since then, the numbers kept growing.
The product was gaining popularity but the financial part became a problem because of the 2008 economic crisis.
But aside from a chronic lack of finances, Stepan's product was a breakthrough invention, with companies and businesses finding it very practical to use - and wasted no time buying it!
The Meeting that Changed Evernote
Stepan met with the young Phil Libin in 2007 and made a decision that Evernote needs a fresh start. Stepan noticed Phil's business awareness and had no doubt that he is going to be his next CEO. 'I chose Phil, he is smart and educated, and I was completely confident that he would be a much better CEO than I ever was,' said Stepan.
So, Stepan handed over the reins and named Phil the new CEO, without thinking twice. It was under Phil's leadership that Evernote became the company that we all know today, revolutionized the product, and just like that, it found its way into millions of computers as a necessary organizing tool for storage.
Stepan remained on Evernote's board of directors even after Phil took over. He wanted to work on developing the product, but shortly after he found it more effective if Phil is to take full control over Evernote, stating that the company would need only one leader instead of two.
How One Invest Saved Evernote
As soon as Evernote appeared on the market in 2008, it faced its first financial problems. Investors backed out at the last minute and Stepan thought of shutting down the project within the same year. He believed that Evernote would never lift off from here.
But then, seemingly out of nowhere, a loyal Evernote user from Sweden who had been using the product for over 2 months stated how it changed his life. The user who decided to remain anonymous was willing to invest $500,000 into Evernote and after a short Skype call, two weeks later the amount was wired to Evernote.
Just like that, Stepan's lifework was saved by an unnamed investor, and the money was put to good use. Stepan's idea was to release a freemium version of Evernote, which turned out to be the fastest way to grow. People started to grab Evernote, knowing that this product would change the way they worked forever!
They quickly began to gain more audience, as Evernote became available in multiple options besides the free one. Stepan knew that his product would reach companies and individuals, in order to save their memories, and kept living his dream.
Today, Evernote is a leader in its industry. The company founded by Stepan continues to pursue his dream of creating the so-called second brain to store all memories. Nowadays, Stepan still visits his company and remains a member of the board of directors, which is run by the new CEO Chris O' Neil who succeeded Phil in 2015.
Phil suggested that Evernote was much more than just a tool to store images, files, and notes. It served as your second intellectual brain.
Thanks to both Phil and Chris, Evernote witnessed a meteoric rise with over 60 million page views every month and a mind-blowing 150 million users worldwide. Evernote is officially the biggest and most-used note-taking application in the world.
When Chris took over, he took advice from both Stepan and Phil, and had no trouble continuing Stepan's lifework. Because of that level of cooperation, nowadays a plethora of companies and individuals use every form of Evernote to organize their notes and work with ease.
Stepan, now at the age of 69, still visits the company he founded as an active board member and constantly shares his vision of the future with the new CEO. Stepan openly admitted that he thought of creating Evernote because he was a smart person with a bad memory.
Evernote is present in over 190 countries, with Asia holding 30% of the users, mostly Japanese. It's notable that some Japanese companies found out that through Evernote they can make plans for up to a hundred years from now! Now that's what we call a useful tool!