Evernote emailed me today to let me know that they are going to limit free accounts to only 2 devices.

Evernote announces a feature cut for free members.

This is a real bummer as I’ve been an Evernote fan for a very long time. In the last few years, several strong competitors have emerged, not least of which is the free iOS Notes app that ships with every device Apple sells. I’ve stayed with Evernote because they got one important thing right early on – ubiquity. It didn’t matter where I was or what device I was using, I knew I could get my ideas in and out of Evernote.

I feel for the company. Raising prices (or cutting features) is never fun. Obviously, someone decided that this would be an effective way to make financial targets. But to what end? Price hike calculus will certainly account for losing lots of long time users (like me) who don’t necessarily need a paid subscription right now, but who generally evangelize the service to our friends, networks, and employers.

With Microsoft OneNote, Apple Notes, and Paper by 53 all offering compelling solutions for free, this is a terrible time for Evernote to do anything that alienates free users. The marginal cost of supporting users (free or paying) is essentially zero. Evernote would be better off adding meaningful product value that attracts new users.

I’m afraid that this is just the first in a series of troubled steps that will ultimately lead to the demise of one of my favorite services. Guess I’d better export my content and find a new home for my ideas.

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