There are several people here at Engadget that might actually die (or at the very least be unemployed) if it were not for their Evernote accounts. Which makes it all the more painful when the service lets us down by failing to sync notes or falling prey to hackers. Jason Kincaid, formerly of TechCrunch, posted a rather lengthy tirade on his blog about such an instance, in which the iOS app produced corrupted audio notes that were completely unplayable. And during the troubleshooting process with Evernote support, Kincaid came across a bug that captured entire notes in plain text in its log files -- the very files that a support person request when trying to diagnose a problem. Let's just say the self-proclaimed power user was understandably incensed.
Well, the post caught the attention of Evernote CEO Phil Libin, who admitted that perhaps the company had focused too much on adding features and expanding its user base at the expense of the core experience. But those days are over Libin proclaimed. In fact, he says the staff quietly shifted its focus back to squashing bugs and improving stability a couple of months ago, but that there was still plenty of work to be done. In addition to boosting performance and fixing broken features, he says updates will be rolling out over "the next few weeks" that will greatly improve and simplify the user experience. He specifically said the engineers and designers will be targeting note editing, navigation, search, sync and collaboration features across all platforms.
2013 was a big year for Evernote, and it's safe to say it endured some growing pains. Lets just hope that 2014 is the year it grows up -- without getting too big for its britches.