Evernote CEO Phil Libin talks valuations and bubbles
On Reporters' Roundtable, the Evernote chief discusses building durable companies and dealing with a bubble economy. Our conversation comes on the heels of the company's big funding round.
I'll disclose this off the top: I'm a big fan of Evernote. I like the app and use it all the time. I even pay for it. I also enjoy talking with Evernote CEO Phil Libin, who I have found to be uncommonly deliberate and transparent for a startup CEO.
With the news around Evernote lately -- the company's recent $70 million funding round and its acquisition of Penultimate -- I thought it'd be good to bring Libin back to the Reporters' Roundtable to discuss the current state of the software economy, and what Silicon Valley looks like from the startup's perspective today.
In this discussion we also talk a little about Libin's "100-year startup" talking point. We don't get too much into the company's global ambitions, though, and I do want to point out that as popular as Evernote is here in the U.S., it's also apparently very big in Japan, and, Libin hopes, will also soon be big in China (subscription to The Wall Street Journal required).
Libin is probably going to become CEO of a public company within a few years. Do you think he'll be able to keep Evernote innovating, figure out how to turn its revenue stream into a flood, and keep investors happy? Watch the video below.
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Show notes[0:15] Rafe admits he loves Evernote. Also: Phil Libin introduced.
[2:00] Are you going to raise more money?
[2:40] What will you do with the money you've raised so far?
[3:00] Libin: We want to be isolated from the bubble.
[4:00] Libin on durable companies.
[5:00] Can you justify a billion-dollar valuation on Evernote? (Libin: You're looking at it wrong)
[7:00] Are we in a bubble?
[7:45] Libin: The world economy is unique today...
[8:40] How this bubble (if it is that) is different from the last one.
[9:45] The Instagram discussion.
[11:15] More about the Facebook effect on Silicon Valley startups.
[12:20] How Evernote is following the Facebook path to IPO.
[13:55] Advice: How to keep your head up while companies around you are exiting for hundreds of millions of dollars.
[16:45] Ad break
[17:00] The epochs of technology are getting shorter. How to navigate?
[19:00] Libin: Let's talk about the current epoch. "It's a bubble of awesome."
[21:00] What's next? Libin: Integrated experiences "across your life."
[22:00] What about Big Data?
[23:20] What's next for Evernote?