Phil’s Law – Moore’s Law Meets Murphy’s Law

This is from a really interesting post from Todd Sattersten interviewing Phil Libin from Evernote.

Evernote is a fab little note-taking, image and life capturing app/website/iphone app.

The post has some incredibly useful real numbers from Evernote on freemium conversions / active users / costs. They’re discussing a mistake in the calculations for Todd’s ebook Fixed to Flexible, but the conversation has some golden nuggets:

Active users are people that have used Evernote in the past 30 days. That’s important because someone who doesn’t use the system in a given month, doesn’t cost us anything that month. So that 9 cents per month figure is for active users, but you did the math as if it was 9 cents per month for all users. Only about 30% – 40% of our users are active in a given month, so the mistake makes our margin looks a lot worse than it really is.

I ran the numbers from January 2010. At the end of the month, we had 2,335,676 total users and 41,598 premium users. Total variable expenses (hardware + software + hosting + network + operations staff + support staff) were $68,641. Total revenue from active premium users was approximately $145,000. I say “approximately” because this is recognized revenue, which trails cash, but is more relevant for gross margin calculations. The gross margin comes out to about 53%.

But my favourite thing in it is the great line from Phil:

… you have to multiply Moore’s Law by Murphy’s Law; “The number of things that will go wrong will double every year.”

Well worth a read:


Why the iPad is going to be the killer tool for one-on-one presentations and sales

One of the things I missed in the initial flurry of news about Apple’s iPad tablet is the fact they’re releasing it with Keynote, Pages and Numbers from the iWork Suite.

The killer there is Keynote, Apple’s incredibly powerful, stunning and easy to use presentation package.

Having Keynote on an iPad is going to make it a real killer for doing one-on-one presentations out on the road.

Keynote gives the iPad a serious business audience, and I think that it could be Apple’s backdoor to get the iPhone and App Store economy into a lot more corporate and enterprise environments.

Imagine, now if you’re pitching or selling, you have all of the following:

– a gorgeous, cool, sexy tablet.
– easy to carry, ultra portable, light-weight
– runs the best presentation software on the market
– allows you to present “with” a prospect, sharing the tablet like a booklet or piece of paper, rather than both staring at a computer and keyboard or throwing the projection on a wall.
– 10 hours of battery life – you can be out and about with this thing all day.

I think it could give “let me take you through this together” a whole new meaning for presentations done one-on-one, something that with laptops and conference rooms has always had a lot of overhead and pain.

It turns the iPad from being a consumer-focused intimate web and media device, and makes it an absolutely fabulous sales tool.