Mountain View is great for start-ups, say chiefs at Evernote, LinkedNow
According to Evernote CEO Phil Libin, Mountain View's excellent rail connections, vibrant downtown restaurants and proximity to Google make it a great place for startups.
Libin joined Evernote in 2007 and moved the company to Mountain View from Sunnyvale. He's passionate about making it ultra-easy to capture ideas in the form of "notes."
No longer are notes mere scribbles. Notes can be photos, e-mail clips, sound bites or documents.
If you have GPS support on your cell phone, Evernote organizes your notes geographically and displays their location on Google Earth. Libin told me how he photographed a poster of a movie he wanted to see while walking in Boston on a business trip. He later forgot the name of the movie, but retrieved it from Evernote by remembering the photo was taken in Boston.
Being short of time to print out my notes before meeting Libin in his Evelyn Avenue office, I uploaded them to Evernote's server. During my meeting with Libin, I retrieved them on my iPhone. Evernote worked flawlessly.
The average age of an Evernote user is 39 years. Many use it as a way to de-clutter their lives and save memories. Students can easily save research notes using Evernote. Hitachi electronic whiteboards can save notes using Evernote.
Evernote sports stellar text recognition, in part because Stepan Pachikov, a cofounder of ParaGraph who supplied text recognition for Apple's Newton PDA in the 1990s, founded Evernote.
For example, the application reads words in pictures. Photograph a business card, tag it and send it to Evernote. Life is simplified — no filing and no business card scanner. Enjoy a fine wine, photograph its label and retrieve it later.
Evernote has applications for an iPhone, Blackberry or Palm Pre. An app for Google's Android platform is in beta testing.
The basic service is free, but if you want encrypted communications or uploads larger than 40 MB a month, it costs a reasonable $45 a year.
With 500 development partners, the company is growing rapidly, reaching a million users in less than a year. Recently, it closed $2 million in financing from Japan's DoCoMo to complete a $6.5 million round.
Peter Gorski, founder of LinkedNow, likes Mountain View for the same reasons as Libin. He adds that Mountain View's diverse population includes both high quality software engineers and knowledgeable customer service reps.
LinkedNow's Web site gives job seekers anonymous company and recruiter reviews posted by past and present employees. Gorski's vision is to ensure that job candidates' and employers' ideals match precisely.
He adamantly believes that anonymous postings are more likely to give an honest picture of a company than those with names attached. Anonymous corporate reviews are a growing trend that forces employers to beef up their online reputation management.
LinkedNow is just getting started, with four employees, and has a steep road to climb. It faces stiff competition. Sausalito's Glassdoor is ahead, with an experienced board and backed by leading venture capital firm Benchmark. LinkedNow risks fake postings, which it guards against with Web site warnings, rankings and manual review. Finally, LinkedNow's name risks confusion with another Mountain View company, LinkedIn.
I've helped people get jobs with LinkedIn, so — particularly if you are a Generation Y'er — make an effort to engage with real people through LinkedIn. When you get close to deciding whether a job opportunity is a good fit, then try LinkedNow or Glassdoor to check final details.
Mountain View's hot. "Make sure you tell Voice readers that Evernote is hiring," Libin said. "Mountain View's taken over from Palo Alto as the hot place to be," Gorski added.
Angela Hey can be reached at email@example.com.