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Phil Libin, co-founder and former CEO of Evernote. Photo: Eric Piermont/AFP via Getty Images

Evernote, the popular note-storage app that announced layoffs on Tuesday, was supposed to be a "100-year company." Its promise, often made by former longtime CEO Phil Libin, was to provide a permanent repository for your research and your memories.

The big picture: The company turned 10 last summer and revamped its logo to celebrate. But now its users are wondering whether it will make it through another year.

Here are all the ways Evernote long signaled its intention to be a "forever company":

  • Business depended on users paying for software, not advertisers.
  • It let users export notes in different formats so they'd be comfortable stashing valuable long-term info.
  • Company leaders talked a lot about the long term.
  • The logo was an elephant and it has "ever" in its name.

Evernote launched in 2008 and took off with the iPhone as one of the first great tools to leverage cloud storage. It developed some nifty text- and image-recognition tools and seemed on its way to becoming a major platform for personal data.

  • But more recently it struggled to live up to a billion-dollar valuation and made some costly mistakes, like selling branded paper goods and pivoting to a "groupware" model supporting business teams.

Evernote never went public, which could be one reason it's hurting now.

  • But if it had pulled off an IPO, it would have been even more at the mercy of market volatility and impatient stockholders.
  • Tuesday's layoff of 54 employees is the second round initiated by current CEO Chris O'Neill, who had laid off 47 people shortly after taking over in 2015.

Layoffs aren't always the sign of a "death spiral." They can make firms more efficient.

  • Evernote is still "growing and has a healthy business," O'Neill wrote Tuesday.
  • In an email to staff — obtained by TechCrunch — he said the firm has $30 million in cash and "will exit 2018 generating more cash than we spend."

But one thing layoffs remind customers is that companies are mortal, too. That's got to hurt if your business depends on users trusting you'll be around to take care of their memories.

My thought bubble: I've got 7,998 notes stored in Evernote, collected over a decade. Tuesday night, I exported a plain-text backup. Just in case.

Go deeper

Updated 8 hours ago - World

UK government: Kremlin has plan "to install pro-Russian leadership" in Ukraine

British Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss. Photo: Gints Ivuskans / AFP via Getty Images

The United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary on Saturday night said the government has "information that indicates the Russian Government is looking to install a pro-Russian leader in Kyiv as it considers whether to invade and occupy Ukraine."

Driving the news: U.S. National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne called the intelligence "deeply concerning" in a statement to Axios. The Biden administration has said Russia is actively manufacturing a pretext for invasion and warned that Putin could use joint military exercises in Belarus as cover to invade from the north.

Updated 10 hours ago - Science

This powerful new accelerator looks for keys to the center of atoms

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Nuclear physicists trying to piece together how atoms are built are about to get a powerful new tool.

Why it matters: When the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams begins experiments later this spring, physicists from around the world will use the particle accelerator to better understand the inner workings of atoms that make up all the matter that can be seen in the universe.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: FDA OKs antiviral drug remdesivir for non-hospitalized COVID patients — Walensky: CDC language "pivoting" on "fully vaccinated" — Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Teens and adults missed 37 million vaccinations during COVID — Team USA 100% vaccinated against COVID ahead of Beijing Olympics — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America — Annual COVID vaccine preferable to boosters, says Pfizer CEO.
  3. Politics: Arizona governor sues Biden administration over COVID funds tied to mandates — Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults — Beijing officials urge COVID-19 "emergency mode" before Winter Olympics.
  5. Variant tracker