We've all got a list of our favourite CEOs.
Okay, we haven’t. But if we did, mine would be Ian Small of Evernote. You can see him here, clearly uncomfortable at being in front of the camera. I rather like him for that. Being good on camera doesn't mean you can do the job. I'm increasingly wondering if the opposite might be true.
Anyway, read this message Ian Small wrote back in January, stating Evernote's priorities for the year ahead. I particularly liked this passage:
And honesty requires us to state—straight out—that we can do better with the product you have today than we are currently doing. In fact, we can do better than we have been doing for some years.
He goes on to promise to concentrate on getting the foundations of the product right before adding new features.
Since then he seems to be making good on his promise.
You might remember this article I wrote in 2016 saying I was leaving Evernote for Simplenote. Well, I’ve now gone back to Evernote. I like the direction things are going. I'm still disappointed with the lack of Linux support but I'll trade that in for something that's solid, or at least is attempting to get things right.
And I must admit, I rather like Ian Small's (rather awkward) style. Many people seek advancement by promising to make big changes. They go for the grand gesture and then move on, leaving others to sort out the mess they've made. It's rather refreshing to see someone quietly getting on with the challenge of trying to make something that's already quite good work just that little bit better.