Is MarginNote Dying?

I have asked about fixes and basic service enhancements here, here, here, here, here, and here. There has been no answer from MarginNote to these queries.

I have asked about status of MarginNote support here. An answer was promised for the following day, and now, two weeks later, it appears to have been forgotten.

I have asked about the Wiki here, and volunteered to help some. But again, no answer.

Unfortunately, my conclusion is that MarginNote is dying, at least for the market of academics working outside of China.

Am I wrong?

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Editing for More Info later

Regards

Hello, mobo,
I know that there is no use saying sorry to you. But I still must apologize for the dereliction of duty.
You know that I have started to reply posts from International MarginNote Forum since November of the previous year. And I just answer some questions of Support category as Lanco knows more about International MN Forum than me and already have had a long conversation with you devoted users. However, Lanco devote himself to the update of version 3.6, which means he has less time to take a look at posts in ‘Feature Requests’ category. By the way, I had to have my final exams so your posts(Feature Requests) are not gotten feedbacks.

And please allow me to explain this post. I used to think that you just want me to reply to latest posts. So I don’t check your history posts and just reply to latest posts. Really sorry for it.

Finally, I will try my best to review history posts and give feedbacks recently.
Sorry again.
Regards,
Bryan
MN Support Team

Hi MarginNote’s Support Team

A main requirement with business is growth, and lack of growth allows competitors to catch up. MarginNote is most likely dying, and here is why.

You have two major issues. The first is lack of resources, one developer only for such a project is a joke - so you need to get funding/sponsorship to employ more and there is no reason why you should not be able to do so with such a good product. Second, the design needs reconsideration, it is not intuitive at all and there is a significant learning curve which ultimately pushes users away - so you need to reconsider design aspects.

You will know that LiquidText is a competitor, and it has limited resources also and frankly much less breadth of capabilities. But it is amazingly intuitive and more stabe which makes it much superior option. With a Mac and Windows clients in the making, it will hit you hard once these are released (assuming they do it right). They are making baby steps, but steps they are and as such offer better potential.

Users will ultimately have to make a choice, because users invest in using a package and change is not an option. So few weeks ago, this user made his choice and switched to LiquidText after years of patiently awaiting your change and noting your apologies. It was a hard decision and unfortunate, but I can see much better potential in that direction to invest my time and effort.

Hope you find the above thought provoking, and good luck with you journey.

I think the issue is that Liquidtext is much much simpler than MarginNote, and you don’t really have the power users that MarginNote seems to harbor. In this forum, you’ve users asking for integration with “X productivity system”, and exporting compatibility with other programs, when Liquidtext, has none of the complexities of exporting, focuses only on PDFs, and does PDF annotation really really well - no flashcard SRS system or outliner. It’s self-contained, and the developers never set expectations for compatibility with other apps, which was smart, because that’s always a big headache for developers.

Personally, I think Marginnote tries to do too much, and that inevitably leads to users asking for too much.

@Lanco_Support-Team, @Bryan_Support-Team,

Whether issues are past or present, product support needs to be responsive.

I’m not sure why I have to say this, but here goes. Current business surveys indicate that 50% of service e-mails in a business context now get a response in less than 2 hours. The most common response time is two minutes. An answer that comes after 48 hours is considered “late”. No response at all is a bad sign. Apologies for non-responsiveness are a bad sign. Maybe this sounds crazy to you, but it’s become the new normal. I hope your team understands this — tbh, it has not been clear to me —, because otherwise you will lose more customers, which would be a pity.

That said, we customers understand that you may not have immediate solutions. We understand that you have your own internal priorities. The main thing is to simply respond to postings or e-mail. If you don’t have a solution/workaround at the moment, it’s fine to say that. If the problem is a bug, it should go into your tracking system. If the issue is a feature request, of course it is something your team decides on. If you don’t respond at all, and if this becomes a pattern, we customers have no idea if you have registered the issue or care about it at all. Needless to say, a pattern of non-responsiveness is an indication of product death and is an excellent way to lose customers. If you cannot handle this level of responsiveness, then you may need to discuss staffing with your management.

@aliz, thanks for sharing your thoughts about LiquidText, I will have a look.

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1、 Active Users Status of MarginNote:

  • Huge user base

    Since its launch, MarginNote has accumulated an enormous user base in China. At present, among the efficiency related applications in the App store (CN), MarginNote 3 is ranked seventh in the free iPad app, and MarginNote 2 Pro is ranked sixth in the paid iPad app.

  • Extensive user praise

    In the App Store (CN), MarginNote 3 got 30886 comments, with an overall score of 4.7 points!


MarginNote 2 and MarginNote 2 Pro got a total of 12717 comments, with an overall score of 4.8 points!

  • Active user community

    At the same time, we adhere to community construction, and now we have formed a user community with forums as the main body and Weibo, Zhihu, Bilibili, and other media platforms as the auxiliary. Here are some data:
    Chinese forum activity:

    Weibo (China’s largest broadcast social media sharing short real-time information) activity:

Zhihu (China’s largest Q & A community) activity:

Bilibili (China’s largest video barrage website)Video Views:

  • The growing support team and multilingual help resources in production

    MarginNote is situated at Zhongguancun Technology Park, Beijing, Chinese Silicon Valley. Based on a core team of about ten people, we have established good cooperation with Apptamin, Gengo, Voice123, Applingua, and other large-scale outsourcing companies. For global entrepreneurs, outsourcing is a very common way to provide users with a better experience, outsourcing everything possible, and doing our focus. Including those discussed by you, the earliest overall development of Liquidtext was outsourced, and MarginNote also has such resources.

2、 Product Philosophy of MarginNote:

  • Focusing on Product Itself With Our Craftsman’s Spirit

    We have rejected the acquisition of MarginNote by some large companies with a value of 10 billion, as well as all kinds of cooperation from other large companies because we believe that not capital but people are the ultimate answer. As a continuous entrepreneur, Min, the founder of MarginNote, firmly believes in the development creed of Facebook. In the initial exploration stage of a solution related software, he thinks constantly to polish his works with the mentality of exploring products, just like an artist dedicates himself to his works, which is not the product of an industrial assembly line. At this stage, we don’t want to have too much external interference, external capital, more programmers and so on.

  • Considering Feature Request Cautiously

    We evaluate every feature and add it carefully, not because of technical limitations, but because the function design before and after each update must conform to the core concept of our software and our original intention of building this software, not be overloaded with the existing function system, and integrate into the existing workflow effectively. At the same time, it can solve a reasonable and well-founded customer pain point.

  • Listening to Users Patiently

    We have noted these suggestions and we take voices of users seriously. We are also thinking about the next step of the overall development plan. If there is a clear plan, we will share and discuss it with you. During this period, many members of our team read all 235 Feature Requests, including the founder Min. We have an intuitive understanding of many suggestions. Preparing a questionnaires and an alpha internal test discussion group such as telegram or forum group, we want to have an in-depth discussion on your scene requirements and listen to your voice about the whole development process. We have not promised that all the suggestions put forward by users will be realized, because we don’t provide a service to customize the software for our users, but we are willing to discuss with each user the in-depth rationale and background behind all the requirements, explore the pain points that indeed resonates with users and incorporate users into the new product design plan. Welcome to explore the cognitive concept of MarginNote with us. Please remember, this is a young and growing software.

Regards,
MarginNote Team

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@mobo Thanks pointing it out. According to Beijing Working Time, now we use RSS (30mins push delay according to the test.) to monitor the new posts and threads. We will try our best to reduce Support delay.

Regards,
Lanco

Hi @Lanco_Support-Team,

Thanks for clarifying and sharing lots of information about the MarginNote user base.

This is all very encouraging.

Given the large user base, I assume(?) revenue is not a serious problem and you can hire more staff and/or support people as necessary :wink:

Best regards,

mobo

Hello! Thanks for the great software. But why there is no Russian language OCR? MN needs to expand the coverage of languages to become popular.

Hello,
Because offline OCR is supported by ABBYY, we buy language packs from them. Unfortunately, the language pack with Russian also contains some uncommon language, so we give up buying this language pack.
Regards,
Bryan