Will Anytype Survive?

TLDR: My Main Worries
1. The things that make Anytype unique will be able to be copied/integrated by other bigger companies.

2. Anytype will not have the resources/speed to keep up with contemporary features needed to compete in the market.

3. I think Anytype has the highest potential of any app I’ve seen… but potential isn’t reality. I’m worried the reality of other apps will continuously outpace the reality of Anytype, even if Anytype has more potential. And I’m worried the gap between potential and reality will only widen with time.


I’d love to hear the team’s and community’s thoughts on whether or not you think Anytype will really be able to compete with other apps over time.

I want to start by saying that I truly appreciate all the hard work that the Anytype team has put into all the updates, and that the app keeps getting better and better. I also understand that what Anytype is trying to accomplish is unique, and is actually very hard to do, and takes time.

With that said, I worry about Anytype being able to compete in the broader note taking and productivity space. What will give Anytype an advantage against competitors that have more money to innovate and move faster?

It’s taken Anytype 3 years to reach Beta. What’s keeping another company from integrating some of the unique features that Antype has into their apps? What if Microsoft decided to put hundreds of millions of dollars into making Loop the best possible app with the best features? Or if Google got in the game? Both Microsoft and Google already have the resources and comprehensive software packages that they would have a great ecosystem.

Even beyond those big two, what if Notion decided it was finally worth it to make local storage possible and threw 10s of millions of dollars and hundreds of people at the problem to make the change in a few months? Or what about the smaller players? Mem ai has 10s of millions in investments. There are many productivity alternatives… the big ones like Evernote or Notion, and smaller ones like Capacity, Loseq, Mem, Obsidian, Coda… and I’m consistently surprised by how fast those apps and new ones have made progress when I thought they’d be slower.

Simply put, I have two main worries.

  1. The things that make Anytype unique will be able to be copied/integrated by other bigger companies.
  2. Anytype will not have the resources/speed to keep up with contemporary features needed to compete in the market.

Anytype has done a lot. Again, congrats to the team for their amazing work. But is it going to be enough? They are going to be spending the next year or two just trying to get a stable public product. What might Notion (as an example) be able to accomplish in that time? Being able to integrate AI tools might become super crucial to consumer’s work and lives, and this may highlight the need for a company to have a up to date product.

The companies that are already ahead may pull even further ahead, and it may be that only big companies with enough money might be able to get into the game, leaving the little guys with no room.

My theory is that the apps/companies which have the most marketshare will eventually have the best products. They will have the money/resources/speed to outcompete everyone else in terms of actually usefulness and usability. And the only way a newcomer will succeed is if they make something new, and they get part of the market fast.

It’s kind of like the car market. It’s hard to make a good car unless your company already has a lot of the marketshare. You’re either a big player already, or you have to have make a new car and blitz the market. It’s not enough to just have a good car, you have to move fast. Tesla had a new kind of car (they weren’t the first, but their’s was good and they moved fast). Now Tesla is a big player in the car market, and who can compete? For the most part, only the players who were already big players, like Ford, GM, etc.

What if Notion is like Tesla? They made something good that was new fast. And now who will be able to compete? Only the big guys… Microsoft, Google, or newcomers who move fast with lots of money to try to blitz a part of the market.

Does Anytype have what it takes to move fast enough? I really want Anytype to succeed. I think their philosophy and team is best I’ve seen. I think Anytype has the highest potential of any app I’ve seen… but potential isn’t reality. I’m worried the reality of other apps will continuously outpace the reality of Anytype, even if Anytype has more potential. And I’m worried the gap between potential and reality will only widen with time.

These kind of apps are not easy or quick to pick up. They’re super powerful and require lots of personalization. I don’t think the average user, including myself, is going to want to put in the effort to learn or utilize multiple apps. I’m going to want to pick the best one, whether that’s notion, mem, obsidian, or anytype.

For me, I want to use Anytype, but Notion is better in reality. And broadly speaking, how will anytype survive if it’s continuously a few years behind the best competition?

By the time Anytype is fully functioning, able to store locally and sync with other devices, work with multi-spaces and teams… who’s to say another app hasn’t already integrated everything that made Anytype unique? And who’s to say in that time another app hasn’t innovated in an even better way, or created even more useful features (whether that’s AI or something else)?

I really think the values that the Anytype team and app have are a necessity in this world, and even more so for the world we’re moving towards. But just because it’s needed, doesn’t mean it will necessarily succeed.


I realize this turned into a long post, but I would love to hear other people’s thoughts.

To the Anytype team, I politely and respectfully throw down the gauntlet. Move faster, don’t get left behind, make a splash in the market share, make your potential a reality, bet and dream bigger, don’t compromise, become irresistible. And thank you for all you do.

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Hi @Mccbrennan, great post, thank you for taking the time to write it.

I suggest you take a look at this:

because I think this is really the main point:

and I don’t really think that is possible ANYTYmE :wink: soon.

And if it will happen, then great, AnyType made the revolution possbile, they brought web 3.0 tech into the mainstream, and at that point I would just hope for them to get the recognition they’d deserve .

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I think, that being open-source and allowing the concept of plugins, will make a huge difference.

I really do get your worries, but I don’t see that “dark” if they find a sustainable income.

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I’m doubtful Google would do something similar because complete privacy wouldn’t help their collection of data for their marketing needs. :grimacing: Even if they do, I’d rather not use it because they have enough of my information already.

Let’s not forget that Anytype will be open source. No sudden losses (hopefully!) if the team decides to call it quits. I believe that’s a huge advantage over large private companies.

From what I’ve gathered since joining the community, a lot of people truly support their vision. So, I think, even if they don’t become as popular or mainstream as Notion, they’d still have an audience willing to use/support their app.

And once it goes public, those supporters can help build the features to hasten the app’s growth. :slightly_smiling_face:

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I think the point you and @thePauker make about being open-source and plugins/public contributions is a great point. I hope that we can get to that point soon, and that it will, in fact, make a big difference.

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My thoughts:
Anytype does not need to dominate the note taking & productivity market in order to be successful. Currently, they are building a feature rich application that provides both utility and individual sovereignty in the form of trusted privacy and control for the user. While I think it is possible that a larger company with more resources could integrate some of Anytype’s features into their application, I doubt they are going to open source their platform. And if they did, that would be a huge win for Anytype. And while there are quite a few people who might flock to applications with the coolest features, I think there are enough people who value privacy and control, OR are just plan fed up with the status quo, for Anytype to built a sustainable future.

From my point of view, Anytype’s success will be measured based on a number of factors:
-The degree to which their team is able to build a sustainable financial model based on the number of users it has and their overhead costs.

  • The degree to which their features and “sovereignty focus” nudge others in this field to provide users with more privacy and control (beyond marketing).
    -The degree to which the tools and frameworks they are making available are adopted, developed and expanded by the broader open source community.

I am sure there are more.

I prefer slow and steady and thoughtful development even though I am eager for them to roll out all the features I want :grin:. And while there are a number of features I would like to be core to the app, I realize that when the API becomes available, it will change the type of development that is possible exponentially, and that those features could become a reality.

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Notion decided it was finally worth it to make local storage possible

i think it’s never happen, because of due to agreements with other companies and security, it is difficult to reformulate the structure of the application

Just want to chime in and say that just because companies say they are secure and advertise encryption and security, does not mean they actually are. I.e Lastpass. And even if they were doing everything right, security is an every evolving goal that is extremely difficult in “the cloud.”

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I like how positive people are. But I dread the thinking of having to migrate my notes. Thanks for this interesting discussion.

Well, Anytype is probably not going anywhere, so you could just stick with it.
Also, if the new app ends up using the open-sourced Anysync protocol, the migration might be quite easy.

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I didn’t find more info about Open source Anysync, what is that?

they switched protocols mid-flight. It will be open-sourced with the release.

Thanks for answering. But it’s not available to yet, right?

Yes, the open-sourcing is supposed to happen next month. You can check this town hall if you want more info about the sync protocol before that.

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I share the same worry from the beginning.
I’ve been on this community for 2-3 years now, and the progress seems way too slow.
We now have apps like Capacities and Affine, that are taking the same ideas, and just getting those further than Anytype, despite having started years later.
Capacities uses the same "everything is an object" framework, and Affine is coftrulycof open source, and in a year, they are getting incredible progress. They don’t have feature parity with Anytype yet, and lack mobile apps, but I mention that app, because I’ve read the argument that Anytype had to create the sync protocol from scratch. So did the Affine team. At this pace, they will have a more refined and powerful tool than Anytype in a year.
I’m being critical because I want to use Anytype, I want to start using it as my main productivity app. As my “Everything app” or, as they used to say “operating system for life”.
Yet basic stuff, like a web clipper and reminders, are nowhere to be seen, even though these have been mentioned as “high priority” for years.
I remember the clipper being mentioned on Telegram. Anton mentioned that the release might happen on September. I have no issue with missing self imposed deadlines, as it was clear that it might not be 100% possible, but the issue is that this was written ON AUGUST 2022! So the web clipper alone, is more than a year behind. And this goes on and on for a lot of things.
For a company that mentions the word “trust” a trillion times in their webpage, the fact that they always said that they would open source the platform, and that now it’s “source available” I have to say that feels like a knife on the back.
There’s also the fact that they are not making money from users. That is not sustainable, unless they are getting money from other sources, which might introduce a conflict of interests.
After all,

If you don’t pay for the product, you are the product.

Then there’s the “offline first” thing. Which it clearly is not.

I don’t know what will be the future of the app, but I’m worried, and getting a bit tired of waiting.

I can see you all writing that I’m ungrateful, that I should be patient, blah blah. But they are getting people in with future promises, a lot of which aren’t being kept. And yes, I want to pay for the product, mainly because of what I mentioned before.

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Well… I am not on Anytype enough time to chime in on the other points, but in which way is Anytype not “offline first” ? It has a local only account, the sync account does not need internet connection to work (only to sync), and even then, does not need a connection to Anytype’s servers.

I would say that it is very much “offline first”.

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I tried Affine and liked the idea. To be honest, I miss the built-in canvas functionality in Anytype.

Affine is in early development. Competition is a good thing and good for everyone. I’m sure there will be many more projects like this as the advent of AI and the need to store/aggregate information will only grow.

Now, most software uses AI as an auxiliary tool, but soon it will be the main tool. For that matter, wasting my time manually making beautiful movie/music/series collections is completely unnecessary. Automation/timesaving is the King. The rest is a hobby.

The direction is towards raising the level of productivity and most of the “clicking” we do now will fall away.

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I read your pain!

Yes, we’ve messed up our schedules many times, but we deliver. Being a developer of such a thing isn’t easy. If we were developing in the cloud, we could move several times faster, but it’s not aligned with how we see the future. Yes, there are new players like Affine and Capacities that move much faster, but they are constrained by the design decisions they made. Will they have full-fledged collaboration, native mobile clients, and full ownership over accounts in a year? I highly doubt it.

Different teams take different strategies, and for us, it took a long road to build the core, and we are still building it. But after we build it, we could move much faster in feature development and provide a far more superior experience and wider range of use-cases than any of these.

All these details you mention, like the web clipper and reminders, are just extremely hard to build on our architecture. And many of them are coming really soon; for example, the web clipper will come in the next release.

What do you have against our source-available license on clients? Its only limit is if you want to sell our software and make money off it! We can always open-source it if we feel we’ve reached self-sustainability. And we want to decide on the license together with our community! Until then, we’ve fully open-sourced only the ‘any sync’ and ‘any block’ protocols. Isn’t that enough of a contribution to this world? Isn’t that enough to gain trust?

We plan to introduce memberships in April, and it will be the first step towards self-sustainability.

With offline-first, you are just clearly wrong. You can use it offline only, and we will never charge you for that!

It’s always easy to judge when you don’t know and aren’t aware of all the details.

We are just continuing to work, and what we will bring to this world this year is just fantastic! Stay tuned!

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Thank you for the concerns you’ve raised!

First of all, yes, differentiation is key! Currently, we have a strong differentiation on the tech side, and our technology is not easy to create and replicate, even though we have open-sourced part of our stack. Our technology serves users with a product that grants them full autonomy and respects their fundamental digital freedoms. It’s not for everyone, but it is for those who care. We believe there are already tens of millions of people like this and that this number will continue to grow. It’s like how some people prefer electric cars, even though there are better gas-based cars out there.

Another differentiation, on the product level, is not fully realized yet, and it’s our focus for this year. It will be absolutely unique and you won’t find it in Notion or any other software. It will be less about productivity and more about knowledge and communications. It’s our big bet, and we hope to reveal more on this soon.

What I want to assure you is that we have ample resources to bring this and many other things to life, even if we don’t start to monetize immediately. However, we plan to provide our fans with memberships and our goal is to sustain ourselves by the end of 2025.

We are grateful for the opportunity to shape our product together with our community! Thank you and stay tuned!

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Thank you taking the time :slight_smile:

After having several discussions / conversations with team members I really don’t have any doubts :slight_smile:

And before anyone asks, no I don’t have any affiliation with the team

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