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Inside Intuit: How the Makers of Quicken Beat Microsoft and Revolutionized an Entire Industry Hardcover – September 4, 2003
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The authors have done an outstanding job of building on that potentially fascinating subject matter by successfully capturing the key elements of how Intuit has continued to succeed as a business model innovator through four CEOs. I was especially pleased to see that the book captures the values that led to this innovation, the organizational and process methods used to stimulate and pursue the innovation, and the motivations of the key innovators.
In addition, the book moves down into the organization to capture the thoughts and emotions of many of the Intuit employees as it moved from its P&G style focus on customer needs to a broad-based expansion through acquisitions to a GE-style disciplined approach to achieve performance in key areas.
In fact, this book was so fine that I had to ask myself what was missing before I could spot any flaws. The only area where the book is a little light is in describing the details of how Intuit's software development changed over time, and what the lessons were. Now, don't mistake my point. There's plenty on that subject (especially when Intuit was a start-up), but there could have been more . . . if this book were to become a case history source on software engineering.
But no book can be everything to everyone, and currently there are few books that explain continuing business model innovation through generations of senior management. So Inside Intuit becomes a must read for those who want to master this critical leadership and management task.Read more ›
Even Intuit's missteps were instructive. Customers repeatedly proclaimed that if there were retirement planning software out there, they would use it, but when Intuit provided it, it found that customers, as they do with the more legal aspects of estate planning like wills and trusts, avoid confronting the inevitable.
While not written as dramatically as technology thrillers like Kidder's "Soul of a New Machine,"or Po Bronson's works, "Inside Intuit" benefits from the authors' "inside" experience, and they take the reader to both sides of sometimes contentious inside issues, like the Microsoft/Intuit merger that almost occurred in the mid-1990s, or the lack of success of a CEO in the late 1990s.
I positively recommend this book, not only as an entertaining read, but more importantly, as an instructive one. Former Dotcommers would do well to read why enthusiasm and hard work were not the only requirements for success -- knowing what your customer *needs," and satisfying those needs, is vital, too.
I remember the first time I met Scott Cook. Leo Redmond, at the time managing the Intuit Supplies Group, and I had just finished lunch in Palo Alto. As we drove back to his office, we talked about Quicken and how it was the second product I bought for my first computer in early 1989 (the first was Sim City). Leo said that he'd like me to tell Scott about it. Scott was excited - "You have five years of Quicken data?" He told me to install the latest Quicken beta as soon as I got home - he wanted to know how it handled large data files (mine was over two megabytes at the time). That was nearly ten years ago.
What an experience! Having been hired by Evy Chipman in late 1988 and working closely with every top-echelon executive on the ChipSoft side (Gaylord, Harris, Gleicher, Lane), I never thought I'd be so intimidated - stammering - as I chatted briefly with Scott in his office.
Reading Inside Intuit brings you into Scott's (and many others) office - you are in the presence of greatness when you read this book.
of Intuit. From the time that Scott Cook came up
with the vision that Quicken would change the way
people did their finances through today, Inside
Intuit captures the essential details of how Intuit
went from a small Silicon Valley start-up and grew
into a multi-billion dollar company. As a former
Intuit employee for nine years, it was exciting to
relive the experience. Taylor and Schroeder did a
wonderful job putting the pieces together to make
Inside Intuit a great read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Really enjoyable, easy read that recounts the history of Intuit from the very early days through the dotcom bust. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Kindle Customer
Not fun reading, but Intuit has had a lot of success and as a engineering leader they have a unique approach that you might want to consider.Published on March 11, 2013 by davepick
I was quite surprised to run across this book which painted Intuit as a super company. This is one of those fawning hero-worship business books which various cheerleader types -... Read morePublished on July 7, 2012 by Doctor.Generosity
"Inside Intuit: How the Makers of Quicken Beat Microsoft and Revolutionized an Entire Industry" is a digestible overview of an innovative company. Read morePublished on January 25, 2011 by F. Tyler B. Brown
The authors recount the fascinating story of Intuit's rise to become one of the most successful software companies in the world. Read morePublished on August 30, 2010 by Pascal Finette
I have been a Quicken and TurboTax user since both products were first introduced......and I have come close several times to switching to another tax preparation product due to... Read morePublished on October 18, 2009 by Artephius (.
I did enjoy reading this book and didn't know how tumultuous a start the company had. The middle starts to drag and I had to read it in small bites to get through it. Read morePublished on September 5, 2009 by Don V