Startup Lessons from Intuit

Pat Fitzsimmons, a software entrepreneur (founder of  HubSpot). Here he has written a interesting artical for budding entrepreneurs. This artical is inspired by Intuit story.

Here is a quick summary :

1)    Business skills and technical skills are equally important.  

2)   Learn from non-technology businesses.

3)     Your competitor is not other companies, but the way that things are done now.

4)   Talk to as many potential customers as you can, from the very beginning. 

5)   Focus your product on the absolute essential user needs. 

6)  Even future billion dollar companies will teeter on the brink of defeat.  

7)  Do right by your customers

I really like the last point.Success breeds arrogance and arrogance decrease our ability to listen to others.In bussiness listening is a very important and critical skill.You have to keep your eyes open to listen from customers that includes suppilers,vendors,end customers and staff.  Intuit is a great success story becoz they listend to their customers.

Disaster struck.  Customers from across the country were calling in complaining that the latest version of Quicken was freezing when they were trying to save their data to a floppy disk.   Intuit decided that all 20,000 customers needed a new version, and needed it as soon as humanly possible.  In the days before the Internet, that meant creating 20,000 disks in three days.  That was 8,000 more than their supplier could provide.  So the entire staff got to work, gerry-rigging computers into the positions where they could copy disks using both their fingers and their toes.   After that came a massive envelope stuffing operation.  Within a week, they mailed out 20,000 new disks to all their customers.  Their customers loved the rapid response.  Their customer satisfaction was actually higher than before the bug occurred.”

Last but not the least Intuit is great counter point to those who think only technical people can find a software company.

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