Inside Intuit:  How the Makers of Quicken Beat Microsoft

and Revolutionized an Entire Industry

 

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Here's what people have to say about Inside Intuit:

Inside Intuit is a tale of missionaries, not mercenaries. It’s about a founding team that prevails through tenacity, frugality, and an obsession with the customer experience. It’s about great people who put the organization ahead of themselves and who embrace the mission and values articulated clearly and consistently by Intuit’s leaders. Through meticulous research, including scores of interviews with managers, executives, competitors, and ex-employees, the authors take you behind the scenes, from the trenches to the boardroom, immersing you in the struggles inside Intuit. 

One year after the news of Wall Street accounting scandals and the shocking deceit of the scumbag CEOs and CFOs at Enron and WorldCom, it is a pleasure to introduce you to what I believe will be an enduring business institution.  Companies like Intuit, and the story Inside Intuit, highlight the contrast between the best entrepreneurs have to offer and the rest.

—John Doerr, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

(Excerpt from John Doerr’s Foreword in Inside Intuit)

It's a scary thing having authors with complete access scrutinize your life's work.  What I feared most was inaccuracy...the bane of journalism that leads to so much disrespect of the writing profession.   I knew you two had the diligence and honor to strive for making the accurate "book of record".  You've triumphed at that. 

--Scott Cook, Intuit Co-Founder

Of all the stories and articles written about Intuit over the years, Inside Intuit is the first to get it right.  The authors took great pains to really understand what made Intuit the tremendous success it became, even though that story didn't "fit the mold" of the classic entrepreneurial success story.  In addition to recounting the history of Intuit, they make sure to include the important lessons that made Intuit successful, lessons that any budding entrepreneur can learn from and use.

—Tom Proulx, Intuit Co-Founder

Inside Intuit offers us the secrets behind Intuit's extraordinary success.  The insights into how Intuit trounced Microsoft alone are worth the price of the book!

—Andrea Butter, author of Piloting Palm and former VP of Marketing at Palm Computing

This important book doesn’t take any shortcuts in analyzing the building blocks of success. Taylor and Schroeder have written a fascinating blow-by-blow account of the thousand and one decisions that have made Intuit what it is. Highly readable, thorough, and extremely well researched, Inside Intuit is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand success in Silicon Valley.

—Emanuel Rosen, author of The Anatomy of Buzz

Inside Intuit is more than the history of a start-up that grew to dominate a major software category. It is a blueprint of success for entrepreneurs and investors who want to build great businesses in difficult environments.

—Roger McNamee, cofounder, Silver Lake Partners and Integral Capital Partners

Inside Intuit is a very entertaining book. Any entrepreneur at heart will enjoy and learn from the story of how Scott Cook and Tom Proulx faced so much adversity and came back from the brink of disaster to build a very successful, highly admired Silicon Valley company. Readers can learn many lessons from both Intuit’s successes and mistakes. In the end, good ideas, hard work, determination, and strong values really do pay off!

—Dan Rudolph, Senior Associate Dean/Chief Operating Officer, Stanford Graduate School of Business

I was thrilled to read the inside story of how Intuit was born and raised. I’ve always admired Intuit’s strict attention to customer needs and feedback. Now I have a much better idea of how that culture was created.

—Stewart Alsop, General Partner, New Enterprise Associates

Kathy Schroeder and Suzanne Taylor have written a lively, complete, and well balanced history of Intuit.

—Eric Dunn, former Intuit CFO, CTO, and Fellow

What Inside Intuit offers is a straightforward, if not dramatic, portrait of a company in a constant state of crisis or change brought about by shifts in the software industry, software bugs, new products, acquisition decisions good and bad, and changes in top management.

And, of course, for Microsoft-phobes, it offers interesting details about one of the few times that Bill Gates came in number two.

--Knowledge@Wharton, November 5, 2003

Intuit didn't slay the dragon, speaking metaphorically, but the dragon sure went away grumbling.

The story of Intuit, the software company famous for its financial products like Quicken, started in a one-room office in Palo Alto in 1983. That's not quite the same, or as famous, as the Addison Street garage where Bill Hewlett and David Packard started their company, but it's a pretty good story in its own right.

It's a story of perseverance against long odds, of surviving the efforts of Microsoft to defeat Intuit and then buy the company, and of not just having the right idea but the right way to develop and improve it.

At the low point, Intuit was down to four unpaid employees and the company had $51 in its checking account.

Intuit had $1.36 billion in revenue last year, and Bill Gates still doesn't own it.

"Inside Intuit" is a corporate history with a sense of drama, written from a sympathetic viewpoint since one of the co-authors, Suzanne Taylor, is a former Intuit manager.

But "Inside Intuit" isn't a postcard to the company, since the book explores mistakes that were made, strife within the management ranks, criticism of key people, and the fact this wasn't just a happy walk in the park for the company to achieve success.

Taylor, of Menlo Park, and co-author Kathy Schroeder of Palo Alto have written a book that explains how an idea started at a kitchen table turned into what would be one of the leading software companies in the world.

--Palo Alto Weekly, November 5, 2003

 

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