Intuit buys Mint

Finance software giant Intuit is buying personal finance startup Mint.com for $170million. Personally, I wasn’t too happy about this. Jason Fried makes a valid point about this:

Mint was a key leader of the next generation of game changers. And now it’s property of Intuit — the poster-child for the last generation. What a loss. Is that the best the next generation can do? Become part of the old generation? How about kicking the shit out of the old guys? What ever happened to that?

First thing I did when I heard about the deal? Delete my Mint.com account.

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What other people have to say:

What is wrong with Intuit buying Mint? Mint had a sweet deal with Yoodle and all they did was design and market a pretty UI.. Mint would have been way out of their league if it would have tried to do anything other than that (e.g have a secure and easy way to shuffle money around in bank accounts, managing your shares/stocks through a common interface etc,taxes etc).
This way Intuit can yank out yoodle, substitute their own backend engine and extend Mint in ways the original devs would have found extremely hard. Also Intuits financial model was/is more lucrative..
That being said, I too wouldn’t have sold out the whole company.. but would’ve partnered up.

There’s nothing wrong with acquisitions. Any good market requires a change-of-guard once in a while. Mint (in my opinion) had the potential to be a huge player in a few years. Instead, they (I’m guessing the VCs who wanted an early out) went with the “cash-out” option, which hinders innovation in the long term. Also, I’m ok with a little company hosting my data and making good use of it, but I’m not happy with Intuit being able to just pay cold cash for my private information.

I agree with your partnership idea. Also, I’m assuming you meant yodlee.com (extra “e”!).

About the author:

Arnab Nandi is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at The Ohio State University. You can read more about him here.


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