Intuit, the maker of money management software, Quicken, is accusing an emerging competitor, Mint, of making false claims. Mint claims that it has gone from 3,000 new users a day to 850,000 users in a matter of months.
Intuit takes issue with Mint’s definition of “users”. Comscore reports that Mint had about 400,000 monthly visitors as December 2008. I am surprised that Mint has that many users because when you sign up, the application asks you for your banking information and asks you to link to your banking account. At that point, I closed my tab as I am sure most people do.
Also, a brief interaction I had with a senior management employee at Mint does not give me too much confidence in the company. The employee presented information that was false. I pointed that out to the employee who responded with “Well we are a startup you know …“. Had I not had access to this information I would have believed the employee.
As for Intuit, the company is stuck in the 1970s (it was founded in the 80s). The CEO is busy trying to remake the company by implementing stuff that is pure PR – like 20% play time for engineers like at Google – a little research would have shown him that it is a gross exaggeration and merely a recruiting tactic used by Google. Also, the company could not admit to laying off employees when indeed they were.
However, Intuit’s Quicken Online is a great product and Mint’s product is Web 2.0 fad. You can get similar services for free on Etrade, Schwab, Fidelity Online, Wells Fargo, and more.intuit, mint.com, online services