Mint and Intuit

posted by Jeff | Friday, September 18, 2009, 10:27 PM | comments: 0

37signals guy Jason Fried posted a rant about how annoyed he is that Mint sold out to Intuit. On the surface, I do see where he's coming from, as he has long championed the idea of independent, reasonable sized companies that are profitable. But where I take issue with his position is that he makes two assumptions I can't agree with.

The first is that the Mint product automatically becomes shit just because it's owned by Intuit. I'm not a huge fan (though I still use QuickBooks '99 for the business), but I don't see a reason to assume they're going to mess it up. The second assumption is that big, old business are ultimately evil and never do the right thing. Again, that's probably a reasonable generalization, but I think it paints the world in too broad of a stroke.

In the last ten years, I've worked for quite a few start-ups and small companies. I can say for the most part that all but one has generally let me down, and even the good one made some pretty poor decisions. Now I find myself actually wanting to work for a gigantic company, because I'm excited about what they do. I can see them making good decisions, and I want to be a part of that. Sometimes The Man can get it right.

Fried seems to hold the belief that there's a time limit on being a good company. That's ironic, since he seems to be making an argument for building great companies that change stuff and have a long-term strategy. What difference does it make if that's an older company? As someone who sometimes appears obsessed with sticking it to The Man, even I see this as silly.


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