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Intuit and Quicken

January 4th, 2006 · No Comments

The New York Times writes:

Quicken is thriving once again. The unit’s revenue grew faster in the most recent quarter, up 24 percent, than the company average of 20 percent, a clip that has made the unit a model of innovation. It also adds to Mr. Bennett’s growing reputation as one of the smartest chief executives in Silicon Valley.

How to explain the remarkable turnaround? Intuit did something that runs counter to what software companies typically do. First, it stripped Quicken down and made it simple for users. Then, Intuit began pushing beyond personal finance, with new products for managing medical bills and investment properties.

Intuit’s operating margins, the highest in the industry after Microsoft, have grown to 27 percent from 14.6 percent in 2000, said Glenn Greene, a securities analyst with Think Equity partners.

In short, Mr. Bennett was able to invigorate a company whose corporate culture had prevented it from making hard decisions about people and products, said William A. Sahlman, professor of entrepreneurialism at the Harvard Business School. “It turned out he was a spectacular success because he got the company out of a cultural logjam.”

Tags: Software

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