Most hardworking Americans recognize this software giant’s name because it’s become widely known for its TurboTax software. Many of us have found it to be highly reliable, especially when we’re computing earnings and losses for our own businesses. Yet Intuit, first founded in 1983, continues to try and develop a host of new products and services.
Brief Look at The Company’s Early History
According to the British publication “The 50 Best Businesses,” Intuit was founded back in 1983. Although Tom Proulx was its initial developer, Brad Smith now serves as Intuit’s CEO. Over the years, Proulx has revealed that Intuit had its own share of early growing pains and lack of profits. He has said that back in 1983, the company’s employees had to work for nine straight months without paychecks. However, the company is now worth about $10 billion.
Proulx has said, “With Intuit, we had faith that if we could just keep this thing going, it’s got to work. We had the same feeling about Netpulse.” Proulx’s reputation was first built when he authored the highly popular Quicken software.
Additional Company Acquisitions Helped Intuit Grow
Since its earliest days, Intuit has understood that it must carefully partner with other companies (or acquire them) if it wants to truly grow. In 2009, Intuit bought Mint.com for the large sum of $170 million. According to “The 50 Best Businesses,” Intuit also now “facilitates mobile payments [as a result of its] acquisition of GoPayment.”
Learning All it Can About Its Customers in An Unusual Manner
Although some of us might question this approach, CEO Brad Smith has supported a “follow-me-home” project which has involved having Intuit staff members spend close to 10,000 hours observing where recent customers live and work – in order to gain a better idea of what types of new innovations might help the company better serve its clients.
Innovations that Motivate Staff Members to Create New Products
In 2011, Intuit began presenting its “Founder’s Innovation Award” which provides its recipient staff member with $1 million in both cash and stock. The first recipient of this award was soon named to serve as the company’s VP for Innovation.
Another incentive program Intuit workers compete for is the Scott Cook Innovation Award. If you’re employed by the company and win this honor, you’ll be sent on an “all-expenses-paid three-day trip anywhere in the United States” and you’ll be given up to 90 days to work on a company project that you personally create and design.
Intuit Likes to Maintain a “Startup Atmosphere”
According to CEO Brad Smith, Intuit “operates like a collection of startups, encouraging its employees to take risks and innovate, using Silicon Valley” types of meetings. For example, employees are encouraged to take part in “idea jams” and to come up with new ideas during what is appears to be company-paid “unstructured time.”
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