Intuit thrives on continual entrepreneurship

August 24, 2010 | Robert Scoble

Scott Cook is co-founder of Intuit, the company behind QuickBooks, Quicken, and TurboTax. He now serves as the chairman of Intuit’s Executive Committee, and is a mentor to entrepreneurs at the company.

In this video, we sit down to discuss the making of great corporate leaders. Cook says that for any company to continue to flourish and thrive, it can’t rely on its first product, its first customers, its first employees. Continual entrepreneurship is necessary to reengineer success. “Entrepreneurship isn’t easy,” says Cook. “But the internet, mobile phones, and app stores now enable far more entrepreneurship at a far more rapid scale, so more ideas can be tried, winnowed, iterated, and win. It’s a thrilling time.”

Cook is also focused on entrepreneurship in the developing world. Intuit has become active in India, creating an entrepreneurial center to hire, train, and develop Intuit employees there, with the hope they will become the entrepreneurs who invent new businesses for the developing world.

That’s why Cook carries around a bare-bones mobile phone, in addition to his smartphone: it’s the phone most of the world uses. Right now it’s just a phone, and you can’t get information on it—but Cook’s working on changing that. “It will either be a big hit or a total bust. This could change life for 4 billion people.”

More info:
Intuit web site:
Intuit profile on CrunchBase:

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Gilbert Wilson August 25, 2010 at 10:26 am

Please pass on the message to Mr. Cook that the multiuser’s network architecture of QB is completely unreliable because it’s design is flawed.

Instead of a traditional server-client system, QB’s “server” program (Quickbooks Database Server Manager) doesn’t actually act as a server for client connections. Instead, the first client computer that connects to a QB DB file over the network facilitates all connections to the company files. This has the unfortunate effect that if that first person should disconnect from the network (restart their computer, leave for the day with their laptop, turn their computer off) it kicks everyone out of the company files they are working in. No matter how many times I tell my clients that they need to be aware of this problem they continually lose their work and call for help.

This design is fundamentally flawed and needs to be fixed.

The accounting and HR industries are routinely the worst pieces of software for a system administrator to handle because the majority of them do not conform to industry standards for networking and file system permissions. Yet another example is that no piece of software, certainly not something as critical as HR or accounting software, should require the end user to have administrator rights to their local machine to use it.

Barrett August 24, 2010 at 12:08 pm

What a neat guy. Watching this video made me realize why Quickbooks is so strongly positioned in the marketplace and why so many businesspeople have so much trust in it. Scott is genuinely interested in helping entrepreneurs succeed. His passion is evident here and in his products. Great video, and a great company.

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