The sale of

Last week the personal finances website was sold for $170 million to Intuit. The company was started by Aaron Patzer, age 25 at the time, who discusses his entrepreneurship in an interview with Patzer and remind me of the entrepreneurship of Facebook which we just discussed. But unlike Facebook, sold its business after two years where as FB appears to be angling to be "the next Google" - a supergiant, hands-in-everything internet platform.


  1. Actually the practical approach of is quite different from Facebook. Patzer says in his interview that his only goal was to solve a practical problem that people were having: managing their personal finances was too difficult with existing software.

    I love that he built the most intuitive design interface possible to solve that problem and then, once he'd emerged as the champion of the personal finance space, sold the business.

  2. Also, the venture capitalist who initially invested in has an interesting blog about detailing some of the successes of Patzer as an entrepreneur

  3. I actually find it interesting that the interview regarding his entrepeneurship is significantly more relevant that what actually does.

    Lots of rambled thoughts…
    1) This reminds me of the Goldman Sachs article about taking tech companies public way too early to inflate the stock market in general. I’m not making a comparison…it just reminded me of that.
    2) is a great website name. Simple, and indirectly related to money. I wonder if the site has been around so long before all the domain names were taken or if they paid a good amount for it. Good investment either way.
    3) I get the impression that Aaron Patzer was always looking for some entrepreneurial idea to build up and sell or take public. I think it is more coincidence he created this specific service.
    4) I now want to learn a lot more about companies starting out small with the plan of eventually being bought out or going public. Why does Google buy Youtube? Why does Facebook wait? Why does Craigslist never do it? Why do it early? Maybe I’ll go get an MBA to learn all these things.
    5) I’m pretty sure this is good for the economy… VC firms funding small companies helps America grow.

  4. Those are absolutely tremendous questions in #4... I am going to be looking for answers to those questions everytime I read an entrepreneur article in Business Week or the Economist now.

    On item #5, I found it interesting that all the VC firms passed on Patzer until FRC finally took a chance on him. Shows that there are probably tons of ideas that can't hack it, but all it takes is a little push of $325k initial investment to get the ball rolling on a good one... then once FRC saw their VC was being put to good use and the business would work, they doled out 8x that amount in subesequent buy-ins.

  5. PS I'd just like to note how absolutely fantastic the GUI for is - it took me 4 minutes to sign up, and get all my financials into its database - pure magic. On that alone, I think I'll be visiting this site often in the future...

  6.'s beautiful interface has inspired me to write a dedicated post and link back to our discussion on Simplicity as it related to Craigslist...