Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Review: Inside Intuit

SigO works there so I was able to get my hands on a free copy of this book. I was pointed to it by a friend of mine who is running a startup and aspiring to the same level of market penetration. I thought it would be a good case study.

It's a good general overview of the genesis of the company at Scott Cook's kitchen table and its metamorphosis into the ginormous organization that it is today. It is not, however, a scientific dissection of the business practices and processes that supported its growth, although they do address some of that. Mostly it's a rah-rah-sis-boom-bah book that is disturbingly detailed in some areas and annoyingly shallow in others.

It begins with fairly intricate descriptions of the opening staff, and as it moves through the company timeline devolves into name-dropping people and assuming that the reader knows who they are. The inconsistency is frustrating, but I guess if they stayed at the same level of detail the book would be 600 pages long.

Bottom line: Great idea - right time, right team. Whether or not the model can be replicated is questionable. They sure aren't going to tell you how to do it in this book, but I guess that would be giving away their competitive advantage.

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