I consider myself an inventor first and an entrepreneur second. In real life my hero is Thomas Edison. He was a great inventor but also an outstanding entrepreneur who was able to sell his inventions to the masses. He didnt just develop the light bulb he invented the entire electric grid and power distribution system.
The typical workday particularly in startup mode is from nine to six or nine to seven then you take a two-hour break to work out and eat dinner. By that time youre relaxed and then you work until midnight or one A.M. If there was no break with physical activity
I think sports and bodybuilding were the only things that saved me from getting beat up. People are not pleased for whatever reason when you can answer all the questions in class. If not for the respect I got from track cross-country wrestling and bodybuilding it would have been a disaster.
Ive been spending quite a bit of time in Canada New Zealand Australia and the U.K. as Mint is expanding globally and Im personally doing much of the research and business deals to make them happen.
One third of the economy goes through QuickBooks in terms of businesses invoicing other businesses. Each invoice contains a connection between vendors suppliers and customers and also the price of that connection. Representing the payment graph is huge opportunity and something no other company can do.
Im typically a just drink water kind of guy. I was a bodybuilder in high school so I used to – food to me was there are this many grams of carbohydrates and proteins and I need these micronutrients in order to grow and be fit and I ate in order to live and not live in order to eat …
I actually dont invest in anything that is social mobile deals or ad networks simply because those are areas where there are so many players and so many other smart people in the space I feel like I dont have a competitive advantage. So I tend to go after things that are e-commerce like healthcare.
At 16 I started a web development business and had clients from the Netherlands Caribbean and across the country – none of whom knew my age because I could conduct all my business with a phone scanner and the Internet.
I know it sounds weird but the food that I eat it doesnt make a big difference and it never has. So Ive saved a ton of money not buying a lot of alcohol not going out to restaurants too much. So and its part of a social activity more than anything else.
If you think about photo sharing sites the mobile photo sharing and social theres no competitive advantage theres no obvious business model so I never play with anything like that. I avoid it like the plague.
I always knew I wanted to be a technologist so I went to Duke and got a degree in computer science and electrical engineering. Really I thought my goal in life was to be an inventor a problem solver so I thought I needed a Ph.D. to be good at inventions but it turns out that you dont.
After building most of Mint.coms prototype by myself I talked to anyone and everyone I knew about Mint. Its counter-intuitive because you might fear someone will steal your idea but its the only way to make connections be sure youre on the right track and provide a solution for an audience broader than yourself.
Whenever I see a tree that is climbable it must be climbed. Sometimes when Im on a run Ill just run up a tree jump on a branch and swing off. My favorite tree in Saratoga gets me a good 75 feet up.
Before Mint.com I was a long-time user of Microsoft Money and Intuits Quicken. Both were powerful tools loaded with features and functionality around taxes investment budgeting – too feature-laden in fact. They took hours to set up and an hour a week to maintain.
The start-up life kept me busy and surfaced the problem of not being able to stay on top of my personal finances which led me to invent Mint.com. I was working 80-hour weeks and had done enough preliminary work and research to know I had a big idea: To make money management effortless and automated.
The way you dress or the car you drive or what you spend is to impress other people with how I guess successful and rich you are. But youre not and you shouldnt and who gives a damn what other people think anyway. So that mentality is very destructive.
I wanted to build a tool for my generation: people 20 to 40 who dont want to spend time balancing a checkbook or checking multiple financial institutions websites. Mint does just that giving comprehensive quick insights into a users finances from their computer mobile phone and/or tablet.
Kevin Systrom of Instagram used to work for us as a consultant in the early days of Mint. I knew him a long time ago. Maybe I could have gotten in there. But with photo sharing I dont know if theres an obvious business model. I dont think theres a competitive sustainable advantage.
Ive actually started a number of businesses in my career. So Im 28 currently but when I was about 16 I started building Websites and thats how I put myself through school. I went to Duke with a degree in electrical engineering computer science computer engineering
If you pay your credit card off every month get a rewards card. One that gives you airline miles or that will give you 1 percent cash back at least on every purchase.
You dont start a company because you want to be an entrepreneur or the fame and glory that comes along with it. You become an entrepreneur and you create a company to solve a real problem. And by real problem I mean a problem that is going to exist down the line.
When I was 8 or 9 I started using bulletin board systems which was the precursor to the Internet where youd dial into… a shared system and shared computers. Ive had an email address since the late 80s when I was 8 or 9 years old and then I got on the Internet in 93 when it was first starting …
If you look on Amazon – if you do a search for personal finance there are literally 20000 books written on personal finance and theres no real reason for it. I mean personal finance is pretty simple.
In the first three years of Mint from when it was founded to when it was sold I can honestly say that in a sustainable way I couldnt have worked any harder on it.
I have always thought of myself as an inventor first and foremost. An engineer. An entrepreneur. In that order. I never thought of myself as an employee. But my first jobs as an adult were as an employee: at IBM and then at my first start-up.
Mints business model became Well go for free and then well find these savings opportunities for you. You know better interest rate on your credit cards when should you consolidate your student loans when does it mathematically make sense to refinance your mortgage