How Intuit Turned Feedback into a Comeback

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Pearson Education, Feb 1, 2010 - Business & Economics - 25 pages

At Intuit Inc., the path to innovation and domination in financial software has been paved with customer feedback. To ferret out problems and test progress on products in development, the company sends its engineers out for face-to-face encounters with consumers and entrepreneurs. But the company has struggled to adapt its business from software sold on disks to online financial services. Perhaps the most valuable feedback: Intuit relies on volunteers for improvements and new product ideas.

For almost an hour, the 14 Canadian entrepreneurs–owners of businesses ranging from a bakery to a hip-hop clothing manufacturer–sat around a table venting about their problems. “Finding distribution channels,” they said, and “partnership and collaboration,” and “cutting costs,” and “the time suck of social media.” Running the session in Toronto in October 2009 was a slight, professorial, 57-year-old Silicon Valley legend named Scott Cook. He had assembled the group because he wanted to hear their problems first-hand so that Intuit, the business he founded, could come up with profitable solutions.

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Over the past 25 years, New Word City’s writers and editors–New York Times, Newsweek, Time, Harper’s, and Wall Street Journal veterans–have turned out some of the bestselling business books of all time. Working closely with clients, the New Word City team has produced more than 70 books, of which more than 7 million copies have been sold. These titles have logged more than 500 weeks on The New York Times, BusinessWeek, and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists. Now, in a new series of digital shorts, they are telling the stories of some of the business world’s most inspiring and instructive leaders and companies.

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