Innovate like Intuit - Customer-centric, grassroots, connected | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? |

"Innovation doesn't have to be hard to master - a great case study with Intuit, the customer-centric, grassroots innovative TurboTax folks."

It's inspiring to read how Intuit structures in ways to understand its customers, deeply.  We're TurboTax customers, by the way.


To grow faster than your market, you need to create more value. The essential business challenge is to create better products, less costly solutions, or more effective internal processes that results in better, faster or cheaper service.

Sounds easy, but when you call that “innovation,” many companies freeze up.

One company that excels at listening is personal-finance software giant Intuit Inc. of Mountain View, Calif. The $4-billion-a-year maker of QuickBooks and TurboTax has grown on grassroots innovation.

When Intuit founder Scott Cook was developing the program that became known as Quicken, his sister-in-law phoned hundreds of consumers to find out what they liked and disliked about managing their personal finances.

Cook learned:

  • 80% of consumers resented the time and paperwork required, so he vowed his product would save customers time. 
  • Quicken took off because it was simpler and easier to use than its competitors (which Cook dubbed the “47th-mover advantage”).
Cook also started to follow customers home; he and other staffers would sit at consumers’ kitchen tables and watch them pay their bills. This passion for field research still thrives at Intuit.