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 don't.

-Aaron Patzer
Aaron Patzer

Tell anyone and everyone your idea without fear they're going to steal it.

Aaron Patzer
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.
Aaron Patzer

When I was 8 or 9, I started using bulletin board systems, which was the precursor to the Internet, where you'd dial into... a shared system and shared computers. I've 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 out.

Aaron Patzer
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.
Aaron Patzer

I actually don't 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 don't have a competitive advantage. So I tend to go after things that are e-commerce, like healthcare.

Aaron Patzer
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 couldn't have worked any harder on it.
Aaron Patzer

I was 25 when I started Mint.com. I was looking to disrupt the banking industry and encourage people to trust their financial information with a startup they'd never heard of. I was a CEO no one had ever heard of, looking to hire the best people in engineering, marketing, business development, etc. I knew I needed to surround myself by the best. Aaron Patze

Aaron Patzer
Solve a real problem and the world is yours.
Aaron Patzer

I wanted a personal-finance tool for people who didn't want to be accountants: something you could set up in ten minutes and spend less than five minutes a week on. Mint is now that tool.

Aaron Patzer
One of my top tips for aspiring entrepreneurs: Tell everyone you know about your idea. This runs contrary to the instinct that most people have, because they're afraid someone is going to 'steal my ideal.' Ideas alone are worth very little; it's in the execution and market feedback that companies are made.