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.
After building most of Mint.com's prototype by myself, I talked to anyone and everyone I knew about Mint. It's counter-intuitive, because you might fear someone will steal your idea, but it's the only way to make connections, be sure you're on the right track, and provide a solution for an audience
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 start
The original idea before Mint was a life and goal planning system I called Carpe Viva. The idea was that all of life's goals, from buying a house, getting an MBA, or learning Spanish could be quantified in both time and money.
Most people don't know what they spend in every single area, but they know they have a problem in particular areas.
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 health
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.
Observe the world around you everything you do, and especially everything you hate to do.
You don't 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.
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.
Be careful not to start a company that really belongs as a feature of another company, like the 25 Twitter URL shortener companies out there. Pick a real problem that's here to stay.
Tell your idea to whomever will listen, and you'll get valuable market feedback before writing a single line of code.
Mint's business model became, 'We'll go for free, and then we'll 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, and Mint figures all tha
Carefully calculate the potential size of your market to make sure you can grow. Before starting Mint, I knew that there were about 20 million people who had purchased 'Quicken' or 'Microsoft Money' over the years, and 80 million people using online banking in the U.S. alone.
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
Solve a real problem and the world is yours.
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.
If you think about photo sharing sites, the mobile photo sharing and social, there's no competitive advantage, there's no obvious business model, so I never play with anything like that. I avoid it like the plague.
Tell anyone and everyone your idea without fear they're going to steal it.
People do make judgments of trust on appearance - in the real world and online.
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.
I wanted to build a tool for my generation: people 20 to 40 who don't want to spend time balancing a checkbook or checking multiple financial institutions' websites. Mint does just that, giving comprehensive, quick insights into a user's finances from their computer, mobile phone and/or tablet.
The other big factor in building trust quickly is site design quality. Mint.com has one of the best graphic designers ever (Jason Putorti) - he cares about every pixel, all the fonts, all the transparencies and effects. And that shows instantly. People do make judgments of trust on appearance - in t
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 ar
Mint is designed to put your finances on auto-pilot. Whether you log in or not, it will send you a weekly summary of your balances and biggest purchases, and how your investments and budgets are doing, along with sending you alerts on unusual spending and low balances.
I've actually started a number of businesses in my career. So I'm 28 currently, but when I was about 16, I started building Websites, and that's how I put myself through school. I went to Duke with a degree in electrical engineering, computer science, computer engineering, and then to Princeton.
Because Mint has access to all of your bank accounts and credit cards, we can detect fraud or unusual spending patterns faster than your bank, then send an email or text message alert to users.
I've been spending quite a bit of time in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and the U.K. as Mint is expanding globally, and I'm personally doing much of the research and business deals to make them happen.
I'm 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, and I th
At Mint, we developed five pending patents on our technology, ranging from categorization to the Ways to Save system that calculates how much a new financial product would save a user given their present financial situation.