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The 30-year-old Startup: How Intuit's Innovation Engine Thrives

Stocks in this article: INTU

Quicken, the legendary software that revolutionized personal finance management, was invented at a kitchen table. Today, that same kitchen table sits amid nearly two dozen of Intuit Inc.’s newest products and experiments unveiled at the company’s latest Innovation Gallery Walk. The display reflects Intuit’s ongoing commitment to innovation and its unparalleled success in moving from a tabletop to the cloud.

While Intuit (Nasdaq: INTU) is no longer a startup, it retains that startup mindset. And that mindset, combined with the ability to reinvent and transform itself along the way, makes this innovative company with more than $4 billion in annual revenue and 8,500 employees around the world stand out in the technology industry.

Intuit spotlighted more than 20 of its latest innovations at its Mountain View campus on Jan. 29, unveiling a glimpse into the future of tax preparation, payments and healthcare. These products are the outcome of purposeful innovation. They are the tangible outcome of the company’s strategy that has fueled Intuit’s continued growth through dramatic economic and technological changes.

That strategy has already paid off. As a result, Intuit has:

  • Doubled its customer base over the past five years, to 60 million.
  • Transformed its portfolio, with more than 45 million customers in the cloud.
  • Generated more than $100 million in fiscal 2012 revenue from products that didn’t exist three years ago.
  • Increased its number of patents by 10-fold over just five years ago.

Intuit’s approach to innovation has two core competencies that differentiate the company and allow it to deliver solutions that truly change people’s lives.

  • Customer-driven innovation, which is a mindset and methodology to uncover important, unsolved problems.
  • Design for Delight, a process that helps create better ways to deliver what’s most important to customers. This approach to innovation creates an entrepreneurial environment where small teams collaborate to delight customers and deliver awesome product experiences.

“By giving our employees the freedom to experiment, we are able to bring groundbreaking innovations that solve important customer problems to market faster than ever,” said Brad Smith, Intuit president and chief executive officer. “Our strong performance is boosted by the secular tailwind that we're riding toward a connected services economy, backed by continuous innovation and strong execution.”

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