Intuit's founder Scott Cook spoke with TIME magazine’s Harry McCracken at the Startup Grind conference and shared what he has learned as an entrepreneur since founding the company more than 30 years ago. Cook also revealed some of the entrepreneurial tools created at Intuit, inspired by the work of Eric Ries, to help small teams use lean experimentation to create awesome products.
Organizations of any size can benefit by using them to find and solve important problems, from a solo entrepreneur, to a fledgling startup, to a small team in a large company.
The Portable Digital Music World
“The products stank,” Greg Joswiak, Apple's vice president of
iPod product marketing, told Newsweek.
Digital music players were either big and clunky or small and useless. Most were based on
fairly small memory chips, either 32 or 64 MB, which stored only a few dozen songs -- not much
better than a cheap portable CD player.
But a couple of the players were based on a new 2.5-inch hard drive from Fujitsu. The most popular
was the Nomad Jukebox from Singapore-based Creative. About the size of a portable CD player but
twice as heavy, the Nomad Jukebox showed the promise of storing thousands of songs on a
(smallish) device. But it had some horrible flaws: It used Universal Serial Bus to transfer songs
from the computer, which was painfully slow. The interface was an engineer special (unbelievably
awful) and it often sucked batteries dry in just 45 minutes.
Apple's team knew it could solve most of the problems plagued by the Nomad. Its FireWire
connector could quickly transfer songs from the computer to player -- an entire CD in a few
seconds; a huge library of MP3s in minutes.