Wesabe vs. Mint: Reasons why Wesabe failed by jgn on Monday, October 4, 2010 in Technology

From the founder, emphasis added:

Mint focused on making the user do almost no work at all, by automatically editing and categorizing their data, reducing the number of fields in their signup form, and giving them immediate gratification as soon as they possibly could; we completely sucked at all of that. Instead, I prioritized trying to build tools that would eventually help people change their financial behavior for the better, which I believed required people to more closely work with and understand their data. My goals may have been (okay, were) noble, but in the end we didn't help the people I wanted to since the product failed. I was focused on trying to make the usability of editing data as easy and functional as it could be; Mint was focused on making it so you never had to do that at all. Their approach completely kicked our approach's ass. (To be defensive for just a moment, their data accuracy -- how well they automatically edited -- was really low, and anyone who looked deeply into their data at Mint, especially in the beginning, was shocked at how inaccurate it was. The point, though, is hardly anyone seems to have looked.) http://blog.precipice.org/why-wesabe-lost-to-mint

Never underestimate the end user's disinterest in doing work to understand their data; or even the "value" of such work. As engineers, we want stuff to work right and be accurate. But guess what? A lot of users just wants the fuzzy bunny. There are plenty of products where this isn't true (and you'd think money management would be such a place), but watch your priorities around this!

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