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Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2009 at 9:58 am

If You Could Spend the Day…

By Bryan Eisenberg
February 11th, 2009

…With any one person that you think could help your business, who would it be? Why? What would you discuss? What would you hope would come out of that meeting?

I can think of many people who I would enjoy spending the day with, but the person I would choose may be a bit obscure for most people. I would like to spend the day with Scott Cook. For those of you who don’t know who he is, Cook is the founder of Intuit, the billion dollar+ company behind Quicken and QuickBooks. A gifted entrepreneur, who took listening to his customers to the next level with Intuit’s “Follow Me Home” program. Intuit is a wonderful organization built on customer centricity, continuous improvement and enjoys a rich data driven culture.

An Inc magazine article writes about Cook:

“…Cook knew that if he and his company could just be alert and creative and open-minded enough, then making it so was possible, because would-be customers could tell them how.

He was right. So right, in fact, that during Intuit’s second decade, Cook says, customers “invented our mid-market business before we even saw the possibility.” Entrepreneurs had begun using Quicken to run the finances of their companies, modifying the program to suit their needs. When Intuit finally caught on, it listened again and created Quickbooks, a business finance program that now accounts for 15% of the company’s sales. (Small-business products and services as a whole account for 45%.)

And here’s where it can be argued that the impact of Cook’s work has been exponentially greater than merely what’s reflected in the billion-dollar business he’s built–that by pioneering the tools that made financial management possible for so many individuals and company builders, he and Intuit taught an entire country important things about business, and for many people made entrepreneurship itself possible, too.”

Avinash Kaushik (it would be great if he could join us too on this day, but that’s cheating) always speaks so highly of his former boss, Scott Cook. I think Scott could help me learn in a day what it takes to grow a software business. That’s especially important now with  FutureNow’s new business model that features OnTarget software-as-a-service. The goal of OnTarget is to make website optimization simple for every business the way QuickBooks did for bookkeeping.

Who would you choose to spend the day with?

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Comments (9)

  1. I would say God first.

    After that I would say the top/best Persuasion architect at FutureNow Inc.

  2. I cannot stress enough the enormous influence Scott Cook has on Intuit and its products and services. Customers first is not just a mantra to him. He made sure the company lived that.

    He is a fantastic speaker as well, if you ever get a chance to hear him.

    -Avinash.

  3. You, Bryan

  4. I would choose Bryan and Avinash (though he has already spent time with us), so that they could help with instilling an online optimization/testing culture.

  5. Eli Goldratt – http://www.goldratt.com/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eliyahu_M._Goldratt

    TOC (Theory of Constraints) is extremely powerful strutured way to look at most any problem and come up with a real solution.

  6. hmm…I’d like to see the cost that it take to spend the day with a number of people, then make the decision. Avinash, Bryan…how much does it cost to hire you for a full day?

  7. I would be grateful if I can spend a day with you and just learn some quick tips for our web business.

  8. Matt Cutts @ Google

  9. Very informative blog! Thanks.

    YourNetBiz

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Bryan Eisenberg, founder of FutureNow, is a professional marketing speaker and the co-author of New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling books Call to Action and Waiting For Your Cat to Bark and Always Be Testing. You can friend him on Facebook or Twitter.

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