I wake this morning with a sense of disappointment that SXSW interactive is over. After seeing thousands of faces, reading thousands of tweets, and seeing a ton of panels, my brain is full, ready and inspired for action. Yesterday’s panel with Aaron Patzer (@apatzer) and Jason Putorti (@putorti) was one of the most intriguing panels I had the pleasure to attend.
The genius known as Aaron Patzer started Mint.com, the free personal finance software you probably know and love. It started with Aaron sitting in a room for 7 months crunching out some algorithms. The main purpose of these algorithms was to classify financial transactions. I’ll spare the details of which Aaron excitedly discussed (which goes something like this), but the main accomplishment was the ability to classify up to 85% of transactions when the competitors were only categorizing 45%. He also created a new business model which provides the service for free and uses insight on the data to provide targeted offers to users.
Despite all this brilliance, Mint.com was hurting in UX . Enter Jason Putorti, the genius behind the design. While this panel seeked to put each other at ends, it was clearly a collaborative relationship between the two. The power of this collaboration of engineering and design is clear: Mint.com was sold to Intuit for $170M.