I’m sure most of our listeners remember or even still use Mint.com. I have vivid memories of the company as it basically kicked off a Fintech revolution and it was such a major success story. In the span of two years, it launched at a TechCrunch event and was acquired by Intuit for $170M. This was back in 2009, about a year after Sequoia Capital published its famous RIP good times presentation.
Lofty valuations and unicorns were not a common thing back then and this exit was a homerun at the time. I still remember the blog post about the exit from Josh Kopelman of First Round Capital, who was an early investor in the company. It mentioned how Aaron was a member of the First Round Capital blank check club, which they did follow through on that promise as an investor in his other companies.
Looking back, there were 3 reasons why Mint.com stood out for me - 1. It was a design first type of product which was not common especially in the financial services industry. 2. It was free for consumers to use, so they had to figure out an alternative way to generate revenue. 3. It automatically pulled in your financial data and categorized transactions, which is something that we just take for granted now.
Since Mint.com, Aaron has gone on to build other companies and his latest startup is called Vital. The company is building software for care teams & patients, with a focus on the Emergency Room (ER) experience. Vital uses AI/ML to transform the care experience, increase patient & staff satisfaction, and increase revenue for their clients.
In this episode of our podcast, we cover:
- Why having a “fail fast” mentality may not be the best way to build a company if you are solving a really complex problem.
- Aaron’s full background story including examples as an entrepreneur and a builder from an early age. He even had a business called getawebsite.com and yes, he owned that domain, which he later sold.
- The full lifecycle story of Mint.com with lots of great stories and lessons learned along the way.
- How Vital is disrupting the healthcare industry and emergency room experience for consumers.
- The difference between building a consumer product versus an enterprise solution in the healthcare industry.
- Advice on building the initial foundation team for a startup.
- And so much more.