ryan.sandridge.org

Intuit MUST Fail

Why is capitalism failing the personal finance software market?

I've been using Quicken since 1996. I'm a Mac guy, but Quicken for Mac was notoriously horrible back then, so I used Quicken for PC. I've heard reports of Quicken for Mac being better at times, and I haven't looked at it in years now (I suppose I'm about to). In 1996, Quicken for PC was decent; but not something I'd rave about.

Somewhere along the line, I was forced to upgrade my version of Quicken (I think to Quicken 2000). Quicken 2000 was on par with whatever they were calling Quicken in 1996. That is to say, it ws decent, but nothing to rave about.

Since then, they have sunset Quicken every three years. When this happened in 2003, I was angry that I was being forced again to upgrade, but I didn't bother looking for an alternative (other than looking again at Quicken for Mac, and deciding against it). Then 2006 rolls around, and I'm so angry that I spent a good amount of time looking for an alternative to Quicken. In fact, pretty much the only time I use Windows is when I need to use Quicken, so I was motivated to find something decent for the Mac. After wasting many hours trying various products, I came to the conclusion that I still needed Quicken, so I bought Quicken 2006.

After I purchased Quicken 2006, I discovered that the usability had taken a significant downturn. Who the hell is writing this software? Who decided it was a good idea to make the Security field only 8 characters wide (which contains things like "American Bond Fund of America Class F1")?!?? Despite having lowered my productivity with this version, I stuck with it... I learned how to work around its shortcomings.

Now they just sunset that version, and I bought Quicken 2009 (this time upgrading to the Home & Business edition of the product). What a piece of crap! I do see that I can now adjust the width of the Security column, but the software regularly slows down to a crawl, and I get the busy cursor for as long as 60 seconds while it tries to enter a new transaction. That is unusable. I'm done with them, and I will find an alternative to use on the Mac. I don't care if it has less features anymore... I don't care if it can't import my 13 years of financial history... Intuit has finally made a product so crappy (and FORCED ME to abandon their functioning software), that I will pretty much accept the next best thing.

Now, one can say that this is the way capitalism is suppose to work, but I want to know why it has taken 13 years to come to this? Why is it that Intuit is still top dog of the personal finance software domain? Where is the competition?

I'll post a comment on this entry when I choose my replacement

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