Monday, September 14, 2009

Too Minty?

It was announced today that Mint, one of the most popular financial aggregating websites, was sold to Intuit for $170 Million. Mint allows users to feed all their disparate financial information into one, handy-dandy website-based dashboard - directly aggregating bank, broker, credit card, and other financial data into one simple and useful presentation.

Mint has about 1.4 million users and fits in nicely into the Intuit suite of products - such as TurboTax and Quicken. I believe that $170 Million is a pretty good deal for Intuit as Mint hasn't even begun to tap into its real source of value - i.e. the immense amount of data that stems from having all financial data from over one million users in one database.

But I also believe that Mint's greatest potential also represents its greatest threat. With personal data management and protection growing in importance, even the sale or commercial use of anonymized personal data could quickly alienate Mint's user-base. So it seems that Mint is stuck, unable to mine its most precious commodity. I'm not sure what approach they will take but I am sure that they have a tricky path ahead.
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