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Aaron Patzer

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Aaron Patzer is an Internet entrepreneur and the founder of Mint.com, the financial management tool, which was acquired by Intuit and has over 10 million users.

He got his MSEE from Princeton University and his B.S. in Computer Science, Computer Engineering and Electrical Engineering from Duke University. He was born in Madison, Wisconsin.

Patzer got his first work experience in the Internet boom years of 1998-2000, working for Getawebsite.com and Miadora.com (an online jewelry store).

He then founded Mint.com in March 2006. He got his inspiration for Mint.com in late 2005 after being frustrated with how difficult it was to use the Intuit Quicken product. In September 2008, Patzer was listed in Inc. magazine’s Top 30 under 30. On Sept.14, 2009, Inuit announced that it would buy Mint.com for $170 million. At the time, Mint.com had about 1.5 million users. Patzer joined Inuit as VP Product innovation and is also working on a new personal transportation system.

He left Inuit in Dec. 2012 to pursue his new project, Swift. In September 2013, he founded Leonardo Software, Inc.

Companies and Investments

BizeeBee Inc.(Investor), NetPayment (Investor), HealthTap (Investor), Prism Skylabs (Investor), Layer (Investor), Topicmarks (Investor), Milo.com (Investor)

Lessons Learned

Overcome Shyness — I am an introvert, was new to Silicon Valley, and didn’t know any other engineers or people who could help. After building most of Mint.com’s prototype by myself, I talked to anyone and everyone I knew about Mint. It’s counter-intuitive, because you might fear someone will steal your idea, but it’s the only way to make connections, be sure you’re on the right track, and provide a solution for an audience broader than yourself.

Ask for Help — I know what I’m good at, and I know where my weaknesses are. I am among the best algorithms engineers, so I sought out and hired other top talents in their respective fields of security, design and communications. When I needed to make a crucial hire or business decision, I leaned heavily on the recommendations and connections of others.

Find Inspiration — Whenever I got down, I listened to Frank Sinatra’s “That’s Life,” or remembered a Shakespeare quote I liked as a kid: “Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we might oft win, by fearing to attempt.”

Be Persist — At the time, I hadn’t done web development in eight years. I knew nothing about Java web services, little about databases — and even less about recruiting and building a business.

Inspiring Quotes

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

Mark Twain

Aaron Patzer's Quotes

People do make judgments of trust on appearance – in the real world and online.

Aaron Patzer

Influential Books

Ayn Rand - Atlas Shrugged

Alexandre Dumas père - The Count of Monte Cristo (Penguin Classics)

Ayn Rand - The Fountainhead

Jared M. Diamond - Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies

Neal Stephenson - Cryptonomicon


Friends and fellow entrepreneurs