Intuit hosted what has now turned into an annual event on Thursday afternoon where the software giant was able to show off its latest products and services.
The Intuit Innovation Gallery Walk event at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York’s Chelsea district was set up this year like a street lined with small businesses, including a neighborhood coffee shop and florist. Intuit CEO Brad Smith was on hand to welcome guests. Smith talked about the high proportions of small businesses running QuickBooks and individuals doing their taxes with TurboTax, and noted that gives the company unique insights into the U.S. economy.
"We now have 20 percent of the U.S. economy flowing through QuickBooks, and we get the chance to process one-third of the United States' tax returns, and we're helping farmers make 20 percent more profit on their crops in India, and we're just getting started," he said.
Intuit developers get insights into how small businesses use the company’s products by following selected users around to see how they use the products throughout the day. Smith noted that they keep the teams on these engagements small, with just four to six members, adhering to a strict two-pizza limit.
The focus was definitely on mobile at the event, where Intuit showed off the latest iPad, iPhone and Android models running software like QuickBooks Mobile, the Snap payroll service and Mint.com personal finance service. For Mint, Intuit is rolling out a cool new iPad app that lets users check out their finances by spinning a pie chart around like a pinwheel on screen and see where their budget is going.
Users will also be able to check out their Mint financial information from an upcoming Android-based wristwatch. I thought the Internet-connected wristwatch was a trend that came and flopped about a decade ago, but I guess it’s about to make a comeback. Somehow I think the smartphone and tablet are not going to face a serious threat from the wristwatch, but the watch market could probably use a boost these days.
In the meantime, Intuit is certainly making strides in its “connected services” strategy from the looks of things at Thursday’s Gallery Walk, as customers migrate from the desktop to the cloud.