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After I confirmed my internship with Quicken, a lot of my conversations with my friends went a little something like this:
Friend: “Hey where are you working this summer?”
Me: “I’m working for Quicken, this company in Menlo Park.”
Friend: “Wait Quicken Loans?”
Me: “No...just Quicken.”
Quicken is an interesting company. It was founded in 2016 but the software has been around since 1982. In a sense, Quicken can be considered a startup, and it’s work culture suggests it. And with the massive following it’s gained since the 80s, it’s a profitable one (unlike many companies in the valley).
Quicken has the capability to act like a startup with day-to-day operations, but as a whole can act like a bigger business. The dogs running around the bowling alley and the company-wide paper airplane contests every other Monday are a testament to that. And unlike a lot of tech companies, there’s full transparency across the company. In fact, when the interns started earlier this summer, we were encouraged to explore the Quicken Wiki to learn more about the company. Because of this transparency, I’m able to work on a data science related side project while helping develop features and fix bugs for the Quicken Mac team.
Overall, the fact that Quicken has the capacity to behave like a big company but chooses to act like a startup makes it a very appealing environment for new graduates. Working for a typical startup comes with a risk factor that may be too high for some and the higher probability of failure can disenchant them. Most venture capitalists invest in startups with the expectation that only about 10% of them truly succeed and we can see that in how many startups have failed even with good ideas. However, Quicken brings the best of both worlds in its corporate culture.
The value of Quicken to me lies in the fact that it creates personal finance software. While this may not be the most glamorous sector of technology, it definitely has long term value. With the rise of consumerism in the United States and the introduction of student loans, the stock market, mortgages, and even retirement accounts, keeping track of spending and personal finance has become increasingly complicated to be handled by a pen and paper. It has become increasingly important for people to keep track of their personal finance goals and companies like Quicken help with that. I hope that as people in my generation start to accumulate wealth and own assets that they will use Quicken to help meet their financial goals and help them lead healthy financial lives.