Economic Uncertainty and Free

Quicken Online announced they would be pricing their product as…free. In all likelihood it’s to compete directly with Mint, Wesabe, Geezeo, and a whole slew of others that aren’t as well-known.

I’m curious about Mint’s business model. Will those targeted leadgens really generate the necessary revenue? Are they going to package up the purchasing data they have and sell it (anonymously of course, no privacy issues, etc.) to Madison Ave.?

And what will Wesabe’s monetization strategy be? Are they monetizing in some way I’m missing? Are they also going to be selling their anonymized data?

Will these sites simply use ads (like Geezeo)?

I’m sure Intuit’s strategy is to use Quicken Online and then slowly leverage people into their more expensive desktop applications, but is that going to work? It seems the wave is moving away from the client-side desktop application and toward an “all online” experience.

I think the best of both worlds is in order. Adobe Flex+AIR.

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