Startup Topgrades to Success

The Company

At age 25, Aaron Patzer was working 75 hours per week, and frustrated with the additional hours necessary to manage his personal finances using Money or Quicken. So he created and launched He doubted himself occasionally - after all, he was attacking Microsoft and Intuit with no business experience, no leadership experience, and no money.

Patzer was scared. He'd seen most startups fail, many with the same excuse: "I didn't have the right talent." Patzer had never hired anyone before, and Topgrading gave him the roadmap to follow.

No. of Employees: 40
Industry: Personal Finance Applications


  • 90% of hires turned out to be A Players
  • Business was sold for $166 million after 2 years

"If I hadn’t Topgraded, would have failed. With Topgrading I sold the company to Intuit for $166 million."

- Aaron Patzer, Founder and Owner


Patzer attended a Public Topgrading Workshop to get introduced to the methodology. He stayed in touch with President Chris Mursau and CEO Brad Smart, who answered Patzer’s questions and gave advice regarding Job Scorecards, who his Topgrading Interview Partners might be, and arranging calls with candidates' managers.

Despite the crunch to hire right away, Patzer did not compromise on talent. He was encouraged to press on, mostly using his networks to recruit A Players.

The Results

  • Of the 40 hires, 90% turned out to be A Players
  • was sold to Intuit for $166M
  • Patzer was hired by Intuit to head all financial services products


“If I hadn’t achieved 90%, if I mis-hired even one more person, would have failed, gone out of business.”

- Aaron Patzer, Founder and Owner

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