Does the world really need another blog? Probably not. But maybe the first blog by the CEO of a billing company will be of interest to somebody. We'll see.
First, maybe a little background. My name is Flint Lane and I'm a former software geek by training. After spending 10 years in various roles at software companies, I got tired of having the company I worked for get acquired by a company in a distant city. So I decided that I would start my own company to control my destiny. I wish it was that easy.
In 1998, I started Paytrust with a partner with the hopes of revolutionizing the way people paid bills. It seemed so ridiculous the billers mailed me bills and I would go type them into Quicken to pay them electronically. I wanted everything electronic and assumed that lots of other people would as well.
It was in the middle of the dot-com boom and we successfully created a great service, that received all sorts of awards, and was used by over 100,000 users. We raised a ton of money from venture capitalists. We partnered with some great financial institutions. However, there were problems with the business model. Acquiring customers was overly expensive and converting paper bills to electronic bills took longer than we had planned. The business was probably five years ahead of its time and just didn't take off as much as we hoped. Ultimately I left in 2001 and the company was acquired by Metavante who eventually sold the front end service to Intuit. I remain a faithful Paytrust user and now pay my $10.95 per month like a good customer.
Next post, Why Billtrust?