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No really, the political system is broken in that respect, which is why companies like Intuit can pull off things like this.
If all you want is to get acquired and you don't care about your product being killed, making usable tax prep software is probably a good way to go. Unless there are regulatory barriers, it doesn't seem particularly hard. You'd have to immerse yourself in tax details, though, plus not love what you were doing.
Ever since then, I was really frustrated with the state of tax software in Canada. The fact that over 6 million people still do their taxes on paper, and that most people turn to expensive tax preparers for even the simplest of returns, drove us to build http://simpletax.ca. We're lucky in that we have a non-practicing tax lawyer on board.
There is so much good technology can do in this space.
Pay what you want is an interesting (crazy?) choice...care to elaborate on why you went this route? Everyone is already used to paying for tax software so on the surface it would seem like a no brainer to charge a fee.
Are we crazy? Yes, but hopefully crazy enough to change the industry. We initially set out with the plan to charge a fee, but there is a long list of industry-specific reasons as to why we got a little more creative. Like any startup, we're experimenting with our business model.
Could we make more by charging a fee? Maybe. At the end of the day, we're happy building the best product we can and making it available to as many people as possible.
Make a startup that does simple tax-filing. Get 20million for you and your team for a years work. Then you'll have some golden handcuffs, but the next round of entrepreneurs will take your place, repeat, and milk intuit for all their monopolistic paranoia's worth.