Bundle.com Requires a Better Bundle
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Back in late September 2009, rumors were flying regarding a Citi and Microsoft venture in the personal financial management (PFM) space. It garnered a lot of attention, particularly due to Microsoft's decision to exit Microsoft Money online. Folks were very curious, myself included, as to what these two heavyweights would conjure up. The rumors were true, and late last month, Bundle.com was launched. Citi, Microsoft, and Morningstar are investors in the new venture. Jaidev Shergill, formerly of Citi Ventures, is the CEO. I visited the site with the expectation of finding a potential contender in the PFM space. Instead I found a site that provided a very limited view into personal financial management. The site allows users to compare their spending habits with others around them or in other areas. There is also a community where users can interact with one another and discuss personal finance. I like the ideas of spending comparisons but this is not a new feature. It has been offered by Mint.com, Wesabe, and Geezeo for some time - all offer various flavours of community and social interaction. I see spending comparisons as a nice to have, not an absolute requirement (see my blog entry on this). I don't believe that folks should model their spending habits according to others for one simple reason - most people don't have good spending or budgeting habits. Everyone needs their own custom-made plan. Bundle.com is going to need to add a lot more to its portfolio in order to attract users and keep them coming back. Bundle is still in beta, and it will be interesting to see what else they add to the pot. I am also curious to see if Citi will begin to integrate any of the features into their own offerings.