NetSuite looks to go public

This is interesting, and encouraging, news.  NetSuite – a company that started off as an online personal accounting company – is preparing for an initial public offering.  Michael Arrington has the scoop over at TechCrunch:

Techcrunch » Blog Archive » NetSuite’s Going Public, Looking for $1 Billion Valuation

NetSuite, the fraternal twin of SalesForce (both companies CEOs came out of Oracle and have similar business models), is preparing to go public next year based on 2006 revenues of about $70 million.

I remember NetSuite when it was NetLedger, a tiny (and boring) startup from the web 1.0 era that was funded by Larry Ellison himself.  Back in the day when ubiquitous connectivity was not a given, I had a beta NetLedger account to manage my personal expenses.  It was an interesting concept, but a bit of a leap of faith to put personal information online – not to mention trying to access the application on flaky internet connections.  The company eventually evolved out of the personal accounting business to build a rock solid all-in-one ERP-CRM application for small and medium sized businesses.

What’s encouraging here is that NetSuite is an ‘old guard’ web company, one that survived a bursting bubble.  Of course, they could have ridden the growth wave coattails of SalesForce.com, but nonetheless, it is good to see that they’re still around and well enough to go public.

PearBudget: An elegant alternative to managing personal budgets

It seems like every new edition of Quicken (or Microsoft Money) adds another needless layer of complexity to the personal expense management process. While it is nice to be able import your bank transactions into those applications, most of the time a quick entry into a spreadsheet is faster, more elegant, and more likely to be used on a regular basis. All the fancy pie-charts and 3D graphs are useless if you don’t maintain your expenses in a centralized location. Enter PearBudget. I stumbled upon this nice spreadsheet via LifeHack and find it to be really easy and simple to setup. The author of this spreadsheet does a great job of breaking out the key budget areas into regular expenses, irregular expenses, and variable expenses. By sub-categorizing your expenses, it is easier to enter them as soon as you incur them. There are pre-built tabs for each month, and you simply enter your expense as you incur it. Being a spreadsheet, all calculations are automatically done, and you can monitor your behavior for any given month, or through a Year-to-Date analysis tab.

The nice part about a tool like PearBudget is that it can be used on portable devices that can open spreadsheets.  I was able to open the sheet on my Treo 650 using Docs-to-Go.  PearSheet is also being developed into a Web 2.0 application, but I think this is a great answer for those looking for simplicity in their financial management lives.  Quicken and Money are great but, despite their claims on ease of use, they require a level of rigor that many people can’t commit to.  PearBudget, which by the way is a free download, is much simpler, but gets the job done.