The book started off with brief introduction to history of spreadsheet as such that:
|1978||VisiCalc||Dan Bricklin - VisiCorp||Apple II|
|1983||Lotus 1-2-3 Release 1A||Lotus Development Corporation||16-bit IBM PC|
|1985||Lotus 1-2-3 Release 2||Lotus Development Corporation|
|1987||Quattro Pro -Surpass||Borland|
|1987||Excel version 2.0||Microsoft||Windows|
|1989||Lotus 1-2-3 Release 3||Lotus Development Corporation||DOS & OS/2|
|1990||Quattro Pro - Version 2.0||Borland|
|1990||Excel version 2.1||Microsoft||Windows 3.0|
|1992||Quattro Pro -Version 5.0||Borland||Windows|
|1994||Lotus 1-2-3 Release 4||Lotus Development Corporation||Windows DOS|
|1995||Excel version 5 with VBA||Microsoft||Windows|
|1995||IBM purchased Lotus Development Corporation|
|1995||Excel 95||Microsoft||Windows 95|
|1997||Excel 97||Microsoft||Window 97|
|2004||Quattro Pro - Version 9||Novell (Bought from Borland)|
Technology or Marketing Company?
This shows that if you want to start a technology company, you got to be prepared for the long-term engagement. Take Microsoft, the whole idea was started off 23 years ago. And Excel is not the piece of technology which helps them to make the most money, it is just one of their product.
I found that most Malaysian entrepreneur doesn't have this long-term view and thus are more suitable to be marketing oriented than technology oriented. Of course, the blame is always on the issue with sustainability. For this, like I mentioned earlier, to be entrepreneur, most important factor is that you got to think about making ends meet first. Otherwise, it is a no GO.
For me, as someone with computer programming knowledge, I am 20 + years behind to be creating a new software for spreadsheet. I used to have an idea of 3D spreadsheet; mixtual of database and business intelligence, but I don't think developing from scratch is good idea. It would be appropriate if I can levarage on open source like OpenOffice.
Gold Miner or Marathoner ?
Having distinguished between technology and marketing; should you decide to be technology company, then you have to think are you the gold miner or the marathoner? Microsoft is the obvious marathon runner and winner. Gold miners are people like Borland, Lotus Development Corp and the recent Skype.