History of spreadsheet

I just bought a book called the "Excel 2003 power programming with VBA" by John Walkenbach.

The book started off with brief introduction to history of spreadsheet as such that:

YearSoftware CreatorPlatform
1978VisiCalcDan Bricklin - VisiCorpApple II
1983Lotus 1-2-3 Release 1ALotus Development Corporation16-bit IBM PC
1985Lotus 1-2-3 Release 2Lotus Development Corporation
1987Quattro Pro -SurpassBorland
1987Excel version 2.0MicrosoftWindows
1989Lotus 1-2-3 Release 3Lotus Development CorporationDOS & OS/2
1990Quattro Pro - Version 2.0Borland
1990Excel version 2.1MicrosoftWindows 3.0
1992Quattro Pro -Version 5.0BorlandWindows
1994Lotus 1-2-3 Release 4Lotus Development CorporationWindows DOS
1995Excel version 5 with VBAMicrosoftWindows
1995IBM purchased Lotus Development Corporation
1995Excel 95MicrosoftWindows 95
1997Excel 97MicrosoftWindow 97
1999Excel 2000MicrosoftWindows
2002Excel 2002MicrosoftWindows
2003Excel 2003MicrosoftWindows
2004Quattro Pro - Version 9Novell (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.


Anonymous said…
Microsoft always come late in IT technology area, they either copy someone or just buy over some startup, but yet they still a force not to mess with in technology area. I think in IT it's not about who comes first,.. it's how long you can hold on. It's more of a endurance race.
Brandon Teoh said…
yup.. that is right.

Actually Microsoft is doing the right thing because they are always getting bigger and not getting out.