tech, simplified.

Did you know a spreadsheet was originally a sheet of raw rubber?

Or that the US government in World War II made the first documented use of the word spreadsheet to describe a table of numbers?

Spreadsheets, for decades after the PC revolution, were synonymous with Excel, and for good reason. It was the first spreadsheet on the original Macintosh, the first time spreadsheets left DOS and entered the world of windows. And feature by feature, integration by integration, they became an ingrained part of business life, enough that it was impossible to imagine a world without Excel.

That is, until a decade ago, when spreadsheet startups started popping up everywhere.

How do you lose a monopoly? It might start with your product becoming so popular people take it for granted—and then it becomes just another computing abstract, an interface people expect to work everywhere that they wouldn't be surprised to find showing up somewhere new. And then the competition can start showing up.

Here's my take on how Excel started getting competition.

Continue reading on Every: The End of Excel

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