How many times a day do you enter data into a spreadsheet? Probably more often than you care to count. But, have you ever thought how those spreadsheets, a common business tool, came into being and how things got done before Excel or Numbers?
A spreadsheet program is a business tool and one of the main components of an office productivity suite, which usually also contains a word processor, a presentation program, and a database management system. Programs within a suite use similar commands for similar functions. Usually sharing data between the components is easier than with a non-integrated collection of functionally equivalent programs. This was particularly an advantage at a time when many personal computer systems used text-mode displays and commands, instead of a graphical user interface.
Dan Bricklin present this fascinating TED Talk and is best known for codeveloping VisiCalc, the pioneering electronic spreadsheet, while he was a student at the Harvard Business School. VisiCalc, codeveloped with his friend Bob Frankston whom he met at MIT, is widely credited for fueling the rapid growth of the personal computer industry.