2014-12-21 One cell to rule them all (updated)

For some time now (link) I’ve been fascinated with the potential of spreadsheet cells as the building blocks of programs. They could open General Purpose Computing to the next 1 billion application builders.

Spreadsheets have outgrown their humble beginnings. They started as an accounting tool. Now they power just about any task and department:

Why? Because they are very simple to use (link):

This makes them great to build custom tools that are easy to maintain. Non-techies find programming hard; maintaining applications is even harder. Spreadsheets provide the benefits without those problems.

In fact, if we abstract them, they are already close to a generic program or a computer.

Spreadsheet Program Computer
Formulas Logic Processing
Dependencies Triggers Input/ Output
Cells UI Input/ Output
Values DB Storage

Classic spreadsheets are still behind on things like UI, automation or APIs. They are needlessly ugly and static for today’s day and age.

I have started a company to fix this with others who feel the same pains. We are building Rows, a new spreadsheet, with data Integrations and slick, Live Sharing.!

You can follow Rows on twitter. (link).