Back to the complete issue
Thursday, 18 July 2019

VisiCalc: The granddaddy of spreadsheets

iSheep and Excel geeks would hardly recognize the world’s “first killer app,” unveiled 40 years ago. VisiCalc, the prototype of today’s spreadsheets, ran only on the Apple II, taking up 32KB of RAM — a huge amount at the time. The software cost USD 100 and the computer at least USD 2k. The brainchild of Dan Bricklin, VisiCalc generated an explosion of revenue for its publisher, from virtually nothing in 1979 to USD 40 mn in 1983. But it also demonstrated that enduring success is not ensured by a brilliant and successful app, and the story of VisiCalc remains a cautionary tale against complacency for the world’s largest tech companies. The WSJ has more.

Enterprise is a daily publication of Enterprise Ventures LLC, an Egyptian limited liability company (commercial register 83594), and a subsidiary of Inktank Communications. Summaries are intended for guidance only and are provided on an as-is basis; kindly refer to the source article in its original language prior to undertaking any action. Neither Enterprise Ventures nor its staff assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, whether in the form of summaries or analysis. © 2021 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

Enterprise is available without charge thanks to the generous support of EFG Hermes (tax ID: 200-178-385), the leading financial services corporation in frontier emerging markets; SODIC (tax ID: 212-168-002), a leading Egyptian real estate developer; SomaBay (tax ID: 204-903-300), our Red Sea holiday partner; Infinity (tax ID: 474-939-359), the ultimate way to power cities, industries, and homes directly from nature right here in Egypt; CIRA (tax ID: 200-069-608), the leading providers of K-12 and higher level education in Egypt; Orascom Construction (tax ID: 229-988-806), the leading construction and engineering company building infrastructure in Egypt and abroad; and Etisalat Misr (tax ID: 235-071-579), the leading telecoms provider in Egypt; and Abu Auf (tax ID: 584-628-846), the leading health foodmaker in Egypt and the region.