Your Company Needs A Spreadsheet Policy More Than Ever

Electronic spreadsheets have been around for nearly 40 years now. They were invented by Bob Frankston and Dan Bricklin, founders of VisiCalc, and I had a chance to chat with both gentlemen a couple of months ago. I highly recommend watching this TED talk with Dan Bricklin:

It’s important to understand for which purpose electronic spreadsheets were built in the first place if we want to anticipate what their future might look like. In response to my question in how far the future of spreadsheets is different from its past, Bob Frankston replied: “Not very different — smarter paper.”

Do spreadsheets have a future at all?

I remember when back in the 1980s the advent of the PC raised hopes for the paperless office. What happened in the next decades to come? As you might guess: the exact opposite. The corporate world’s appetite for paper grew beyond anyone’s expectations. There is a realistic chance that the same thing might happen with electronic spreadsheets, even though competition is on the horizon.

Programming languages such as Python are becoming increasingly popular in the corporate world, spreading far beyond the IT department. JPMorgan just

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