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Founders at Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days by Jessica Livingston

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CHAPTER 5Dan BricklinCofounder, Software Arts

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Photo by Louis Fabian Bachrach

Dan Bricklin and his friend Bob Frankston founded Software Arts in 1979 to produce VisiCalc, the first electronic spreadsheet. Spreadsheets used to be made on paper. As a student at Harvard Business School, Bricklin thought how convenient it would be if they could be made on desktop computers instead. He wrote a prototype in Basic over a weekend, and then he and Frankston set about turning it into a product.

When their first release shipped in October 1979, it ignited the personal computer software revolution. VisiCalc was the "killer app" for personal computers: businesses ...

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