Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Mobile Expert Interviews: Dan Bricklin, Co-Developer of the First "Killer App"

I am excited to share an interview I conducted yesterday in Boston with a member of software programming royalty, Dan Bricklin.  Dan was the co-developer of the world's first software "killer app", Visicalc.  Visicalc, a spreadsheet app for the Apple II series of personal computers, was so popular in the 1980s, that companies spent thousands of dollars on computers just to run the $100 software program.  Dan worked closely with Steve Jobs, Bill Gates many others in the early years of personal computers.  His life is outlined here on Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dan_Bricklin.

Dan still programs and designs productivity apps.  He is the CTO of Alpha Software, the developers of sophisticated digital forms for mobile devices.

Dan has received many honors for his contributions to the computer industry from the ACM, IEEE, MIT, PC Magazine, the Western Society of Engineers, and others. In 1981, he was given a Grace Murray Hopper Award for VisiCalc.  In 1996, Bricklin was awarded by the IEEE Computer Society with the Computer Entrepreneur Award for pioneering the development and commercialization of the spreadsheet and the profound changes it fostered in business and industry.  In 2003, Bricklin was given the Wharton Infosys Business Transformation Award for being a technology change leader. He was recognized for having used information technology in an industry-transforming way. He has received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Newbury College.  In 2004, he was made a Fellow of the Computer History Museum "for advancing the utility of personal computers by developing the VisiCalc electronic spreadsheet." Bricklin has appeared in the 1996 documentary Triumph of the Nerds, as well as the 2005 documentary Aardvark'd: 12 Weeks with Geeks, in both cases discussing the development of VisiCalc. His book, Bricklin on Technology, was published by Wiley in May 2009.

Video Link: https://youtu.be/ucDlFmrHfpk
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Kevin Benedict
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***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.