together with Bob Frankston the worlds first successfull spreadsheet
Bob Frankston (standing) Dan Bricklin,
cofounders of Software Arts inc
Bricklin, a software designer, is best known as the co-creator of
VisiCalc, the first electronic spreadsheet. Moreover, throughout his
career he has been creating products that explore new metaphors, sometimes
with far-reaching consequences. In addition to the spreadsheet, he
helped develop one of the first word processing systems in the mid-1970's,
programmed the most popular prototyping tool of the MSDOS world, and
helped introduce the world to the capabilities of electronic ink on
pen computers. His products have proven to be catalysts that had major
impacts on the growth of the computer industry.
Dan, born in 1951, started programming in the mid-1960's while still
in high-school. His programs always had some interesting flair, be
they for marking entrance tests at an Ivy League university or extending
FORTRAN as a science-fair project.
He attended college at M.I.T., receiving a B.S. in Electrical Engineering/Computer
Science in 1973. There he worked at the Laboratory for Computer Science,
programming various interactive systems, and where he met Bob Frankston.
After M.I.T., Dan worked at Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), where
he was involved in computerized typesetting and some editing hardware.
He was project leader of the WPS-8 word processing software, helping
to specify and develop one of the first standalone word processing
systems. In 1976, he left DEC and worked at FasFax Corporation, a
small maker of microprocessor-based electronic cash registers. In
1977 he returned to school, this time receiving an M.B.A. from Harvard
It was during his tenure as a graduate student that he conceived of
the idea and design for the electronic spreadsheet, teaming up with
his friend Bob Frankston to do the programming. Together, they founded
Software Arts, Inc., in 1979, where Dan served as chairman from 1979
to 1985. The product they produced, VisiCalc, is credited with being
one of the main catalysts that brought about the rapid growth of the
personal computer industry.
In his next venture as President of Software Garden, Inc., Dan developed
a product called "Dan Bricklin's Demo Program", a program
for prototyping and simulating other pieces of software, which won
the 1986 Software Publishers Association Award for "Best Programming
Tool". A new version of the product, "Dan Bricklin's Demo
II Program", was announced in December of 1987 and won the 1987
award. In 1989 he released the "Dan Bricklin's PageGarden Program",
for facilitating repetitive printing on laser printers.
In early 1990, Dan co-founded a new, venture capital funded, software
development company, Slate Corporation, along with other personal
computer industry veterans. Slate's mission was to develop applications
software for pen computers. With the lackluster sale of pen computers,
Slate closed its doors after four years, and Dan returned to Software
Upon returning to Software Garden, Dan developed "Dan Bricklin's
OverAll Viewer", an innovative tool for displaying data visually,
published by Software Garden, and "Dan Bricklin's demo-it!",
a new program for demonstrating software on Microsoft Windows, published
by Lifeboat Publishing.
In late 1995, Dan founded a new company, Trellix Corporation, where
he currently serves as Chief Technology Officer. Concord, Massachusetts-based
Trellix Corporation helps consumers and small businesses express their
passions - both personal and entrepreneurial - through vibrant web
sites. Its products include Trellix Web Express, a server-based web
site authoring system that is private labeled by web communities like
Tripod, Bolt, and BizLand; and Trellix Web, a PC-based web site creation
tool bundled on over 35 million devices from companies like HP, Dell,
Dan is a founding trustee of the Massachusetts Software and Internet
Council, and has served on the board of the Software Publishers Association
and the Boston Computer Society. He has received numerous awards,
including from the ACM, IEEE, MIT, and the Boston Jaycees.
Honors and awards
Louis Fabian Bachrach
text Dan Bricklin; www.bricklin.com/pressinfo