VisiCalc - Lessons from their rise and fall

My first experience with a computer, my literal FIRST MEMORY of using a computer was an Apple IIe and the program was VisiCalc. My Dad’s business had purchased a computer because someone on their board thought it might be a good idea but after they got it they weren’t sure what to do with it. My Dad brought it home for a time and I vividly remember using VisiCalc first and then a few others. Eleven-year-old me was blown away by pretty much anything on that machine, let alone a spreadsheet.

I had no understand of the market for these things and certainly wasn’t aware of what was happening in the industry for much of the 1980s. My next spreadsheet was Lotus, but that plays into the “rest of the story” which WSJ details quite well.

Hmmmm, I do still have my 5 1/4” disks and a working Apple IIe, maybe I should take a stroll down memory lane?!

WSJ post on VisiCalc