Back in the early 1990s, the first client project that paid decent money (NZ$25 per hour, which my client described as “charging like a bull”) required the use of a massive spreadsheet to analyse cost flows in a small manufacturing firm. I spent hours and hours collecting the data, looking at how to manage it, and then how to use a spreadsheet with macros to automate the analysis. While PowerPoint got me my first visit to London to present at a conference in March 1994, it was Lotus 1-2-3 that enabled me to graduate debt free, and in retrospect, probably enabled me to get my first job after university. There was a lot of financial modelling required in that first role, although unlike at my manufacturing client, Microsoft Excel was the product of choice.
The above video presents recents updates in Excel for Mac, and at the end, has some short interviews with the Excel MVPs at the recent MVP Summit. I don’t do a lot with Excel anymore, and my days of charging $25 per hour are very much last millennium, but it’s fascinating to see the Excel team keeping on working with a product that directly and indirectly touches so many of the decision making processes in the world.