All that was missing at this time was a task automation tool. It was so widely needed; it was virtually guaranteed that everyone would buy it. Today that market hole is known as a Killer App. A man named Donald Bricklin unveiled the first killer app.
Donald Bricklin was a programmer of (what else?) DEC computers. Seeing the possibilities for microcomputers, he came up with the idea of creating a program to build financial models and have the computer crunch (process) the numbers. The basic idea was simple, create a traditional accounting worksheet but hook everything together so that values you change in one area is then reflected in the rest of the worksheet.
Think of it as a calculator program that would show results visibly on the screen. And, that is the where name of the program, VisiCalc, came from. By now, you probably won't be surprised to hear that Donald didn't own an Apple II, or for that matter, any microcomputer at all. The VisiCalc development project began using a simulator (approximate) running on a, you guessed it, DEC.
Businesses large and small could create what-if scenarios and business forecasts in a matter of hours, as opposed to weeks or months, for only a few thousand dollars. Naturally this phenomenon caught the attention of the world's largest computer supplier, IBM.
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