VisiCalc creator Dan Bricklin: From killer app to iPhone app

“In the classroom at Harvard Business School where Dan Bricklin came up with the idea for an electronic spreadsheet, there now hangs a plaque that designates the resulting software program as the ‘original killer app of the information age,'” Scott Kirsner reports for

“Bricklin and his colleague Bob Frankston formed a company in 1979, Software Arts, which would eventually sell the VisiCalc spreadsheet program for $99. It ran on a new ‘personal computer’ called the Apple II,” Kirsner reports.

“Thirty years later, Bricklin is now selling a $1.99 app for the iPhone called Dan Bricklin’s NoteTaker,” Kirsner reports. “It debuted last Friday on Apple’s iTunes Store, and is climbing up the list of most-popular productivity apps sold through the online store.”

Direct link via YouTube here.

Kirsner reports, “Bricklin told me he has been interested in developing a mobile app for some time; his last big project was SocialCalc, a collaborative online spreadsheet that is being marketed by Palo Alto-baed SocialText and may soon be included on the One Laptop Per Child initiative’s low-cost laptops. He considered developing for the Palm Pre and Google’s Android operating system, but instead chose the iPhone since Apple’s customers had already proven their willingness to pay for all kinds of software.”

Full article here.

More info about Dan Bricklin’s NoteTaker (US$1.99) via Apple’s iTunes App Store here.


  1. It seems like a lot of work to do it with your finger, not to mention how bad my handwriting is. I’m sure I could type notes faster.

    Now, add this app to a tablet size device and include a stylus, it might make a great note taker, especially for symbolic characters like in math.

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