Dan Bricklin

2004 Fellow

For advancing the utility of personal computers by developing the VisiCalc electronic spreadsheet

"Sometimes the idea behind a program is one small creative effort. Just like in a short story, one little twist in the plot is the whole idea behind it."

— Dan Bricklin

Dan Bricklin was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1951. He holds a BS in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT and an MBA from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration. He also holds an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Newbury College.

In 1979, he founded Software Arts, where he served as chairman of the board and executive vice president until 1985. Their flagship product, VisiCalc, transformed the personal computer industry by providing an electronic spreadsheet for business users. For many such users, VisiCalc was the program that convinced them to purchase a PC. Prior to forming Software Arts, Bricklin was a market researcher for Prime Computer Inc., a senior systems programmer for FasFax Corporation, and a senior software engineer for Digital Equipment Corporation, where he was project leader of the WPS-8 word processing software.

In 1990, Bricklin cofounded Slate Corporation to develop application software for pen computers. In 1994, he was elected a Fellow of the ACM and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. In late 1995, Bricklin founded Trellix Corporation, a provider of website publishing technology.


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