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Idea #22 is a web version (realization) of Lotus Improv. He's old enough that he should know better.


I've been waiting ages for this. Desktop, web-based, tablets, however.

Old timers may recall that Lotus Symphony had both database and spreadsheet features, like a multi-app. It was cool. At the time, Lotus Improv seemed like a healthy fusion, next logical step, minimum viable product.

Improv was victim of the Innovators Dilemma plus installed base inertia. I remain impressed that even with their market dominance, Lotus was experimenting, releasing crazy new products, and willing to eat their own children. (Though I can't forgive Lotus Notes, sorry.)

PG's original blurb (http://ycombinator.com/ideas.html):

"22. A web-based Excel/database hybrid. People often use Excel as a lightweight database. I suspect there's an opportunity to create the program such users wish existed, and that there are new things you could do if it were web-based. Like make it easier to get data into it, through forms or scraping.

Don't make it feel like a database. That frightens people. The question to ask is: how much can I let people do without defining structure? You want the database equivalent of a language that makes its easy to keep data in linked lists. (Which means you probably want to write it in one.)"

I’m interested in what you say about Lotus Improv, but I’m having trouble understanding what it has to do with Ragic Builder.

  He's old enough that he should know better.
Who is old enough, the Ragic Builder creator or PG? That person should know better than to what?

Ragic claims to be a fulfillment of Idea #22. I haven't tried it, so can't comment. I'm just observing that Improv predates Idea #22 by about 1.5 decades.

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