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As far as I can tell from a quick look, this isn't what I had in mind. I'd expect to see a grid I could start typing into, not a page of text.

I was thinking of something for ordinary end users. So anything that tells users "This particular parser assumes that the first row of every table is a header row" is ipso facto not what I had in mind, because ordinary end users don't know what a parser is. Or a header row for that matter.

While you are here: you've funded a few startups in the space, including skysheet (http://www.skysheet.com/) and fivetran (http://fivetran.com/). Are they targeting this "hybrid" or are you thinking of something completely different?

Neither of them are. Grid (http://www.binarythumb.com) is the closest thing to it.

We (Fivetran) connect to databases but don't support editing, our product is for analysis. Our users data comes from production SQL databases and cloud services, so editing wouldn't really make sense.

During the PC boom in the 90s many of the hot products were productivity apps that allowed non-programmers to do "computing" (for lack of a better term).

- Access/dBase/Filemaker

- Word/WordPerfect

- Excel/Lotus

- Photoshop

- Harvard Graphics (if anyone remembers that one)

- Pagemaker

- Corel Draw/Illustrator

These were the types of apps that many young programmers, myself included, wanted to work on.

After the internet happened effort moved away from productivity apps, and towards communication apps. That's where all the hyper growth was, so that's understandable.

In the meantime, not much has really changed with productivity apps. The big apps from 90s are still the big apps of today. But as browsers have improved significantly in the past couple years, I think there is going to be a resurgence in web based productivity apps. Webflow is a good example. They are basically building a traditional style productivity app in the browser.

I think the problem with web versions of excel-like apps is the lack of trust when it comes to hosting your private information on the sites that would run them.

Do you really want to have your expense/profit reports, customer lists, etc. hosted on some app?

I don't even use Google spreadsheet because of this sole reason and I don't plan to switch. I would like to switch but yeah, I just don't trust private financial data in the hands of any service provider.

This is a good point. Beyond the privacy concerns, there's the problem of not having any control over when the software disappears. One of the better general purpose web-based productivity apps was DabbleDB. I got a friend hooked on it and he invested a bunch of time basing many of his companies internal processes on it. They were subsequently acquired by Twitter and shut down the service.

I had never seen your "web-based Excel/database hybrid" suggestion before, but I'm curious if you believe it should be grid driven at all?

Our approach is more page (or in terms of Access: form) driven.

This is how an individual entry might look like: http://ycindex.silk.co/page/Dropbox

Here's how it can look in a grid/table view: http://ycindex.silk.co/explore/table/collection/startup/colu...

Or in groups: http://ycindex.silk.co/explore/groupby/collection/startup/gr...

It's hard to predict the future, but it seems grids are very basic and powerful.

We've tried to build this concept when we've built mysimplegrid. http://www.mysimplegrid.com It's very conceptual. Is it closer to what you're thinking of?

http://datazenit.com/ is a web based database tool which has data grid, similar to the one found in Excel. You can check screenshots on the homepage.

It's pretty awsome.

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