A Goliath called Excel

I chanced upon the marketplace button on Facebook app today. It was unveiled in India only this week. Like every product manager, instead of “experiencing” the benefits of the new feature, I was more curious about the proposition, the design, wondered how integrating marketplace to a social network would turn out etc.

I started looking for the product announcement blog and found one on the Facebook site (https://www.facebook.com/notes/facebook/the-marketplace-is-open/2383962130/). The blog ended with a note that Facebook Marketplace feature was catalysed by a mock up that was entirely built on Excel. I was thrilled to know about this nugget. Being an avid user of Excel, the starting point of many activities, be it ideation, mock ups or for that matter even simple tools, for me is MS Excel


No wonder Excel is such a versatile product. It does solve different problems for different users. Many challengers have emerged and will emerge challenging the individual jobs that Excel would do for you. For example, Google sheets although have smartly brought in the collaboration angle to it making it compelling for start ups and mid sized companies. But there’s no product in sight that can stand up to the versatility of Excel. Yet!

It was a coincidence that I was listening to Bret Taylor’s Product Hunt Podcast during my cardio this evening. Bret’s company Quip created a disruptive product that would challenge the enterprise productivity tools. He says, that challenge was for Quip  (‘David’) to take on the ‘Goliath’ of the Enterprise Productivity – Microsoft Office. Quip indeed brings life to the otherwise static word docs, spreadsheets, and even emails.

It would be interesting to see how smaller competitor products stand up against the time tested Excel. Excel means many things to many people. So, all you ‘Davids’, take aim. It ain’t going to be easy.