Related Topics
Spreadsheet software: top five on the market
Excel vs Open Office and Libre Office
IBM Mainframe - Works Records System 1974
Bricklin-Frankston VisiCalc 1979
Storia  
Neutralisation by Geoffrey Moore
Neutralisation in spreadsheet category, Crossing the Chasm


Neutralisation by Geoffrey Moore
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Killer application - VisiCalc
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Consumers would buy the (usually expensive) hardware just to run that application. A killer app can substantially increase sales of the platform on which it runs. A new phenomenon which does create demand for specific product. One of the first examples of a killer application is generally agreed to be the VisiCalc spreadsheet for the Apple II Computer in the early 1980's. VisiCalc was single "reason enough for owning a computer". It was a great sales booster for Apple II in the early 1980s'. VisiCalc sold over 700,000 copies in six years, and as many as 1 million copies over its history.

The first generally agreed example of a "killer app" in gaming is Space Invaders, released for arcades in 1978.


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Neutralisation in spreadsheet category
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- In the early 1980s it was VisiCalc - the pioneer and the inventor of Spreedsheet software concept
- In the mid 1980s it was Lotus 1-2-3 for IBM PC
- In the 1990s it was Microsoft Excel
- since 2000 we have the phenomenon of free FLOSS spreadsheet software which is Excel compatible - LibreOffice spreadsheet Calc

In the 1980s Lotus 1-2-3 piggybacked on VisiCalc to accomplish this neutralisation in the spreadsheet category. In the 1990s Microsoft Excel has done the same thing to Lotus.
Now we have FLOSS LibreOffice Calc.
Thus it is spreadsheets, not VisiCalc, Lotus, or Excel.

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Lotus 1-2-3
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Lotus 1-2-3 is a prime example of optimizing the High-Tech Marketing Model.
In 1980s it was the best spread sheet program on the market. Certainly it wasn't the first, and many of the features people appreciate about it most were in fact derived directly from VisiCalc, its predecessor that ran on the Apple II. But Lotus 1-2-3 was the first spreadsheet for the IBM PC, and its designers were careful to tune its performance specifically for the IBM PC platform.

As a result, the innovators liked Lotus 1-2-3 because it was slick and fast. Then the early adopters liked it because it allowed them to do something they had never been
able to do before—what later became popularized as "what if" analysis. The early majority liked the spreadsheet because it fell into line with some very common business operations, like budgeting, sales forecasting, and project tracking. As more and more people began to use it, it became harder and harder to use anything else, including paper and pencil, so the late majority gradually fell into line. This was the tool people knew how to use. If you wanted to share a spreadsheet file, it had to be in Lotus format.

Thus it became so entrenched that by the end of the 1980s well over half the IBM PCs and PC compatibles with spreadsheets had Lotus 1-2-3—despite the fact that there were numerous competitors, many of which were, feature for feature, superior products.
Astounding as this accomplishment is, many other companies have achieved a comparable status.




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Innovation is anything that creates favourable separation between you and your competitors.

Separation..
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