Washington Award Ceremony | home
Those of us who were to sit at the head table lined up in order and marched upstairs into the ballroom and sat down. Black tie was only for us. Here's the room with people and half of the head table:
The view from the head table and a view of the head table
Here's the program cover:
I handed my camera to a person in the front to take this picture of us getting the awards:
Getting the awards on stage
Then it was time for us to speak. I turned on my mike and then showed slides of the early days when we developed VisiCalc. Many of them (and the story) are in the History section of this web site (start here). Bob talked about some of his philosophy of developing and using technology. One of the major problems in developing a product like the spreadsheet is in deciding what to leave out, not what to put it, he explained. I then said a bit about my views on the mundane being important (like my What will people pay for? essay), and then we took questions. An interesting one: Did we expect the spreadsheet to be used in so many fields besides finance (like engineering)? The answer: Yes, we figured that out right away when the first review (in Byte Magazine, before it shipped) only gave an engineering example, forcing us to not cut the transcendental functions to meet our schedule as we had planned.
Then it was over. A few people stayed around to talk:
Up in the room I looked at what they had handed us. It included letters of congratulations from some of the previous winners, a very nice touch. Here are some:
Stephen Bechtel, Jr.; Robert Galvin; Jack Kilby letters of congratulations
Finally, here are pictures of the medal we got:
The medal, both sides
That was it. We got up real early and took the 6:45am flight back to Boston to get back to our regular routine.