Bricklin on Technology, ISBN: 978-0-470-40237-5
About the Author
About the Author (from the book)

Daniel Bricklin, a software developer and entrepreneur, is best known as the cocreator of VisiCalc, the first electronic spreadsheet.

Dan was born in 1951 and started programming while still in high school in the mid-1960s. He attended college at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering/Computer Science in 1973. While attending school, he also worked at M.I.T.'s Laboratory for Computer Science, programming various interactive systems. It was there that he met Bob Frankston.

After M.I.T., Dan worked at Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), where he was involved in computerized typesetting and some editing hardware. He was project leader of the initial WPS-8 word processing software (later sold as part of the DECmate system), helping to specify and develop one of the first stand-alone screen-based word processing systems. In 1976, he left DEC and worked at FasFax Corporation, a small maker of microprocessor-based electronic cash registers. He returned to school in 1977, this time receiving an M.B.A. from Harvard in 1979.

It was during his tenure as a graduate student that he conceived of the idea and design for the electronic spreadsheet, teaming up with his friend Bob Frankston to do the programming. Together, they founded Software Arts, Inc., in 1979, where Dan served as chairman from 1979 to 1985.

His next venture was as president of Software Garden, Inc., a small company with headquarters in his home. There Dan developed a product called "Dan Bricklin's Demo Program," a program for prototyping and simulating other pieces of software, which won the 1986 Software Publishers Association Award for "Best Programming Tool." A new version of the product, "Dan Bricklin's Demo II Program," was announced in December of 1987 and won the 1987 award. In 1989 he released "Dan Bricklin's PageGarden Program" for facilitating repetitive printing on laser printers.

In early 1990, Dan cofounded a venture-capital-funded software development company, Slate Corporation, along with other personal computer industry veterans. Slate's mission was to develop applications software for pen computers. With the lackluster sale of pen computers, Slate closed its doors after four years, and Dan returned to Software Garden.

Upon returning to Software Garden, Dan developed "Dan Bricklin's OverAll Viewer," a tool for displaying data visually, published by Software Garden, and "Dan Bricklin's demo-it!," a new program for demonstrating software on Microsoft Windows, published by Lifeboat Publishing.

In late 1995, Dan founded another company, Trellix Corporation, which became the leading provider of private-label web site publishing technology and managed hosting services to top online providers for small-business and personal web sites. Its main product was Trellix Web Express, a server-based web site authoring system private labeled by web communities and hosting services. Previously it produced Trellix Web, a PC-based web site creation tool bundled on over 35 million devices from companies like HP, Dell, and Kodak.

In early 2003, Trellix was acquired by Interland, Inc., a supplier of business-class web hosting solutions for small and medium-sized businesses. Dan served as Chief Technology Officer of Interland, working out of Interland's Trellix office in Concord, Massachusetts.

In early 2004, Dan returned to Software Garden where as president he has been doing software development, speaking, expert witness engagements, and consulting for a variety of companies. Software development projects include the Open Source ListGarden and wikiCalc programs, and, in conjunction with Socialtext, Inc., the SocialCalc system.

Dan is a founding trustee of the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council and has served on the boards of the Software Publishers Association and the Boston Computer Society. He has received many honors for his contributions to the computer industry, including the IEEE Computer Society Computer Entrepreneur Award and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Software Publishers Association. Along with VisiCalc cocreator Bob Frankston, he received the 2001 Washington Award from the Western Society of Engineers. He has received numerous other awards, from organizations such as the Association for Computer Machinery, the Boston Jaycees, and M.I.T., and from publications such as Computer Reseller News and PC Magazine. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.