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Video // Is this really the future of Excel?
This video illustrates the difficulty Microsoft has in developing Excel due to the sheer number of ways people could, and do, use the software. Excel is used to analyse multi-billion dollar transactions. The features you need to do that well are very different from those you need to make a collaborative packing list for a skiing holiday (the use case Brian is showing).
What this article makes clear is that dedicated apps are unbundling these multiple use cases. I, of course, love Excel. But I would never turn to it for a shared packing list with my wife; we have a better app for that.
It's long been clear that better multi-user & collaboration functionality is needed in Excel... But not for packing lists.
Tech // Airtable raises $270m more at $5.8b valuation
The march of new modelling tech continues. Airtable has raised a $270 million Series E round at a valuation of $5.77 billion.
Greenoaks Capital led the round, which included a first-time investment from Jeffrey Katzenberg’s WndrCo and earlier investors Caffeinated Capital, CRV and Thrive. Airtable is now used by more than 250,000 companies. Read more.
Skills // Slow down and write better emails
So many of our exchanges today happen in typed form. For many interactions, listening has been replaced by reading text on a screen. Lacking cues like eye contact, tone of voice, or body language to clarify what another person means makes digital communication challenging. This HBR article discusses the skills you need to practice instead of traditional body language to communicate effectively in virtual workplaces. Read more.
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