Since the beginning of Excel I’ve been playing a little game. Mainly for my own amusement, though it also helped me further my career while improving processes in organisations.

Every time I came across a new idea in tech, from the mega-big-IT-industry in their mega-big seminar presentations, I tried to understand the key ingredient in it, and tried to recreate it with Excel.


Simple. The mega-big solution is, for my clients, at least a year and at least $1 million away. And we can do the same with Excel by Friday. Potentially.

We can do this because we already have all the bits we need. The tech. The need. And mostly, the enthusiasm.

All that without breaking any corporate governance rules. Because ‘it’s Excel’.

Examples are, the idea of client-server – where data is central (shared) and various customised client interfaces enable user to interact with it.

Extend this idea to the internet and we have cloud solutions.

But hey look! Something curious is happening in Excel tech itself. New ideas. New and powerful features. Figuring out how to achieve the same (or better) result without the complexity of the new feature is the new fun thing. Simplification.

The parallel is, many of these great power features in Excel are not available in organisations yet. But, can we already use those ideas in Excel? Simply?

The Cruise Liner Co Challenge is one vehicle to explore the effectiveness of simplification.

See for yourself here. TBA

Also look out for ‘Excel Happenings’ series of live events. ‘Excel Adventures in the Cloud’, come if you dare!

Hiran de Silva

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