and we are inviting others to see what it can do for them and their teams.
First, an observation.
Our journey started with a simple observation: In a world full of applications, why do documents and spreadsheets seem to run everything?
I’ll give you an example. In my last role at YouTube, we had hundreds of pre-built tools at our disposal. But we preferred to run our thousand-person organization off a handful of documents and spreadsheets. Some folks found that crazy, but I personally found it awesome.
The documents and spreadsheets we built were as unique and creative as our team. We used them to manage simultaneous feature releases across hundreds of devices, and even invent our own performance review system. They weren’t easy to build — a misplaced dollar sign in a spreadsheet would set us back a week. But they were better than pre-packaged tools because they were built for us and our own way of doing things.
I noticed the same thing happening at other companies. I’d ask friends what tools they used at work. They’d rattle off a list of packaged applications (Salesforce, JIRA, Workday, and so on). But when they looked closely, they’d admit documents and spreadsheets were running the show.
But here’s the thing:
Documents haven’t changed in 40 years.
In the 70s, we started digitizing documents. We turned the leaf of paper into a word processor (WordStar), the accountant’s ledger into a spreadsheet (VisiCalc), and the professor’s slides into a presentation (Harvard Graphics).
Over the next 40 years, the digital landscape completely transformed. Operating systems shifted fundamentally. Databases moved past relational. Television went from broadcast to cable to online video. Search engines and social networks took over.
Surprisingly, documents, on a fundamental and structural level, didn’t change.
Want to print your doc? This is not the way.
Try clicking the ⋯ next to your doc name or using a keyboard shortcut (