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The computer industry re-invents itself whenever a new medium comes along and all the software gets written all over again. It seems that there is not a lot of reuse going on. Just the concepts and maybe some of the file formats.

  • 1960s and before - Hey computers, let's think of the things they can do.
  • 1970s - Hey mainframes, lets make a spreadsheet program to do business.
  • 1980s - Hey personal computers, lets make a spreadsheet program for home use.
  • 1990s - Hey windows, lets make a spreadsheet program that crashes.
  • 2000s - Wow, the internet, let's make a spreadsheet program that works from the browser.
  • 2011 - Hey, tablets actually made a comeback. Let's make new spreadsheets that are all touchy feely.
  • 2012-2019 - Whoa, virtual/augmented reality, those guys are going to need spreadsheet programs in their virtual offices.
  • 2020s - Hey, there is a computer in my head, I'm going to need a spreadsheet program.
  • 2030s - Oh no, AI, they are going to need spreadsheet programs too. Oh wait, they wrote it themselves.
  • 2040s - Retire


You can basically look at any type of application and see this kind of pattern. Word processors, Spreadsheets, databases, communication software, etc. I noticed this a while ago and I wrote a comment about it on Slashdot once.