Hence today, in a thousand companies, a thousand execs will pull data from internal systems into Excel, make charts, put the charts into PowerPoint, write some bullets and email the PowerPoint to a dozen other people. What kills that task is not better or cheaper (or worse and free) spreadsheet or presentation software, but a completely different way to address the same underlying need – a different mechanism. That Powerpoint file could be replaced by a web app for making slides that lets two people work on it at once. But it should be replaced by a SaaS dashboard with realtime data, alerts for unexpected changes and a chat channel or Slack integration (Slack is an a16z investment). PowerPoint gets killed by things that aren’t presentations at all. The business need is met, but the mechanism changes. You can see some of these use cases in the suggestions in the ‘File/New’ menu. Each of these is a smartphone app or a web service – the unbundling of productivity apps. And none of these have to be ‘spreadsheets’.

Ben Evans