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Dan Fylstra: History of Visicalc

Data pioneer and Frontline Systems founder Dan Fylstra was not only a speaker at this year’s PASS Business Analytics Conference, he also provided some information on the history of Visicalc, the first spreadsheet software in the world, to ExcelTV.  Dan also discusses with Rick Grantham what it was like to meet Steve Jobs, and more:



Dan Fylstra is founder and President of Frontline Systems Inc. (, an analytics software developer and marketer active in the Microsoft ecosystem for 25 years.  Frontline is known for having developed the Solver in Microsoft Excel, and has recently released Solver, Risk Solver, and XLMiner apps for Excel Online.  Frontline’s software for Excel complements the Power BI suite and supports the full range of “advanced analytics”, from data mining, text mining and predictive analytics to Monte Carlo simulation and risk analysis, decision analysis, and Solver-compatible tools for large-scale optimization.

Prior to founding Frontline Systems, Dan was a serial entrepreneur who co-founded several software companies and a biotech venture, starting with Personal Software aka VisiCorp in 1978 – the company that brought to market the very first spreadsheet, VisiCalc, for the Apple II.  Dan has a BS in EE and Computer Science from M.I.T. and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

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