Before the advent of the spreadsheet back in 1979, people didn’t really understand what the personal computer was for. Since then, spreadsheets have come a long way — they’ve eaten the businesses across the world, and they’re the de-facto way for anyone to quickly program a computer.
While spreadsheet software has evolved over the years — first VisiCalc, then Lotus, Excel and now Google Sheets — the core abstractions have remained the same. They’re flexible, intuitive, and timeless.
But these abstractions make spreadsheets bad at certain tasks. In particular, entering data is error-prone (no validation), and building interactive interfaces is difficult. You could get a spreadsheet to do almost anything, but you probably shouldn’t.
Retool is a fast way of building UIs and internal tools. And ever since we launched, people have been asking us to connect to various data sources — most notably Google Sheets. That’s where many internal tools start.
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