Bricklin and the other panelists agreed that VisiCalc succeeded because it was different from the kind of financial forecasting software that already existed – it was a free-form, general purpose tool, an electronic "back of the envelope." It allowed non-programmers to do things at a level of complexity that, previously, you had to learn programming to accomplish.
Well, yes and no. Amateur users of spreadsheets use them in a very literal-minded way. They don't get the full benefit from, say, the look-up functions because they can't work with levels of indirection. I once taught an MSc student who himself taught IT (including spreadsheets) in an FE college - he was totally baffled by even the simplest formula involving choice or conditions.
I think the connection you see is interactivity. When you can immediately see the results of your action you can enter a feedback loop that will adjust your actions to the optimal result. I have a page on it at: [InterActivity. http://zby.aster.net.pl/kwiki/?InterActivity InterActivity].] – ZbigniewLukasiak
Download a website as a spreadsheet : http://www.snee.com/bobdc.blog/2006/05/downloadasspreadsheet.html