And that killed them.
Let’s go back in time to see what happened to EditGrid’s index page.
Back in May 2006, EditGrid was so young, unpolished and innocent. Bare-bone visual design. They even had the guts to include a screenshot captured under Windows XP’s blue theme of blindness (well, at least they used Firefox).
Then a year later in August 2007, they were much more inline with the other 2.0 kids. Bright colors and a bolder visual design, public spreadsheets and templates at the front page, random charts, tag cloud, trackback and more. Putting public spreadsheets at the index page was a very important move. That allowed first-time visitors to try the service extremely easily. When I first visited them at the time, at least I tried to load a spreadsheet to see what they’d got.
And now, probably under the influence of the investment…!??!!?!?!?!? Web 1.0 visual design, boring paragraph-long information that no one reads, and no public spreadsheets on the index page. WTF? WTF?!?!?!? WTF?!?!?!!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!?!?!?!?!? THEY REMOVED PUBLIC SPREADSHEETS ON THE INDEX PAGE! I tried to locate one on the linked pages, but I couldn’t. Now I can’t even tell whether they have improved their AJAX responsiveness (which used to be quite bad a few months ago). I don’t know whether there are any real people using it. I don’t know what are the possibilities of a online spreadsheet.
OK, as I’m writing this I recall that there is a small link called “use case” which I didn’t follow. (Since when did this phrase entered common usage anyway?) The link brings you to a page titled “Use Cases & Business Templates”, duh. Project Management, Business Accounting, Sales, Human Resources. (There are “View Online” links that open the corresponding template and you can actually try the service. Just not real data like it used to be.)
Repeat after me: EditGrid as we know it is DEAD. The Web 2.0 viral, friendly, spreadsheets-for-everyone EditGrid is DEAD. Enter the new EdtiGrid. A web spreadsheet service for business.
They even used a Mac to capture screenshots now, probably just to Look Cool.
Wish them well and all. Seeing a Hong Kong-based software company succeed makes me feel good. But no, it’s not the same EditGrid we knew.