Airtable, A Spreadsheet On Steroids

Last August, we bestowed an “Ubercool Innovator” award on Airtable. We love Airtable because its simplicity and ease of use completely upstage both Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel, while also delivering a blow to Apple’s FileMaker, the former king of easy to use databases. Today, the company announced another major enhancement: “Blocks” — modules that allow users to add maps and other objects to their spreadsheets. And they received $52 million in funding to build out founder Howie Liu’s vision. You read it here first.

We live in a smoke and mirrors world. The global technology industry is worth north of $3.5 trillion. Yet its foundations rest on six of the most uncreative software companies in the world. Which is why it’s fun to use a truly innovative application, Airtable (free for less than 1,200 records).

One software outfit with a market cap of $65 billion has San Francisco buzzing. But when you search for usability stories, you’ll find quotes like, “[Its] UI/UX could improve immensely” or that it presents challenges such as a “steep learning curve, setup time, cringing sales reps, and of course license fees.”

Not so with Airtable. It works like Google Sheets but is far more flexible. It’s the easiest relational database you’ve ever used. Yes, you heard it right, Airtable lets you connect lookup tables, to encourage data consistency and ease of entry.

Airtable also offers pop-up form entry, calendar views, audit trails, commenting plus a drag-and-drop interface that lets you attach files to its rows. There are even Mac and Windows apps so you can use it directly on your desktop instead of only in a browser.

Airtable • 49 Powell Street • San Francisco, CA 94102