Why WhatsApp is the new Excel

No, this is not to make fun of Excel or WhatsApp. Excel is this piece of software people either love or hate. What’s important is that Excel is software that has given people in companies a lot of freedom and possibilities to create little pieces of custom software.

For my work as product designer I visit all types of companies and I have interviewed a lot of employees in different fields and with different backgrounds.

The spreadsheet on the shared server
One thing you can find in almost every company is that some part of the business is build on Excel. There’s always this spreadsheet on a shared server that is used for schedules, orders, forms, or anything else quite critical.

The reason for this is simple. Excel is powerful and easy to use. I gives every employee the power to create little pieces of software and thus create or support a business proces.

The last year we’ve seen WhatsApp groups being used in almost every major company as well. Employees setup a small social network where they share private and work related information.

Easy private social networks
We’ve seen it everywhere from people working in hospitals, department stores to higher management in office workspaces. WhatsApp is this easy to use tool to create private social networks. No regulation, no control from the IT-department, no hassle.

Is this good or bad?
It’s bad if you want to control business process, it’s good if you trust your employees, they just want to get things done and for now WhatsApp is doing what Excel has done for years

If you didn’t read it yet, Facebook bought WhatsApp for 19 billion dollar.