Discover more from Campbell Ramble
The smallest violin in the world
Won't somebody please think of the spreadsheet jockeys?
Seven years ago, I left the world’s biggest hedge fund to build a tool for data that could be used by the world’s biggest hedge fund.
The "smartest database in the world."
At the beginning, she was just a random thought:
What if your database was as smart as the OS from Her?
What if it always knew where the data was & could always update it...
What if you could ask it to find, visualize and share data with plain natural language?
What if you didn’t have to code to work with data?
The idea of @rosedotai first started as a joke; a joke about pain.
The kind of pain you get when you don’t know if your book made (or lost) $1m because some "quant" on the other side of the building hasn’t updated the spreadsheet yet.
If the dirty secret of tech is existentialism...
...the dirty secret of finance is spreadsheets.
You remember spreadsheets right?
That killer app propelling maverick Apple founders Jobs and Woz to new heights?
The idea for spreadsheets is simple.
Think of a ledger...
The first electronic spreadsheet - on 1984 hardware - looked a little more green.
There’s even recent evidence that yes, in fact, the oldest known written languages were created in order to make cave wall spreadsheets.
Turns out it helped them track when & where prey would be over the course of the year.
Seasonal adjustment, 40k BC style...
Now, back to today.
Maybe someone recently convinced you to swap your spreadsheets for *code* wrapped nice and tight in Jupyter.
Code, by any other name, which does not compute.
So, we go on the hunt for data scientists now that we have all that "big data" that needs science-ing.
Maybe we make a decision, as a firm, to “move things to the cloud.”
Don't forget though: once the scientists reduce all that big data down to something manageable, it goes right back into good old spreadsheets.
Meanwhile, there’s a growing awareness that cleaning, analyzing, and storing data, may be more profitable than trading it.
Recall the stakes are high…
Everyday, I see the best minds of my generation burn out cleaning up data to make charts.
So you ask your classmates from that fancy business school:
"What’s your biggest pain?"
Answer: Finding good data for our spreadsheets.
How that led to Rose is a story for another day.
Until then, we will leave you with this video from @worrydream about a question asked by Alan Kay (of Xerox PARC + Macintosh fame).
"What if code was an inhumane interface for working with data?"
And a taste of what we’re building.