With as smart as you are, it’s no wonder that you learn so quickly. You’re a very agile professional, so of course you enjoy an almost unlimited career potential! You’re newer at your craft, which just means that you’re happy spending time learning and experimenting with new methods to get the job done right!
You’re next-level smart. You value dedication and aren’t afraid to commit to achieving your dreams and goals. Sometimes you regret having invested yourself so heavily in a pursuit, but — more often than not — you find yourself grateful for all the generous fruits of your labor…
I get it. You like the payoff that comes from hard work — Power to you! BUT (forgive me for sounding like your mother), Rome wasn’t built in a day. By that I mean, you can’t get 20 years of expertise in 2 years, no matter how many sleepless nights you put in…
Here’s the situation: Whether or not you’re a spreadsheet modelling all-star or still wet behind the ears, you’re still a badass. Your worth isn’t defined by that Excel certificate you’re sporting around. And taking your sweet time in cultivating your analytical expertise won’t negatively impact your lifetime earning potential.
If you can appreciate all you’ve learned (and all you’re learning every single day). Odds are you don’t need to push yourself any harder than that.
Optimize your spreadsheets. Who convinced you that crazy fast spreadsheets — I’m talking 100x faster than Google Sheets and 4x more powerful than Excel — are out of the cards for you? O.K. maybe you just enjoy restructuring your spreadsheets and reconfiguring your Excel set-up just to try to get it to run without freezing?!? Nah! Who am I kidding? All those Excel optimization hacks out there are like switching rooms in the Titanic.
With dataset sizes (and your manager’s expectations) continually growing, hoping that formula optimizations will fix Excel’s implicit performance limitations is like trying to force a square peg into a round hole. If you want to give them a try though, here are some of the more popular performance optimizations. Or, if you’re ready to step up into a next-generation, high-performance spreadsheet solution, you can give SheetRocks a spin here.
Get acquainted with browser-based spreadsheets, STAT (because we both know that Excel can’t get it done). Odds are you’ve already tried out Google Sheets – who hasn’t right? And it’s nice and all if you’re working solo with a few 10s of thousands of rows of data.
But if you’ve ever tried to use Google Sheets to collaborate in real-time with 5+ teammates, or to analyze over a million rows of data – then you’ve seen how truly weak its performance engine is. I wish I could suggest an optimization to fix that for you, but there’s just no fixing Google Sheets’ limitations.
The good news! If you’re reading this then you’re light years ahead of the 99.9% of spreadsheet modelling professionals who still haven’t heard the news that the next-generation of spreadsheet has arrived (READ: a collaborative, low-latency, browser-based spreadsheet that’s both highly secure and over 100x more powerful than Google Sheets!).
I’m giving you permission (right here, right now) to capitalize on this competitive advantage and turn all your spreadsheeting collaboration dreams into reality by trying out SheetRocks spreadsheets for yourself.
You’ve got options! Some data sourcing methods have more return on investment than others though. If you’re using Excel on-the-daily, then you may have heard about its built-in datasets: Stocks and Geography. Stocks updates with the latest prices and changes on the NASDAQ and Geography will tell you about the population of each country on Earth, as well as the gasoline prices there (?!?).
If you want data on more than public stocks and geography though, your Excel options are limited. If you want to bring in a developer or learn to program, you can connect PowerBI – but IMHO, with these options Excel leaves spreadsheet pros like you pretty darn high-and-dry!
When it comes to integrating new, custom built-in datasets, there is literally no spreadsheet on the planet that offers you more than SheetRocks. Because you see, on the backend, our spreadsheet is programmable and integrates with all sorts of relational database systems. But with that, we’d never ask an oh-so-analytically-astute professional like yourself to deviate from your zone of genius by learning to program! Instead, inside of our Founding-Members program, Planet SheetRocks, we offer our customers up to 3 custom data integration services per month (meaning we do all the coding for you and just build your datasets directly into your spreadsheet portal). How’s that for cool?
Planet SheetRocks is slated for retirement when we hit 2,000 members though, so if built-in data integrations are up your alley, I encourage you to start your SheetRocks trial today.
In late 2016, I was in a private meeting with the Engineering Director at 18F. I clearly recall the feeling of shock that came over me when she described spending $350,000/year on a time-tracking system which had previously worked just fine... in a free Google Sheet!
You see, for years we’d been doing time-tracking in Google Sheets just fine. But when we hit Employee #50, our handy-dandy Google Sheet failed us. With the collaborative requirements involved in time-tracking, our only option was to build a custom application from scratch to do the exact same simple mathematical operation for us at a larger scale.
I sat coding on my porch like I do on warm summer nights. We were a few months into the pandemic lockdown then…
There I was, an overwhelmed dad taking care of two young boys full-time while also managing a 50-person development team. I was frustrated by how slow my spreadsheet was running, when suddenly, almost like a bolt of lightning ⚡ , the thought hits me. “Why does a spreadsheet do math a million times slower than my CPU does?”
I started thinking about it. “Why can’t spreadsheets do better than that?” As I dug into it, there didn’t seem to be any good answer to that simple question.
So, I started experimenting, at first without any data, just by writing simple performance benchmarks. I did some testing to see how fast it would be if I wrote a basic program that does the same exact calculation as my spreadsheet.
My “little program” was 1,000x more powerful than a traditional spreadsheet!
Spoiler alert: I applied for funding on Christmas day 2020 and by late January I was a full-time, VC-backed founder at SheetRocks, Inc.
… busy co-founding the United States Data Federation for the US Federal Government.
… busy leading data projects for 5 years at 18F, the US government’s digital services agency (as well as running the engineering team for Healthcare.gov).
… busy co-patenting 2 of my electrical engineering innovations, while co-authoring multiple research publications at Yale on the topic of atomic physics.
.. busy earning my bachelor’s degree in Physics from Yale University, where I co-founded the microgravity experimentation team.
… And oh yeah, there’s that master’s degree I earned in electrical engineering over at Columbia, while serving as CTO of a hurricane prediction company.