October 11th, 2006 | Published in Google Docs
I'm pregnant with twins. Twin boys, that is. At first, I was pretty terrified at the prospect. I'm already a mom - I have a 3 year-old girl at home - so I have an inkling of the sleep deprivation and domestic chaos that awaits me with the birth of these boys. But then I got to thinking -- ultimately, it will be fabulous! The boys will have each other throughout their lives. They'll be thick as thieves, blood brothers, constant companions. They'll look out for each other and help each other out of (hopefully minor and infrequent) scrapes.
Odd how one's personal life and work life sometimes mirror one another, isn't it? I've been working on two product teams here at Google: Writely, the Web word processor, and Google Spreadsheets. Writely was born as a start-up in August 2005 and joined the Google family in March this year. And Google Spreadsheets was born in Google Labs this past June. Today these two products begin a new life together as Google Docs & Spreadsheets.
The combination of documents and spreadsheets is a natural one. I think of documents as right-brain (a blank canvas for free-form writing) and spreadsheets as left-brain (a structured framework for lists and data). Different people use one or the other for the same thing. For example, if you were compiling a shopping list, would you prefer to do it in a document or a spreadsheet? I'd use a document ... you might use a spreadsheet ... it just depends on which format feels more comfortable and better suited for the task at hand.
We've completely re-jiggered Writely and Google Spreadsheets so they're more identical than fraternal, and unified the two with one login, one help center and a joint list that shows all your documents and spreadsheets online. I hope you'll find these changes as useful and exciting as we do!