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November 14, 2006

Google Hires iRows' Founders

Google hired the two people behind iRows, a startup that focused on online spreadsheets before Google did. iRows has an interface that tries to mimic desktop products like Microsoft Excel and includes features not available in Google Spreadsheets, like charts.

Here's how the iRows team commented on the launch of Google Spreadsheets, in June:

How does the Google product compare to iRows? I have to say they did a good job. They have a few features that we still do not have (like workbooks, which are on our short term plan), and we have features they do not have (for example charts). (...)

When a giant like Google enters a market, it could mean trouble for the little guys, but it could also be an opportunity. It will depend on how good a job Google will do with their tool, and how good a job we will do. While they have more people and resources, I think we have more passion, focus, dedication and an attitude that is more responsive to our users. Let's wait for the waves to settle down, and see in a couple of month how the products are evolving.

In September, iRows team ceased the development of their product because of the lack of resources.
Our main challenge is money. We think we have a good product, many users, some of use the product extensively. But (and this is a big but) it is not generating enough money to keep us alive.

Now Yoah Bar-David and Itai Raz, iRows' founders, are a part of Google. But you can still check an example of a iRows spreadsheet: iRows vs Google Spreadsheet Comparison, which is a little outdated. iRows will be available until the end of the year.

{ Via TechCrunch and Philipp Lenssen. }

Update: iRows founders say: "Being at Google will allow us to continue doing what we love to do best but on a much larger scale. There is a lot of exciting work at Google waiting for us."

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