Dan Bricklin, the co-creator of VisiCalc, the first business application written for personal computers in the late 1970s, is close to launching a beta of WikiCalc, an open-source, browser-based collaboration tool, according to a recent ZDNet story. The application allows any person, anywhere to manipulate data in spreadsheets, a potentially useful tool for businesses, where spreadsheets are now a single-user tool that are generally e-mailed back and forth for input. WikiCalc looks like the Excel spreadsheets you're familiar with, so there's no learning curve there, and it allows edits and additions to spreadsheets to be viewed instantaneously.

Besides this collaborative computing tool, Bricklin has spearheaded other business-focused projects, including the SMBmeta Initiative back in 2003. His intention with SMBmeta was to promote the use of a standardized tag on small business websites to enable users and search engines to find local businesses more easily. At the time the initiative was trying to gain ground with businesses and with search engines. Today, however, Yahoo!, Google Local and Amazon's A9 Yellow Pages seem to be providing the solution Bricklin had proposed with his initiative.