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Hi, I’m Brad Feld, a managing director at the Foundry Group who lives in Boulder, Colorado. I invest in software and Internet companies around the US, run marathons and read a lot.

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Quit Sucking At Excel

Comments (49)

Microsoft Excel and our brains have a lot in common. We all use them, but only to about 10% capacity.

Today I’m offering a solution on Brad Feld’s Amazing Deals from a startup called Excel Everest. These guys can teach you how to use Excel by offering a 20 hour interactive tutorial on the fine points of spreadsheets. Their class is normally $35, but through the magic of daily deals, I’m bringing it to you for only $14 (PC / Windows only). Think of it as getting a class on Excel from my partner Seth, who is the best Excel god I know, for only $0.70 / hour.

Almost all of us are guilty of firing up a spreadsheet and limiting ourselves to just a few basic functions. Spreadsheet proficiency for $14 seems like a steal to me. Once you make your purchase, just head over to the Excel Everest website, plug in your voucher code, and you’re ready to recalculate your spreadsheet knowledge.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, well the problem is that Excel is limited to financials. It is useless for customer contacts, sales departments , networking… Excel Sucks al by its lonesome. i would never invest in a 20 hour tutorial. I’d kill myself first. Act is much better , or even Outlook.
    sorry no sale here
    Jann

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      Yeah, but try to do a DCF using Act!

    • http://twitter.com/joespinelli Joe Spinelli

      “Useless” is probably a tad strong.

      I don’t know if this course gets into the finer points of VBA, but Excel is more of a black box than you might think even with just the built-in formulas.

      Additionally, the cost/benefit of smartly utilizing basic Excel functionality, as opposed of the time and money for a full-fledged CRM or homegrown DBs (even in access) is certainly more than favorable for a host of business tasks at early startups. Plus, it’s easier to iterate with outsiders as XLS is a pretty universal standard.

      Any investment in learning how to wean off the mouse with keyboard shortcuts can remarkably improve the speed of work, and has a very short payback time for even moderate users of Excel.

    • http://prophotorental.com kohlmannj

      If you’re using it for those things, then you’ve completely misunderstood the value & benefit of Excel. Yes, please stick with Act or Outlook for your applications. #RoundPegSquareHole

      • Anonymous

        Glad you said that, because of our tech “genius’s” who insisted …….then
        created it, and pissed everyone off in sales, customer relations, we then
        went back to Outlook and then to Act. all are happy now….but it was a 2
        year fiasco… Jann

    • James Mitchell

      Excel can be a really easy to use database, as long as you can live with one table. If you’re going to have multiple tables that are linked, then you need to go to a real DBMS such as Microsoft Access.

      • Anonymous

        ahah. No we can’t live with one table……….that was the whole problem.

  • http://www.itsinsider.com itsinsider

    Hi Brad. The link doesn’t load images (on safari) and not clear about how to sign up? (voucher code?) Sounds like a cool deal and Excel is definitely something I’d luck to suck at less. (help?)

  • kevinprentiss

    To save others 3 minutes of clicking around: excel everest only works for PCs. No mac support due to lack of VBA.

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      Blech / bummer – I should have put that in the post. Will update now.

    • Anonymous

      I’m Sean, the founder of Excel Everest. Thx for pointing this out Kevin… I completely forgot to request this be included in the copy for the deal!

      • http://daveheal.com Dave Heal

        This is kind of a bummer, Sean. For $14 I’m definitely interested in a refresher (and probably even at $35), but I’m a lot less interested if I have to put in the 20 hours while sitting at my work PC before or after work. Hopefully the Mac Excel is VBA-compatible soon. I’ll cross my fingers for an update in the next 4 days 13 hours.

        • Anonymous

          Dave, if you’ve got the new version of Excel on Mac (2011), it will actually “kind-of” work with Excel Everest 2011. The design will be a little funky and you’ll have to find all of the menu references yourself, but the navigations works since 2011 incorporated VBA compatibility. In summary, if you wanted to jump between your home and work computers, it might suit your needs. Download our 2010 demo to see what I mean. Also, building a Mac version is certainly on our horizon!

  • http://profiles.google.com/camilo.telles Camilo Telles

    Feld…

    Have you DDOSed your friends?

    Camilo

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      I hope not. What makes you think this.

      • http://profiles.google.com/camilo.telles Camilo Telles

        it’s working now.

  • http://profiles.google.com/beckjim Jim Beck

    Excel 2011 on Mac supports VBA so if this whole thing is VBA driven it should work. I was intrigued, but it doesn’t look to cover anything I don’t know how to do already if ‘VLOOKUP’ is black diamond.

    • http://www.exceleverest.com Sean Duffy

      Hi Jim, I’m the founder of Excel Everest. You’re spot on… if you’re already proficient w/ Vlookups, etc, EE isn’t your tool. Funnily enough, if you can do Excel Everest, you’re probably in the 95th percentile of Excel users, hence me making the topic a black diamond (many new / intermediate users actually have trouble understanding the concept).

  • http://twitter.com/chipgriffin Chip Griffin

    Since I have been on a crusade of late trying to help people I work with understand the value of their own time, I can’t help but point out the actual cost is really $14 plus whatever the value of 20 hours of one’s time is. It is probably still a good deal for anyone who uses Excel regularly, but hopefully most of the people who read your blog are worth more than $0.70 an hour! :)

  • Pbarber

    I signed up this morning via Mark’s Deals. I am looking forward to using Excel Everest this weekend. Sean, I’ll be sure to contact you with any follow up questions

  • Anonymous

    Is there a business out there to allow individuals to create there own “daily deal” like you are doing here? That could be fun to build.

    • http://twitter.com/n8sch Nate Schmidt

      Hey David. If you have an audience, particularly in a specific niche, we can turn you into a daily deal store practically overnight. We think that very targeted local distribution is the future of the deals market. Fill out our survey at http://www.dealcoop.com if you are interested in learning more.

  • Anonymous

    So what’s the verdict on Mac – yeah or nay? Looks like a split of authority in the comments.

    • Anonymous

      It’s a nay. The 2010 windows version “kind-of” works on the Mac, but it’s not built for it & the design and instructions are a bit off. In short, it’ll get frustrating if you’re not open to hunting for menu items on the mac. I’d only say yes if you’re really itching to learn Excel and are open for a bit of pain!

      -Sean, Founder, Excel Everest

      • Anonymous

        Bummer – I was “in” but I am Mac only with all three computers.

        • Anonymous

          We’ve really got to get a Mac version out :)!

  • http://sco.tt Scott Yates

    By the way, it turns out that 10-percent meme is apocryphal. It sounds cool, so it survives, but it’s not the case.

  • betabob

    But didn’t you recently convert to Google Docs?

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      Yes except for I still use Excel and Word.

      • James Mitchell

        If you’re using Word and Excel, then whatt are you using in Google Apps, other than Gmail.

        I am glad to hear that you’re still using Word and Excel, I thought you had gone crazy.

        • http://www.feld.com bfeld

          I use a whole bunch of stuff, including Google Docs. Calendar, Sites,
          Contacts, Voice, Chat.

          I rarely use Excel for much of anything other than opening Excel
          spreadsheets that other people have created.

          I only use Word for long form documents (such as the new book I’m
          writing with Jason called “Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer
          And VC”).

          I find Google Apps to be excellent at many things and more than
          adequate for others.

  • http://profiles.google.com/jpfuentes2 Jacques Fuentes

    I’ve enjoyed your blog now for quite some time but I have yet to comment. Hopefully, this won’t be considered trolling: your statement about using only 10% of our brains is a myth. Sorry, it just irks me to continually see this myth perpetuated.

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      What % of our brains do you think we use?

      • http://profiles.google.com/jpfuentes2 Jacques Fuentes

        Well, I’m certainly no expert on the subject matter so I’m inclined to listen to those who are. This article Do People Only Use 10 Percent Of Their Brains? should give you a good idea. Below are snippets from the article. There’s also a wikipedia entry.

        “It turns out though, that we use virtually every part of the brain, and that [most of] the brain is active almost all the time,” Gordon adds. “Let’s put it this way: the brain represents three percent of the body’s weight and uses 20 percent of the body’s energy.”

        “Evidence would show over a day you use 100 percent of the brain,” says John Henley, a neurologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Even in sleep, areas such as the frontal cortex, which controls things like higher level thinking and self-awareness, or the somatosensory areas, which help people sense their surroundings, are active,

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UTFQXHKUCDYQ5E2RSBSSL4G4IA Bill Mosby

          Most of the time it seems like a lot of my brain is using me. So it’s pretty active.

  • James Mitchell

    People who are serious about Excel will no doubt appreciate John Walkenbach’s website:

    http://j-walk.com

    His books on Excel are the best written and authorative books published.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chrissundberg Chris Sundberg

    This is a great deal even though I consider myself pretty efficient in Excel. A $14 refresher with a dancing bear can’t hurt at all. Also, Sean the founder was VERY prompt in replying to my emails asking a few questions.

  • Mike Briggs

    Paid my $14, got a voucher [it says a physical printer necessary to print voucher :( ] Surfed to exceleverest.com, entered discount code and my info. The site tells me that the Discount Code is invalid. A very frustrating exercise!!

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      That sucks. I’ll get you connected with the right folks to resolve.

    • http://twitter.com/n8sch Nate Schmidt

      Hey Mike. Just emailed you instructions for your voucher. Email me back if you have any trouble.

      • Briggs Michael

        It worked great the second time I tried it. Thanks for the quick support. Perhaps it’s because I started with the Buy link at the bottom right at the homepage vs the Individuals tab? You might also clarify that a printer isn’t really required. I had thought you might be sending the doc directly to the printer and it would never appear on the screen.

  • http://twitter.com/socialbar_muc Socialbar München

    Hi Brad, i am in Germany. My visa card is not working. How can I stell get your excel deal?

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      Hmm – don’t know. I’ll check.

    • http://twitter.com/n8sch Nate Schmidt

      Same to you. Email nate@dealcoop.com and I’ll get you taken care of.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1582900760 Andreas Kopp

    My German Visa card is not working how can I still get the deal?

    • http://twitter.com/n8sch Nate Schmidt

      Hey Andreas, please email me at nate@dealcoop.com and I’ll hook you up.

  • Anonymous

     Many entrepreneurs have problems with Excel. Almost all of these problems can be even seen in their business plans. This is why I would recommend them to use the tutorials they can find here: http://businessplanjournal.com/ so that they will at least have the chance not to embarrass themselves in front of the investors they are applying to! 

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