March was the best month ever for Excel-to-HTML, my Microsoft Excel add-in for converting spreadsheet cells to HTML tables. People used it 650 times last month to convert cells to HTML, and this month is on track to do well too.
I was trying to figure out why and then I realized the obvious answer. People are probably using the add-in to share their tables of virus related data during the current pandemic.
This pandemic is obviously a terrible net negative for millions of people, but it's interesting to see which things are growing because of it.
Alright people we are ready to roll.
Wish me luck! :pray:
I just launched my Excel add-in on Hacker News:
Fortunately my timezone means I now get to go to sleep instead of compulsively hitting the refresh button all day long. :D
I am following a strategy of scheduling posts on different sites, Slack chats, and email lists, with the two main ones being Hacker News and then Product Hunt.
For HN I wrote a post (linked above) about how I built the add-in using web tech, which I hope will be valuable to readers there.
I'm hoping this scheduled approach will mean better traction than previous things I have launched.
Tomorrow is Product Hunt.
Will report back!
"Won't take long" said programmer brain, expecting maybe two or three days to bang this thing out.
Some three months later the Add-in is finally approved by the Microsoft submission process and makes it into the store. It hasn't shown up just yet but as soon as it does I'm going to Product Hunt this baby!
At a function for one of my clients I asked an economist what the most annoying part of her job is. She thought about it for a bit but couldn't think of anything: "I love my job!"
At the end of the night just as she was leaving she tapped me on the arm "actually the most annoying thing in my work is when I have to turn a selection of Excel cells into an HTML table to publish it on our website."
Bingo! Exactly 15 days later I started coding an Excel Add-in to solve this problem for her.
An economist told me the worst part of her job is turning Excel data into HTML tables, so I fixed it.