Excel Power & Performance

The best explanation we've found to help new Excel users find comfort, despite the confusion and frustration they often feel, when opening a blank Excel Workbook, is to compare the similarities between spreadsheet modeling and the power & performance characteristics of a Ferrari.  In short, Ferrari's don't perform well at low speeds -- and neither does Excel.

A thrilling experience behind the wheel, whether in a high performance automobile or in an Excel spreadsheet model, requires at least 3 things.  First, you need a vehicle with exceptional speed, handling and power.  For those Bruce Lee fans out there, if one is to learn the ways of Kung Fu he must develop "speed, accuracy & power" (The Way of the Intercepting Fist).  Excel provides all of the required capabilities and potential (Kung Fu not included; you'll have to develop your own).

Second, you're going to need a lot of road to get up to speed and be able to make the ride last long enough to enjoy it.  In Excel, the bigger the project -- the longer the road.  Rookie Excel users struggle with this in nearly every instance because they either: (a) lack a project requirement that's large enough, or (b) are intimidated by large data sets or spreadsheets.  The truth in this case is that size does matter, and Excel performs best when you place a heavy demand on its resources.

Finally, a quick sprint down a funny car drag strip isn't nearly as exhilarating as a drive down the Autobahn or up and down the hills of the Italian countryside.  The adrenaline really gets pumping when a driver has to control steering, shifting, acceleration and braking all together.  Simply put, Excel thrives on complexity!  The more complex your spreadsheet model requirements are, the more fun it is to find ways to get Excel to do the work for you.

So brace yourself for a great experience, because in order to really get the enjoyment and reward that comes from leveraging Excel, you'll have to accept the fact that things will be sluggish and awkward until you can develop at least a modest level of proficiency with the navigation, functions and shortcuts that can really drive your Excel modeling to the limit!