Oleg Vishnepolsky

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Oleg Vishnepolsky
Oleg Vishnepolsky in 1984.jpg
Oleg Vishnepolsky in 1984 at the time of S2 creation
Born Russia
Known for S2 Spreadsheet, Aphorisms, Executive, OS/2 TCP/IP
Awards IBM CEO Outstanding Technical Achievement Award, 1992
Scientific career
Fields Computer science

Oleg Vishnepolsky is the author of IBM's S2 Spreadsheet. Vishnepolsky also authored TCP/IP stacks for OS/2 and IBM POS terminals. He also is known as an aphorist.[1][2][3] He is currently the CTO of Daily Mail Online. His posts on LinkedIn have been read by 70 millions of people, and he has over 700,000 followers[4].

S2 spreadsheet[edit]

While employed at IBM's Thomas Watson Research Center, Vishnepolsky created a Lotus 1-2-3 compatible program S2 in 1984 at about the same time as Lotus was developing 1-2-3. S2 became popular within IBM and was distributed worldwide to 50,000 users. S2 matched 1-2-3 feature by feature, and had a similar user interface. Additionally, S2 had an ability to connect to IBM mainframes via TCP/IP and pull data from IBM databases such as IBM DB2 and IBM SQL/DS.[5] It also had features that allowed for easy visual connection between formulas and their dependencies – those features were later adopted by Lotus 1-2-3 and Microsoft Excel.


In 1986 S2 caused a major controversy because of the legal concerns stemming from the fact that Lotus had filed and won lawsuits against 2 other companies for infringing on the Lotus 1-2-3 copyright. Additionally, IBM at the time was negotiating a major marketing deal with Lotus to market 1-2-3 under IBM's name. A reporter from PC Week got a hold of S2 program and ran an article speculating that the rumored deal between IBM and Lotus was coming apart.[6][7] This PC Week article caused an uproar in the executive circle of IBM. Upon further investigation, and given the fact that S2 was already in the hands of 50,000 people, the decision was not to withdraw S2 from circulation and allow Vishnepolsky to continue development of S2. However, Vishnepolsky got disheartened by the deal between IBM and Lotus and lost interest in continuing S2 development. He moved to another project and went on to develop TCP/IP for OS2 and IBM POS terminals.

Career at IBM after S2[edit]

Vishnepolsky was active in Internet protocols development and specifically in TCP/IP. He worked in the group of Barry Appelman, a significant Internet notable and the inventor of instant messaging. Appelman's group as a whole proved critical in IBM's early embrace of the Internet despite having a competing family of protocols IBM Systems Network Architecture. Vishnepolsky authored TCP/IP for OS/2[8][9][10] in 1986 and for IBM POS terminals in 1990.[11]

Career after IBM[edit]

According to an SEC filing of 2007[12] Vishnepolsky was CTO of 24/7 Real Media having worked at Doubleclick, AOL, and Prodigy in executive positions prior to him joining 24/7 Real Media. Vishnepolsky was also CTO of Inforocket/Liveadvice, an expert site.[13] According to the aforementioned SEC filing, Vishnepolsky received an outstanding technical achievement award from John Akers, the CEO of IBM at the time. According to[14] he launched first in the financial industry website for Prudential Securities. According to his Linkedin profile, Vishnepolsky served as CTO of Xaxis and currently is CTO of MailOnline.


  • "With a help of a computer we can make millions of mistakes a second."[citation needed]
  • "No gain is a pain."[citation needed]
  • "It is ok to put your head in the sand if you keep your mouth shut."[citation needed]
  • "Advice is best taken like Russian vodka: in small doses but large quantities."[citation needed]
  • "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach him how to fish and you create an environmental problem."[citation needed]
  • "We live for the moments to die for."[citation needed]
  • "Small actions beat big intentions."[citation needed]
  • "What does not kill me, makes me consume alcohol."[citation needed]
  • "Never buy a round trip ticket to the point of no return."[citation needed]
  • "The book of life has no scrap pages; write with care."[citation needed]
  • "The most beautiful hand is the one that helps."[citation needed]
  • "It does not make sense to hire chess players and treat them like chess pieces."[citation needed]
  • "It does not make sense to hire smart people and have them follow stupid rules."[citation needed]
  • "Work hard. Tired is much better than disappointed."[citation needed]

More can be found at [2] and [3]