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The Creator of the Greatest Software Ever Invented Just Died

Dennis Austin just died and I feel like he deserves a bit of a tribute. Maybe even a parade. He’s the co-inventor, along with Michael Gaskins, of the greatest software product ever imagined: PowerPoint. Yes, I said it. PowerPoint is the best software for communicators. I use it for everything. Giving talks. Designing images. Laying out postcards. Collecting research. The only thing that I don’t use this magically flexible tool for is writing. It’s the technology equivalent of red chili powder. It goes with everything. 

PowerPoint is better than Canva, Photoshop, Keynote, and any other communications tool you can name. Ok, I know some of you might be thinking this is extreme. What about “Death by PowerPoint?” Or Jeff Bezos famously banning PowerPoint at Amazon? Or the countless terrible PowerPoint presentations we have all suffered through? I hear you.

Bullet points always sucked, but that is not the fault of the software. Anyone can drive a car into a lake. Bad presenters create bad PowerPoint. They use slides unnecessarily. They rely on bullet points as crutches. They use clip art. And they have given the software a reputation it doesn’t deserve. Don’t blame the game, blame the players.

PowerPoint can be a world-changing tool to communicate an idea. If you know how to use it. So thank you, Dennis and Michael. I hope you have been able to ignore the haters who choose to drive your product into a lake. They don’t appreciate what you gave to the world. But some of us do.

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