Literacy was not widespread in Mesopotamia. The scribes had to undergo training, and having completed their training, became members of a privileged elite who might look with contempt on their fellow citizens.

— C. B. F. Walker, Cuneiform

For every one programmer, there exist one hundred information workers.

Each has a unique mind solving unique problems at a unique company, yet their work is mediated by mass-produced software.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Early works, from Smalltalk to Squeak to HyperCard to VisiCalc, have long presaged a Gutenberg Revolution that democratizes the connection of mind to machine by allowing all people to become literate authors of their own tools.

Today’s low-code revolution promises to fulfill this prophecy in the mainstream. It represents a mass migration, like that of the cloud, where vertical apps are unbundled into baskets of composable capabilities, and horizontal platforms support entirely new software that integrates those capabilities across application boundaries.

But today’s low-code platforms fall short. Those marketed toward programmers merely repackage a traditional development environment with a facade of WYSIWYG. Those marketed toward a broader audience may offer “building blocks”, but fail to approach the computing power of code. No product has yet to achieve the stepwise leap in power that Visicalc managed forty years ago.

This is a problem, and our solution is Plato. Today, Plato is Airtable for your database. Tomorrow, Plato is the next spreadsheet — a general purpose computing platform for building internal tools, designed for all, yet retaining full programming power by introducing novel techniques for codeless programming.

We’re assembling a founding team of designers and engineers to realize this mission. Join us.