If you've ever used a piece of highly domain-specific business software, chances are it was nothing but a graphical front-end to some database. While such systems can be extremely useful for the organizations they are tailored for, they are expensive to develop, hard to adopt, and seldom reach the level of maturity found in more general-purpose office productivity applications. We need a single unified user interface—simple yet flexible—that brings the power of relational databases to the average information worker.
Before fleeing to the US in 2004, Eirik evaded military service by spending a year as an end-user of an amazingly obscure (and aquatically themed) database system made specifically for the administration of public Norwegian schools of music, theatre, and visual arts. Now safe in the hands of his advisors David Karger and Rob Miller, Eirik is at MIT CSAIL working towards his Ph.D. degree in Computer Science.