The Virtues of Pivot Tables


The Virtues of Pivot Tables / Posted by

Simply put, Pivot Tables are one of the most under-utilized bits of technology that is on nearly everyone’s computer.  It’s a little-advertised part of Excel.  It allows you to quickly aggregate up to a million rows of data, and allows you to quickly tweak (aka. “pivot”) the results to be aggregated differently at the click of a mouse.  Slap on one of Excel’s auto-updating graphs, and you have a BI (Business Intelligence) tool that can cover the lion’s share of what many users are trying to do with their data. Want to blow your manager’s mind?  Swap a couple of the “dimensions” like I have in the picture below.  The graph instantly updates, and your boss gets the report he or… Read More


Focus / Posted by

When we started XS, Inc. over 12 years ago, we had big ambitions to change the way commerce was conducted in agriculture. In fact, hundreds, if not thousands of startups were popping up and racing to create exchanges in their respective industries with the same objectives in mind. As we all know now, internet-enabled efficient markets, while intellectually sound, can and often did overlook many behavioral, social and emotional dimensions of the buying experience. This miscalculation inevitably led to the demise of the vast majority of startups. The very few who survived were able to do so by embracing change and finding some other value-added service or product to sell. At XS, we have always been fortunate to have attracted… Read More


Defining Culture at XS / Posted by

Thanks for visiting the XS Blog about our culture. Although the posts here will illustrate the many ways that we express one of our favorite values “have fun”, there are many other subjects we’ll post that will truly provide insight into what makes us unique as a team. The “have fun” value is really one of six values that we established here at XS about six years ago when we structured a buyback arrangement with Morgan Stanley. My partners and I, along with the project leaders and managers collectively agreed upon what principles we wanted to dictate our actions as a company. We borrowed thinking from Plato (The Republic), Thomas Aquinas and others ultimately deciding to use the Cardinal Virtues… Read More