# Spreadsheets are fragile because they only deal with cells

All spreadsheets (Excel, Google Sheets, …) are built around the basic concept of a cell. At the very least, a cell can contain data or a formula.

Formulas are often applied to consecutive cells (e.g. an entire column), but to get to this point, the formula has to be copied to all those cells.

The copying is error-prone. Automation can help with this, but it does not get rid of this problem, and the problem exists because the basic concept is a cell.

Note that AirTable and Notion’s databases don’t suffer from this problem, because they are not spreadsheets and their basic concept is not a cell.