From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Type of businessSubsidiary
Type of site
Area servedUnited States
Launched1995; 29 years ago (1995)[1]
Current statusInactive

Viaweb was a web-based application that allowed users to build and host their own online stores with little technical expertise using a web browser.[1] The company was started in July 1995 by Paul Graham, Robert Morris (using the pseudonym "John McArtyem"),[2] and Trevor Blackwell.[3] Graham claims Viaweb was the first application service provider.[4] Viaweb was also unusual for being partially written in the Lisp programming language.[5]

The software was originally called Webgen,[6] but another company was using the same name,[7] so the company renamed it to Viaweb, "because it worked via the Web".[8]

In 1998, Yahoo! Inc. bought Viaweb for 455,000 shares of Yahoo! capital stock, valued at about $49 million, and renamed it Yahoo! Store.[9][10]

Viaweb's example has been influential in Silicon Valley's entrepreneurial culture, largely due to Graham's widely read essays[11] and his subsequent career as a successful venture capitalist.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Company". Archived from the original on 31 Jan 1998. Retrieved 5 Mar 2021.
  2. ^ How a grad student trying to build the first botnet brought the Internet to its knees, by Timothy B. Lee, at the Washington Post; published November 1, 2013; retrieved November 1, 2018
  3. ^ Livingston, Jessica (January 2007). Founders at Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days. Apress. pp. 207–208. ISBN 978-1-59059-714-9.
  4. ^ Livingston, Jessica (January 2007). Founders at Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days. Apress. p. 206. ISBN 978-1-59059-714-9.
  5. ^ Paul Graham (April 2001). "Beating the Averages". Retrieved 2016-02-19.
  6. ^ Paul Graham (1995-08-24). "Viaweb's First Business Plan". Retrieved 2011-02-16.
  7. ^ Paul Graham (April 2005). "Why Smart People Have Bad Ideas". Retrieved 2011-02-16.
  8. ^ Paul Graham (April 2001). "Beating the Averages". Retrieved 2011-02-16.
  9. ^ Randy Weston (1998-06-09). "Yahoo buys Viaweb for $49 million". CNET News. Retrieved 2011-02-16.
  10. ^ "Company news: Yahoo buying Viaweb, a web marketing software maker". New York Times. 1998-06-09. Retrieved 2011-02-16.
  11. ^ Graham, Paul (May 2004). "How to Make Wealth". Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  12. ^ Christopher Steiner (2010-10-20). "The Disruptor In The Valley". Forbes. Retrieved 2011-02-16.

External links[edit]