As part of my latest column, on the ripple effects of the pioneering Cambridge startup Viaweb, I corresponded by e-mail with Viaweb co-founder Trevor Blackwell. Blackwell is now a partner at the accelerator Y Combinator and founder of the robotics company Anybots.

Blackwell shared some of the lessons he learned at Viaweb, which was founded twenty years ago this month, including this: “Fundraising is not success.” Here’s our exchange, which didn’t make it into the column…More →

Scott Kirsner

The summer of 1995 was a “big bang” moment for the Internet. Amazon.com switched on its servers two decades ago this month, and the founders of AuctionWeb — later renamed eBay — were busily preparing to launch their site on Labor Day weekend. Browser-maker Netscape went public in August. And a company you likely haven’t heard of, Viaweb, was founded in a triple-decker in Cambridge.

Viaweb never became as well known as the others, but it played a pivotal role in the evolution of e-commerce, and the entrepreneurial ecosystem.More →

Losing your smartphone can evoke the same feelings of loss as a breakup, researchers have found.

For decades, researchers have studied how our relationships with others broadens our worldview and perceptions of ourselves. The theory of self-expansion, for instance, explains why having important people in our lives makes us feel less isolated and inconsequential and more connected to a wider community. Which is why after a breakup, you can’t help but feel as if the world is closing in on you.More →