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BEYOND.COM designs, builds, and manages e-stores for companies like Symantec Corp. and Inprise/Borland, which have established name brands. The firm sets itself apart from other e-commerce service providers by offering back-end services, such as product distribution, along with more traditional Web page design services. Thanks to its eStore 3.0 system, can construct an online store in less than four weeks. The firm also sells software online to government agencies and, on a lesser scale, to individuals. In September of 2000, Deloitte and Touche ranked as tenth on its Silicon Valley Technology Fast 50 list, which evaluates the fastest growing technology firms in California's Silicon Valley based on revenue growth.

Founded in 1994 by former Egghead executive William McKiernan, was first known as After running his upstart firm for roughly four years, McKiernan convinced Mark Breier to leave his post as director of marketing at to head up operations at By 1999, the online software retailer was selling 45,000 software titlesnearly 5,600 of which could be downloaded via the Internetto governmental entities, businesses, and individual consumers. At that point, customers exceeded the 1 million mark and annual sales topped $37 million, roughly 50 percent of which came from software downloads. Despite its status as the world's largest online software vendor, lost nearly as much money as it made.

Recognizing that competition was only going to become more fierce in the online retail software market, Breier and his management team opted early in 2000 to shift 's focus to the business-to-business (B2B) market by offering e-commerce services such as constructing and operating e-stores for other companies. The firm had already built both an online store for McAfee and an international online store for Symantec in 1999. Believing this new aim was beyond the scope of his expertise, Breier relinquished control of daily operations to C. Richard Neely Jr., who served as Interim CEO until the firm hired Ron Smith in June of 2000.

Less than two years after its shift to e-commerce services, had pulled together a suite of extensive e-commerce services offered via the firm's eStores. Services included the actual construction and management of e-stores, from customer screening to order fulfillment, and eStores clients could also opt for eMarketing Solutions, which included tactics for increasing and retaining site traffic such as eMail, eN-ewsletter, eBanner, eCoupon, ePartners, eChannels, and BeDirect Mail. Although had yet to achieve profitability in mid-2001, many consider the firm to be an e-commerce services pioneer.


Berman, Phyllis. "Hat Trick." Forbes. May 3, 1999.

" Launches eStores in Germany and France for, Expanding Physical Product Distribution Capabilities." Business Wire. March 1, 2001.

" Named Silicon Valley's Tenth Fastest Growing Company by Deloitte & Touche." Santa Clara, CA:, 2000. Available from

Campbell, Scott, and David Jastrow. "E-commerce Pioneer Goes Beyond Software Sales." Computer Reseller News. June 12, 2000.

"Ronald S. " The Wall Street Transcript. September 4, 2000. Available from

SEE ALSO: E-commerce Solutions; E-tailing; Storefront Builders; Web Site Design and Set-up