The First App Store
1982-1983
Greg Bryant

Honestly, because of the nature of the computer business,
with strange products demanded by people who are strangely
in positions of power, surrounded by secrecy, sometimes released
in secrecy -- nobody can know if this was the first app store.

I thought it was a pretty natural thing to do, working at a
startup that simulated personal computers on mainframe 
timesharing systems. I think I wrote this proposal in 1982,
and built it in 1983, combining our phone-terminal board and 
software with our virtual CP/M machine boards and software, 
running on our in-office Vax 11/780.

Significantly, 'The Virtual Store' wasn't just for buying software online. 

It also allowed an online demo -- with a disposable virtual machine!
And we charged people for the privilege of using it.

That said, I was very disappointed at this startup's management,
by the time we released it. It was shut down because I left, 
and because the sales team didn't quite know how to grow the
customer base. Too far before its time, perhaps.

I did some consulting for awhile, and then went to work
at Intel headquarters as a Unix guru / evangelist.

In 1997, during the dotcom boom, I revisited this demo idea 
at my Palo Alto startup, Workspot.