HowStuffWorks, Inc.
Type of site
Educational website
Available in English
Headquarters United States
Owner Blucora
Created by Marshall Brain
Revenue Advertising
Slogan(s) Learn How Everything Works.
Alexa rank Decrease 682 (April 2014)[1]
Commercial Yes
Registration None
Launched July 11, 1998 (1998-07-11)[2]
Current status Active

HowStuffWorks is an American commercial educational website founded by Marshall Brain to provide its target audience an insight into the way many things work. The site uses various media to explain complex concepts, terminology, and mechanisms—including photographs, diagrams, videos, animations, and articles. A documentary television series with the same name also premiered in November 2008 on the Discovery Channel.


In 1998, North Carolina State University professor Marshall Brain started the site as a hobby. In 1999, Brain raised venture capital and formed HowStuffWorks, Inc. In March 2002, HowStuffWorks was sold to the Convex Group, an Atlanta-based investment and media company founded by Jeff Arnold, founder and former chief executive officer (CEO) of WebMD.[3] The headquarters moved from Cary, North Carolina to Atlanta, Georgia. HowStuffWorks originally focused on science and machines, ranging from submarines to common household gadgets and appliances. After adding a staff of writers, artists, and editors, content expanded to a larger array of topics.

In November 2004, HowStuffWorks moved its entertainment section to Stuffo.[4] However, in 2006, the team disbanded and the site now redirects visitors to the site's entertainment channel.

The domain attracted at least 58 million visitors annually by 2008, according to a survey.[5]

There have been four HowStuffWorks books – two illustrated hardcover coffee table books called HowStuffWorks and More HowStuffWorks, and two un-illustrated paperbacks called How Much Does the Earth Weigh? and What If?. HowStuffWorks puts out an educational magazine called "HowStuffWorks Express" for middle school students. The company has also released a series of HowStuffWorks trivia "LidRock" discs – CD-ROMs sold on fountain drink lids at Regal Theaters.

Howstuffworks recently acquired Mobil Travel Guide and Consumer Guide. spun off its international division when they went public (Nasdaq:HSWI) via an acquisition of INTAC, a China-based company. In March 2007, HSW International launched its Portuguese website with headquarters in São Paulo, Brazil.[6] The Portuguese term for the site is Como Tudo Funciona, which means "how everything works." In June 2008, the Chinese site was launched with new headquarters placed in Beijing, China. The URL roughly translates to "Knowledge Information Web."[7]

On October 15, 2007, Discovery Communications announced it had bought HowStuffWorks for US$250 million.[8] The company later chose to use the name HowStuffWorks as the title of a television series on its Discovery Channel. The series, which focuses on commodities,[9] premiered in November 2008 and is similar in style and content to other "how it works" programs like Modern Marvels.[10]

On November 2, 2009, HSW International co-founded Sharecare, Inc., developing a social QA platform through which users ask health and wellness-related questions, receiving answers from industry experts. Other co-founders in Sharecare include Jeff Arnold, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Harpo Productions, Discovery Communications and Sony Pictures Television.[11]

On April 21, 2014, Discovery Communications announced that they had sold HowStuffWorks to Blucora for $45 million.[12]

Later in the year, HowStuffWorks moved its headquarters from Buckhead to Ponce City Market, a new mixed-use development in the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood of Atlanta.[13]


HowStuffWorks maintains several podcasts, hosted by its staff writers and editors.


There are also 10 blogs on the website, eight of which are extensions of one of HSW's podcasts.

See also


  1. " Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2014-04-01.
  2. " WHOIS, DNS, & Domain Info - DomainTools". WHOIS. Retrieved 2016-08-05.
  3. HowStuffWorks sold to vulture fund BizJournals 2002-09-02.
  4. "HowStuffWorks - Stuffo". Archived from the original on 2004-11-14. Retrieved 2004-11-14.
  5. HowStuffWorks at
  6. "HowStuffWorks - como tudo funciona". 2000-04-01. Retrieved 2009-07-29.
  7. "博闻网 知道就好!". 2000-04-01. Retrieved 2009-07-29.
  8. "Discovery Buys" by the Wall Street Journal
  9. - "Precious Commodities" . - Discovery Channel Archived March 25, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  10. Wasko, Janet and Calderon, Carlos. - "Modern Marvels: Celebrating How It Works". - University of Oregon. - May 7, 2008
  11. "Dr. Mehmet Oz and Internet Entrepreneur, Jeff Arnold, Announce Sharecare Inc.,a Web 3.0 Platform, Organizing and Answering the Questions of Health". Bloomberg. November 2, 2009. Retrieved 2011-04-02.
  12. "Discovery Sells HowStuffWorks at 82% Loss After Seven Years". Bloomberg. April 21, 2014. Retrieved April 22, 2014.
  13. "How-To Stuff - The Blogs at HowStuffWorks". Blogs at HowStuffWorks. Archived from the original on 2011-10-10.

External links

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