Part of being a successful entrepreneur is developing the necessary skills to be able to know an opportunity when you see one. If you feel like you have dropped the ball lately on making the right decisions for expanding your business, think about these blunders that stand out among the worst business decisions ever made.
Excite Had the Chance to Buy Google – But Passed
Google, the world’s most powerful search engine, hardly needs any introduction. Millions of people across the globe use the search engine and products associated with the company every single day. Founded in 1998, Google has since grown to process more than 40,000 searches per second – in other words, 3.5 billion search queries daily and 1.2 trillion annually. Yet when it was taking its first steps, in 1998, it was still up for grabs. According to Betway Insider and its list of worst ever business decisions, search engine Excite had the chance to buy out the nascent competitor for just $750,000. Today, Google is worth well over $800 billion, while Excite, once a powerful company, got bought out by Ask Jeeves for less than $350 million back in 2004.
EDS Thought Bill Gates Was Asking for Too Much for Microsoft
Because history repeats itself as a farce, this was not the first time that a giant failed to see the potential of a rising brand and passed on a business deal that could rewrite history in the tech industry. According to the same list, Electronic Data Systems, one of the most important US IT companies, were testing the waters in 1979 to invest in software developers. They had reached a value of $1 billion and were looking to reinvest some of it. Among the offers was a small, unknown company founded by a 23-year-old Harvard dropout that was working on developing computer software. EDS felt that the amount of $40 to 60 million that he was asking was too much and they started looking elsewhere. The 23-year-old was called Bill Gates and the company was Microsoft, the business that would forever change the software landscape and go on to attain a value of roughly $1 trillion. As for EDS, it was acquired by Hewlett-Packard in 2008 for $13.9 billion, but after just 4 years, in 2012, it was already devalued by $8 billion.
The IT industry is one of the fields that offer the greatest success stories – but if you know where to look, it is also where you can find many of the worst business blunders ever.