The Top 10 Missed Tech Business Opportunities

There’s plenty of start-up companies but which ones will succeed and which will fail? It’s difficult to tell. My daughter and I are fans of Shark Tank. It’s really interesting to watch really old seasons for the first time then look up the results years later to see how the companies did.  But these are pretty minor compared to these missed opportunities.

  1. “In 2008 Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang turned down an offer from Microsoft which was believed to be in the region of $44.6 billion. Yahoo has since continued to decline.” Source
  2. “In 1999, search engine Excite had an opportunity to purchase Google for just $370k. Instead they rejected and Google have since established themselves as a mega-brand and are likely to dominate the internet for many years to come. Source
  3. In early 2005, MySpace CEO Chris DeWolf offered to buy TheFacebook.com, but backpedaled when Zuckerberg demanded $75 million. Later that year, the company simply became Facebook.” Source
  4. George Bell Undervalues Google and Refuses to Buy It (1999)
    “The Google founders offered a selling price of $1 million for their fledgling company, They did, but Bell still found it too high and called off the negotiations.” Source
  5. IBM and Digital Research, Inc. Versus Microsoft (1985)
    “Had IBM’s management been more technologically savvy, or had DRI been more amenable to a deal, they could have been where Microsoft is today.” Source
  6. Apple Co-Founder’s $50 Billion Blunder
    “less than two weeks after founding Apple and receiving a 10% stake in the company, Ronald Wayne sold his Apple stock for $800. (He reportedly got another check later for $1,500 to forfeit any claims he had against the company going forward.) Today, his stock would be worth more than $55 billion.” Source
  7. Digg’s board turned down an $80 million buyout
    “Digg founder Kevin Rose never confirmed those talks with Google, but he did admit that Digg once got an acquisition offer for close to $80 million” Source
  8. Sahil Lavingia left Pinterest one month before his stock options vested
    “Lavingia left Pinterest about one month shy of being there for a full year so none of his stock options vested. Meanwhile, Pinterest’s valuation has recently
    been pegged at about $4 billion.” Source
  9. Sony Could’ve: Ruled portable music
    “Well, if it weren’t for the iPod’s outsized success (which became a crossover hit partially because nobody else was producing any decent MP3 players—Sony included) the modern Apple as we know it wouldn’t exist.” Source
  10. Blockbuster fails to buy Netflix
    “So in 2000, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings paid a visit to Blockbuster’s headquarters in Dallas, Texas. He offered John Antioco, then Blockbuster’s head, a chance to buy Netflix for a mere $50 million.” Source