Written by Hazel Ramsell
Even the most innovative and entrepreneurial companies can miss the mark when it comes to the decision of whether to cash in or cash out of a business opportunity.
With the investment potentials in the tech market, it can be difficult to foresee the opportunities which could make a company or break it. Whether this be failing to update systems for the latest technology and trends, such as Motorola missing the smartphone revolution, or rejecting a huge investment opportunity from a future tech giant, such as Excite rejecting the opportunity to purchase Google for 0.0002% of its current valuation, history has seen some regretful decisions as a result of boardroom negotiations.
Spare a thought for the businesses that missed on millions (or billions) by turning down early opportunities to ride the growth of today’s biggest success stories. Betway Casino have compiled a list of the worst business decisions ever made, forming the history behind some of the most successful tech companies of today and providing a reason as to why some companies we remember from their heyday no longer exist.
The company that could have bought Google for under $1m
Back in 1999, search engine Excite, one of the most well-known brands on the internet, turned down the opportunity to purchase Google for only $750k.
Google went on to dominate the world and are now valued at around $367bn, while Excite were bought out by fellow Ask Jeeves for $343m in 2004.
Motorola doesn’t do smartphones
Motorola were one of the biggest mobile phone manufacturers in the world during the mid-2000s, with a market share of 22 percent thanks to their hugely popular Razr model.
However, their lack of urgency in producing a smartphone – not doing so until 2010 – meant their share value fell from $72 in February 2006 to only $12 three years later, an 83 percent drop.
Blockbuster block themselves out
Blockbuster had over 9,000 video and DVD rental stores worldwide during the 1990s, with an annual revenue of close to $6bn per year.
At the turn of the millennium, new start-up Netflix offered them $50m to help launch their new DVD-by-mail service. Blockbuster have since virtually died out, while Netflix have a market value of around $152bn.
Electronic Data Systems miss out on becoming a trillion-dollar company
In 1979, American IT company Electronic Data Systems were worth around $1bn and looking to invest in a small computer company to supply valuable software.
Microsoft were one of the options, but EDS refused to meet a 23-year-old Bill Gates’ asking price of $40-60m. Microsoft are now worth more than $1tn.
Digg dig themselves into a hole
News aggregator Digg rejected an offer from Google in 2010 that was reportedly worth around $200m.
Two years later, they were forced to accept a bid from Betaworks for only $500k.
Yahoo turn down megabucks from Microsoft
With a peak of around $125bn in 2000, internet pioneers Yahoo were already on the downturn when co-founder Jerry Yang turned down an offer of $44.6bn from Microsoft in 2008 to the annoyance of investors.
The value of Yahoo continued to steadily decline, to the point that they are now worth just $32bn.