Not every company gets it right, even the established ones (Anyone Remember Coco colas rebrand to the “new coke” back in the 80’s) The list below highlights 6 infamous business opportunities missed.
In 1999, Excite was the No. 2 search engine and Google was the new kid on the block. Larry Page offered to sell Google to Excite for $750,000 (though with the stipulation that Excite would replace their technology with Google Search tech). There are several possible explanations for why Excite made this choice, but the end result is clear. Google now has more than 60 percent of the U.S. search market share and much larger share worldwide. Google has more than $130 billion in assets, so it’s worth more than 173,333 times what Excite would have paid for it. if that isn’t a infamous business opportunity missed i don’t know what is.
Disruptive new innovative technology can change the landscape of industry, some businesses adapt and thrive and others are to slow to change. Kodak, filed a patent for the first digital camera in 1977 however were to slow to realise the impact it could have on its industry. By the time Kodak finally entered the emerging digital market their revenues were decimated. Another example of a vast missed opportunity.
Do you remember when a trip to Blockbuster Video store was a regular part of your weekend plans? Online video streaming services like Netflix, Amazon TV among others have changed the way we consume entertainment media and television. Blockbuster got an early invite to the world of cloud based streaming in 2000, Netflix proposed that it would handle Blockbuster’s online component for it, and Blockbuster could host its in-store component (thus eliminating the need for mailed DVDs). According to an interview with former Netflix CFO Barry McCarthy, “They just about laughed us out of their office.” Blockbuster went belly up and Netflix went on to thrive.
Realizing the market value of social media sites, other companies jumped in to get their share. In February 2004, Mark Zuckerberg was still a student at Harvard University when he and his colleagues launched TheFaceBook.com onto cyberspace. 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. Currently Facebook is valued at a staggering $328 billion, whilst in 2011 Myspace was sold for only $35 million (yes only!)
Sometimes dubbed as the unluckiest man in the world, Ronald Wayne who was one of the original of the 3 founders of apple. Apple’s third co-founder sold his 10% stake in Apple for $800 two weeks after launch. He later got $1,500 for renouncing all claims to ownership. If he had kept it, it would be worth around $40 billion today!