If you’ve ever made a financial mistake that you can’t seem to get over… We have a surprise for you that should make your day! Here is a list of billion dollar financial mistakes that should instantly make you feel way better.
Success is the greatest revenge:
Back in 1999, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, the founders of Google offered to sell Google for less than $1 million to Excite (one of the original internet portals) – but was idiotically turned down by Excite CEO George Bell. Brin and Page, were still students at this time and felt the search engine was taking up too much of their studying time. Excite’s refusal to buy Google, now worth over $300 billion, is still considered one of the worst business decisions ever taken.
While Apply Inc founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak are household names. Apple Computers (as the company was known when it was initially established) had a third founding member… named Ronald Gerald Wayne.
Older than ‘The Steves’, Wayne served as the small companies ‘adult supervision’. Responsible for Apple’s administrative support he even drew Apple’s first logo. For his services, he was awarded a 10% share of the company. Worried that the company possibly failing would leave him financial responsible as a member of the startup, he sold his stake for $800 in 1976.
By 1977, Apple sales rose to $2.7 million dollars and today the company is worth $700 billion. Apple is currently one of the world’s most valuable companies. Had Wayne kept his 10% shares, it would probably be worth $60 billion.
Facebook’s recent purchase of Whatsapp for $19 billion could possibly have been so much cheaper had they offered Whatsapp founder, Brian Acton, a job in 2009.
After Brian Acton, former Vice President of Engineering of Yahoo, was turned down for a position he applied for at Facebook. He took one of his ideas and created Whatsapp.
Broke and living off government assistance…JK Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter book franchise, was rejected by 12 publishes before she finally struck a book deal. Not feeling any magic from Master Potter, the 12 publishes all concluded that the first Harry Potter book (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone) contained too many words for a children’s book.
One publisher did decide to take a risk on the 320 page manuscript. Publisher number 13, Nigel Newton tested the manuscript on his 8-years-old daughter (which Rowling specially retyped because she didn’t have cash to make photocopies of the original).
When his daughter finished reading the book within hours and demanded more, Nigel, the chairperson of Bloomberg Publishing immediately moved to publish what would become a $25 billion brand.
Google’s dominance of the search engine market should bring tears to eyes of the guys over at Yahoo. Especially, since they also passed up on two golden opportunities…the first was an opportunity to buy Google for $3 billion in 2003 and a chance to purchase Facebook for $1.1 billion 3 years later.
Facebook and Google currently has a combined net worth of 500 billion. Who knows, if both companies would have reached the same level of success under Yahoo’s ownership. That said, it’s still monstrous financial mistakes that should make you feel way better about the ones you made.