Excite Passed On Buying Google Because Their Engine Was Too Good
Internet search engines have been around since we still used the words "fresh" and "wack" unironically. But back then, they were so terrible. Your typical mid-'90s questions about Hootie & the Blowfish would only land you on fugu recipe sites and some very unsettling aquatic porn.
But that all changed in 1996, when Stanford University student Larry Page came up with a revolutionary new search engine, Google. Well, back then it was still called BackRub (an appropriate name, given how much it now loves to invade your personal space). But Page wasn't interested in starting his own company, so instead he tried to sell tried to sell BackRub to existing web portal page Excite. And they would've given this fresh-faced student $750,000 for the software, but there was one problem: BackRub was just too efficient.
Excite CEO George Bell informed Page that BackRub's incredible search algorithms were downright bad for Excite's "stickiness" -- i.e. it didn't force users to wade through one ad-filled page after another before finding the results they were actually after. In fact, Bell wanted a search engine that was at most "80 percent as good as the other search engines" out there. It sounds stupidly shortsighted now, but this was at the beginning of the dot-com bubble, when "stupid shortsightedness" was the theme of every internet startup's Christmas party.
Wikipedia“Nice numbers, kid, but the real money is in flashing banner ads.”
The deal fell through, and a disillusioned Page decided to hang onto his cherished software and start his own company, which went on to become the Google we all know and love and kind of fear today. The company is currently worth around $120.9 billion, which mathematicians tell us is probably more than $750,000. Excite, meanwhile, is best known as #4 on every list of 10 Things Only '90s Kids Will Remember. That's what giving 80 percent in Silicon Valley gets you.
Blockbuster Could've Bought Netflix For Chump Change
Sometimes, all you have to do to make a billion dollars is take an old concept (like renting movies) and provide a small tweak (adding the internet). Like Netflix did. And sometimes, all you have to do to make a billion dollars is buy a company like Netflix when they're young, dumb, and cheap. Like Blockbuster didn't.
If you were looking to Netflix and chill at the beginning of the new millennium, waiting for mail-order DVDs to arrive gave you a hell of a lot more time to chill than to Netflix. This, the limited selection, and a lot of late fees meant that Netflix hadn't made a single dollar since its founding in 1997. The company was just too far ahead of its time, unlike traditional rental giant Blockbuster, which hadn't changed its business model since Teen Wolf was released on VHS.
MGMWhich is a date we in no way have memorized.