Google is in the news, with Larry Page’s ascension. Generally when I hear people compare Larry Page and Sergey Brin it is Page who is described as the “Big Think” guy. But these guys didn’t always think big. Stupid Business Decisions: Excite Rejects Google’s Asking Price:
In 1999, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the founders of Google (GOOG), decided that their creation was interfering with their studies and offered it to a slew of companies (including the defunct Alta Vista, which passed, and Yahoo (YHOO), which also passed, but had a strong enough product that they were able to stay afloat with their own technology). An offer was then made to Excite’s George Bell, who deemed the asking price of $1 million too high. Vinod Khosla of Kleiner Perkins went back for another attempt — this time for $750,000 — and was thrown out of Bell’s office.
George Bell still seems to be around. I guess when you achieve a certain level of success truly stupid decisions don’t matter. Whatever happened to “skin in the game”? But notice that Page and Brin actually thought about selling their idea for $1 million dollars in 1999! Bell wasn’t the only one who was lacking vision and genuine perspective. It should remind us that genuine innovation is by its nature hard to predict.