Opportunities in the technology industry are all about time. The future is unpredictable, and this is the decision that many startups face when they receive acquisition offers. Is this the best they can get, or do they see themselves being far more valuable than their current valuation in the future?
One wrong decision could mean millions, or even billions lost to time. For instance, Ronald Wayne held a 10% share in Apple when it was nothing more than a small upstart. He sold his share, then worth $800. If he hadn’t sold it then, it would have been worth $62 billion today. When Google was just a small company run by two college students, Larry Page and Sergey Brin offered to sell it to Excite’s CEO, George Bell for $1 million, who dismissed the offer and made a counter-offer of $750,000. Naturally, it wasn’t accepted. Google is now worth $517 billion.
And now, Yahoo is being sold to Verizon for $4.8 billion. Or rather, the core Yahoo, the Yahoo with an internet presence is being sold to Verizon. There’s still a part of Yahoo left behind in the deal, a part that is nothing more than a company holding Alibaba stock worth $8.7 billion.
$4.8 billion is a respectable amount for any startup, except Yahoo is no startup. It was one of the first successful Internet companies, and at its peak, it was worth over $120 billion. In fact, it came to the great Internet race before Google and sat on its laurels, failing to evolve.
A series of bad decisions and acquisitions later, Yahoo is a shell of its former self and its valuation is a fraction of what it was at its peak.
What do you think?