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The man who exchanged millionaires for a bike (and other investors who missed gold opportunities)

The opinions of the employees of s You are personal.


Have you ever You missed a great opportunity? Perhaps you sold Bitcoin shortly before the price explosion at the end of 2017 or rejected a job offer at a technology company whose employees finally redeemed hundreds of thousands of shares.

The man who exchanged millionaires for a bike (and other investors who missed gold opportunities)
The man who exchanged millionaires for a bike (and other investors who missed gold opportunities)

If you are one of those poor souls, you can comfort yourself when you know that you are not alone. The missed opportunities of others serve as proof that sometimes even the best ideas seem useless at first glance.

Take, for example, these investors and entrepreneurs who bring great ideas that may have cost them a fortune.

1. Ron Wayne could have been worth over $ 100 billion

A bank account with a billion dollars is hardly imaginable. This is the luck that Ron Wayne could have had if he had made a slightly different decision 40 years ago. In 1976, Wayne signed Apple’s partnership agreement with the legendary duo Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. The deal would have given Wayne a 10% stake in the company.

Wayne went on to write the Apple I Guide and outline the first Apple logo. he saw himself responsible for observing the other two “locomotives”.

But after only 12 days at the company, he was unable to work with his co-founders and sold his share for only $ 800. Today, with an Apple valuation of over $ 1 trillion, Wayne’s equity stake would be worth over $ 100 billion. Still, Wayne says he has no regrets since his departure gave him the opportunity to work on things he really loved.

2. Scott Tobin and Battery Ventures said “No” to Facebook

Battery Ventures, a Boston-based venture capital firm, had the opportunity to invest in Facebook in 2004, long before the platform gained popularity. Mark Zuckerberg had already set up the platform in his Harvard dorm and would have loved to stay in Boston if he had the money and support.

In fact, Battery Ventures let the Facebook idea through, so Zuckerberg had to move west, where he raised assets with other investors. Scott Tobin, a partner at Battery Ventures, later admitted that his company’s decision included “a generation problem”.

“Back then, you couldn’t really understand what social media was,” said Tobin. “To understand things like Facebook, you had to be between 19 and 24 years old.”

3. Chris Hill-Scott exchanged millionaires for a bike

Chris Hill-Scott, one of the three co-founders of SwiftKey, struggled to keep up with the company’s needs in 2008. Hill-Scott was ready to split up and uncertain about the future of the company. He sold his stake in the company to switch bikes. However, the other co-founders continued to work, and eight years later, they managed to sell SwiftKey to Microsoft for $ 250 million. They pocketed 50 million each, while Hill-Scott kept only that damn bike.

4. Decca Records went from the Beatles

Though not an individual decision, the Decca Records fiasco must be mentioned at the beginning of the Beatles’ career. In 1962, before the Liverpool quartet became a superstar and arguably the greatest rock band of all time, the boys played to sign with Decca Records.

The audition went well and producer Mike Smith verbally confirmed this, but a few weeks later the group received a letter of refusal informing them: “Guitar groups are on the move” and “The Beatles have no future in the world.” the show. “Today it is difficult to read these statements without laughing.

5. Bessemer Venture Partners refused to participate in several large companies

Bessemer Venture Partners is a successful venture capital firm, but that doesn’t mean that all of your decisions were perfect. But at least they’re humble enough to admit it. The company publishes an “anti-portfolio” of companies it could have invested in, but never did, as an entertaining lesson in the wild nature of entrepreneurship and venture capitalism.

For example, a college friend of a BVP investor rented her garage to Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page in the duo’s first year of operation. This woman tried to give a presentation, but when investor David Cowan suspected it was a novice operation, he said, “How can I get out of this house without going to your garage?”

Have all these investors made “bad” decisions? Not necessarily. Most of them made the best decisions they could make based on the information they had at the time. In retrospect, however, it is 20/20, and there is currently no guarantee that a courageous startup with respectable potential will become an international sensation.

Let yourself be inspired here: if you are rejected from the start, keep in mind that there is a chance of success, even if the best experts believe that you do not have what it takes to be successful. And if you’re on the investment side, think twice before missing the next opportunity.

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