This might have been the best bargain in history when Google Wanted To Sell To Excite For Under $1 Million — And They Passed
.In 1994, six Stanford University students created a primitive search engine called Architext. In December 1995, Architext was re-launched as Excite — the search engine to end all search engines.
In 1999, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the founders of Google, decided that their creation was interfering with their studies and made an offer to sell it to few companies (Alta Vista, which passed, and Yahoo, which also passed). An offer was then made to Excite’s CEO George Bell, who deemed the asking price of $1 million too high. Vinod Khosla of Kleiner Perkins who backed Excite at that time negotiated with Larry & Sergey and brought the asking price down to $750,000 — But Bell still rejected.
Google is now the undisputed leader in search, with 65.4% of all Internet searches and a market capitalization of about $297 billion. The closest competitor in the search space is Microsoft’s Bing, with 11.3%.
Excite, meanwhile, was acquired by Ask Jeeves in 2004. That company became Ask.com, and now it’s owned by Barry Diller’s IAC. Which most of us don’t even know about.