Excite Passes on Google for $750,000
Physicists argue that time travel is impossible, but if you want to be transported instantly back to 1999, simply visit excite.com. This is what the Internet used to look like. Without an accurate search engine like Google, Web portals like AOL and Excite categorized the early Internet by subject and posted the day's news and weather. Incredibly, this is exactly what Excite is still doing.
Imagine, then, how different life would be for Excite — and for all of us — if Excite had bought Google back in 1999 for the bargain basement price of $750,000 [source: Siegler]. Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin first offered to sell their fledgling search technology to Excite for $1 million, but dropped the price further when Excite showed no interest.
To Excite's credit, Google was just an unproven bundle of algorithms back in 1999, not the world-dominating technology goliath it is today. Still, to think that Excite could now be worth billions, instead of sputtering along as a subsidiary of IAC, is fairly mind-blowing.