Sunday, December 04, 2005

8 Year Old Love Affair With Yahoo! Is Over - Part 2

I remember that Yahoo! was a company with just a little over $2 billion in market cap. I was certain that world domination was just a decade or two down the road. So from that day in October 1997 I think I was the biggest Yahoo! evangalist in Northern Europe (probably far from true). Luckily for me I got in before the Internet bubble started to gain momentum and therefore still was OK after the serious burst. Still believing in the fundamental changes that the Internet and Yahoo! would bring about I kept my Yahoo! shares. Even though they had come down to about one 36th of their value during the bubble and basically equaled my initial investment in October 1997. One lesson I learned was to actually take a little profit if you own a company that you feel is over valued. I was just afraid of loosing out on further increases and also would have to leave 40% of the profit with the Danish tax system, and in this way reducing my funds for reinvestment.

I kept my focus on and believe in Yahoo! although I did start getting a little anxious about the popular startup Google. Actually this started before the bubble years. Google launched in September 1998 and got a lot of press about the revolution it brought about to the quality of search results. Knowing that search was the most widely performed activity by far by people using the Internet, it was a little disturbing to my Yahoo! investment that someone else was getting so popular on this very most popular activity. This led me to in retrospect my proudest moment: On January the 10th less than five months after Google launched I wrote an email to the approximately 12 person company asking if I could invest in the company or in the owner of the rights to the company. That answer - the oldest email in my Yahoo! Mail inbox was from Sergey Brin:

"Thanks for your interest in investing in Google. Currently we have
funding to last us some time. I will let you know when investment
opportunities arise in future rounds of funding.

As far as the possibility of going public, we are not allowed to
speculate about that.

Also, I recommend you sign up for the google-friends mailing list off
our home page.


Sergey Brin

No doubt my proudest moment, but it did not leave even 10 cents more in my pocket :)


Roni said...

live is hard, maybe the Google adverts will leave you the requested 10 cents.

wish you good luck in future investments.


Dr.Subrahmanyam Karuturi said...

Oh! You might have got the chance to invest in Google then. Bad luck...

Anders Kargaard Jensen said...

Well I bought some Google call options in April 2005, and so far it has paid back around 20 times my investment, so I am trying to catch up on the missed opportunity.. :)