Gambling but with your business

Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. This is true for different things in life and gambling is definitely one of them. Sometimes you are among the lucky winners of the game but there are also quite a few losses.

As long as it remains a game and you know when to stop, that’s no problem. Then you don’t lose that much and it’s not so bad. We give you a few examples of people who actually lost or won a lot.

Good gambling with the movie

A good example of someone who made the right gamble is George Lucas. When Star Wars first appeared on the big screen, people were not very enthusiastic about the film and thought it might end up as a flop. We now know better. Lucas also did a smart thing and managed to make a lot of money: just before the release date of Star Wars episode IV, he chose to own the rights to the film and everything related to its sale. That this made him a huge amount of money should come as no surprise to anyone.

Number 7 brings luck

There are people who dare to risk a lot. Take Ashley Revell from the United Kingdom. He sold all his possessions and traveled to Las Vegas to bet everything in one gamble. He did this with roulette, betting on the color red. Although he had less than a 50% chance of winning, he still managed to walk away with the winnings. His lucky number was 7, in the color red. This enabled him to go home with an amount of £270,000. It just goes to show that number 7, a number favored by many people, can also bring good luck.

Big loss with bitcoins

Losing 4.6 million pounds is not exactly nothing. And it’s also not exactly pleasant. Unfortunately, it happened to James Howells from Wales. In this case the story is about bitcoins. He managed to lose so much by running his laptop for a week to mine bitcoins and make money with it but unfortunately it didn’t go quite as planned.

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Good gambling with land

Alaska is one of the richest states in the United States. The state has many resources that can be extracted and a good living can be made from fishing. Today Alaska belongs to the U.S. but previously the area was part of the Russian Empire ruled by the Tsar. The state has such a strategic location that the Tsar should have thought twice about selling the land to the Americans in 1867. Thus, this purchase became a real offer for the Americans and an actual enrichment for the country.

Choosing wrong where Google is concerned

Suppose you get the offer to take over Google. Then you probably won’t have to think about it for long. However, there was someone who threw this offer to the wind and did not accept it. In fact, businessman George Bell let this opportunity pass him by in 1999 when the founders of Google offered their brainchild for sale for only a fraction of the value the company has today. At the time, the providers were just students and the company was not yet known by its current name. Bell saw little point in a search engine and did not go further with the deal. Not knowing that Google would grow into the world’s largest and most widely used search engine. He will certainly have regretted it later.

Big losers

We have briefly listed five big losses and wins for you. Starting with the losses.

  • The first in the list is Roy Wayne, co-founder of Apple. He is responsible for the design of the first Apple logo and wrote the manual for the Apple I. He sold his share in the company after only twelve days and was asked several times by the other two owners to participate but never did. Not a good choice in our opinion.
  • The second one we mention is the duo of Steve Case and Gerald Levin. Both owned Internet company AOL and Media company Time Warner but AOL didn’t make it and that led to their demise which immediately involved a loss of hundreds of billions of dollars when it was finally sold in 2015.
  • Number three involves John Antioco. The movie rental company called Blockbuster was given the opportunity to take over Netflix at a time when the company was not that big. Antioco was not keen on this and chose not to. We all know the result: Netflix grew into a billion-dollar company and Blockbuster went bankrupt.
  • Number four is Jerry Yang, co-founder of Yahoo. When Microsoft offered him more than $44 billion in 2008 to take over his company, he refused because he thought it was too little. Eight years later the company was still sold but then only for a tenth of what it was once worth.
  • Number five and dead last when it comes to losses is William Orton. He was the inventor of the telegraph. He was made an offer to be part of Graham Bell’s telephone company but he saw no point in it. He refused, not knowing that the telephone would become one of the most important and profitable inventions of all time.

Big winners

Besides losers, there are of course winners. We have also listed five of them who took a gamble that turned out very well.

  • The first ones are Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi. In 2009, Apple founder Steve Jobs offered to take over their company Dropbox for about $800 million. The gentlemen immediately refused by saying the company was not for sale but in doing so took a risk. However, they made the right choice because Dropbox only grew in value in the years that followed. In fact, the current value of the company is estimated at around $3.3 billion today.
  • Number two in the line we met earlier: George Lucas. The film producer made sure just before the release of the fourth Star Wars film that he obtained the rights to the franchise and merchandise of the films. This eventually earned him more than three billion dollars.
  • Number three is Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. He was able to get $10 million for his company Friendster in 2004 but refused. Subsequent attempts to sell also failed and just as well: Facebook’s value today is estimated at nearly $70 billion.
  • Howard Schultz is number four we mention. The best man was working for Starbucks when he conceived the idea of creating a coffee shop on every street corner. He did this under a different name but later bought the name of his former employer for this purpose. No need to say that his company is now a huge success and worth many billions of dollars.
  • The last in line is formed by the duo Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Both men wanted to sell Google in 1999 for a million dollars but the sale did not go through. They will not have regretted it much when you look at the many and many billions that the company is now worth.