Even the richest, most powerful technology companies in the world were once initially offered to the market as a publicly traded new-borns. With Mark Zuckerburg’s Facebook hitting the market as an IPO, it’s interesting to look back at some other innovative giants who made the leap. Whether you use these companies’ services to download utorrent files, upgrade your computer software, or scour the net for stock information, all of these names are entrenched parts of the American business legacy. We can only wait and see how Facebook Inc. fares on this front.
Apple went public in 1980 with $100 million to its name. At that time, Apple stocks sold for $22 a share and until 1995 the company even offered dividends. Now the company has a market value of $426 billion and a share typically costs you around $250. Apple has been revered as one of the most admired American companies and is generally considered the largest publicly traded company in the world, rivaled only by ExxonMobil. Continually revamping their image, Apple has spoofed 1984 in their advertising campaigns and reinvented the personal computer.
When it was founded in 1995, Amazon was simply an online bookstore that expected slow growth and moderate sales. Amazon was valued at $438 million when it went public in 1997 and didn’t make its first profit until 2001. It has since grown to a valuation of $81.5 billion and is the largest online retailer in the world, offering a global marketplace for virtually all consumer products.
The only name on this list that is no longer active, Netscape was once known as the most revolutionary web browser in the world until it lost to Internet Explorer in the first modern browser war. At the end of its first day of trading, Netscape was worth $2.9 billion. When it was acquired by AOL in 1998, it was estimated to be worth $4.2 billion. Used by AOL as a power move against Microsoft, Netscape slowly faded away and received its final version upgrade in 2008. Its icon is now featured at the Computer History Museum.
Google went public in 2004 and had raised about $1.67 billion. Shares cost about $108. Currently, Google is worth about $189 billion.
Though it was valued at around $350 million during its IPO in 1986, Microsoft initially raised only $61 million. Now Microsoft has a market value of about $250 billion.
These five companies weren’t exactly small fries when they hit the market, but they were certainly significantly poorer than they are now. With the exception of Netscape, these companies flourished on the marketplace and grew into multi-billion dollar enterprises. Facebook, by all estimates is already there, so should we expect it to continue going up? Or will “the social network” experience some financial blowback?
About the author
Muhammad Ali is my name and I see myself as a devoted and hard working software engineer striving to keep up to date with the latest inventions and technologies in the IT world. Likeness for writing is one of the reasons that brought me here.I relish and strive on facing challenges and coming out of them with flying colors.