Google and Amazon were once the same type of garage startups that are littering Silicon Valley right now, and it seems that famous investor Warren Buffett regrets not having any faith in their continued success back in the day. Back when they first started trading publicly, shares of Google and Amazon were worth $85 and $18, respectively. Today, investors have to pay $934.15 per Amazon share and $950.28 per Google stock. Warren Buffett passed up on the opportunity to significantly invest into either company, which is something that he regrets to this day, as the business magnate admitted on CNBC's "Squawk Box" earlier today.
According to Buffett, he did not believe that Google would see long-term success with their advertising model. However, the famous entrepreneur did not clarify on the matter, so it's still unclear what exactly prompted him to pass up on Google. On the issue of Amazon, Buffett underestimated Jeff Bezos' business savviness and faulted the execution of the site's concept. He could not have been more wrong about Google, though it could be argued that Amazon's approach to eCommerce had encountered a number of issues in its early days. Amazon started operating as a seller of physical books with a library of over a million titles, but its original website left a lot to be desired. Google's main Search website has not changed all that much since it launched, but the company has now gotten far more advertisers on board than they had at first, are reaching a far wider audience, and offer much more than just web search services.
Not too long ago, Buffett cleared out one-third of his massive stake in IBM. Back in 2011, when Buffett bought that share of the company, IBM was just beginning to gain momentum in moving beyond its PC-making roots, exploring contracting, and selling specialized hardware and services. Thus far, IBM has not seen any sort of a massive decline that would justify Buffett's fears, but he said that he simply didn't think of IBM with the same sort of value proposition that he once did, prompting him to hedge his bets on the tech giant.