David Galbraith writes about seven internet enterprises that could have been bigger or better.
A few well known in the list include:
1. AltaVista - a better search engine than Google. Cause: Digital constrained it, CMGI killed it with portal mania and lack of focus. Culprit: Digital/CMGI.
2. Wired - It had one of the first search engines and content businesses on the web.Cause: Selling off the online bit at a time when a magazine about the web seemed more valuable than anything on it. Culprit: Wired
3. Paypal - should have brought down half of the anachronistic, check writing, retail banking system.Cause: Swallowed up in an organization (Ebay) that can't take risks because it has to protect its borders from whenever they breach. Culprit: Ebay (My Take : Paypal may still have a future- refer here.)
4. Egroups - No matter how much people go on about blogs, forums keep coming back. Cause: It failed to take over the world when Yahoo bought it and didn't even bother to allow people to search it. Culprit: Yahoo
5. Blox - An online spreadsheet tool where every cell connects to web services. This is the way spreadsheets will eventually work, and something that Microsoft haven't done much about. Cause: It was almost too good a product, it had the kind of interface that isn't being done yet by the Ajax cult. May be it was just too innovative for the type of people who use Office to get. Culprit: Micorosoft Office Users