How quickly things change. In late 2005, Google's Chris Sacca bragged to Business 2.0 about how the company was buying young startups outright, snatching them out of the hands of venture capitalists. Unsurprisingly for a Sacca-led initiative, that approach has seemingly faltered. Now, BusinessWeek writes, Google is seeking to make venture investments of its own. BusinessWeek spins it as a new rivaly for Google — but it's actually a comedown. Once able to buy a startup in toto, and absorb its engineering talent into its ceaselessly expanding ranks, Google must now settle for a piece of the action. It's also a sign of the expanding pool of venture-capital cash, the increasing ambitions of entrepreneurs, and the inflating value of tech stocks. Why take a Google buyout offer now, when you can entertain dreams of an IPO?