In response to the previously mentioned buyback of Odeo, David Galbraith has written an insightful article on the topic of building companies with sustainable business models. His position (a smart one) is that venture capital shouldn’t be the default, it should be for the edge cases - companies with big infrastructure needs that are growing more rapidly than they can manage.
From the article:
Every venture funded tech company is predicated on the idea of ‘exit’, the point where the company is sold to a bigger one or has an IPO, so that the investors see a return and move on.
When I was an architect, you didn’t set up a practice on your own to ‘exit’, you setup to build a company that made a profit and made products that made the environment a better place along the way - a sustainable enterprise. The whole idea of ‘exit’ in the context of building an architecture firm, or a legal or medical practice is preposterous.