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For Love Or Money?

Could The Beatles' "Money (That's All I Want)" be the theme song for today's young entrepreneurs? You be the judge.

This story appears in the March 2000 issue of Business Start-Ups magazine.

Selling out. It's taboo in so many social circles. But in business, it's practically en vogue. Ever since independent innovations in software and Internet spaces became prey for tech manufacturers and Internet portals seeking increased brand power, the minds behind them have willingly begun to accept a lump sum--of cash, stock or salary at a new corporate job (complete with high-walled cubicle)--in exchange for their contribution to technological advancement.

And don't forget the white-hot selling-out-to-the-public-to-raise-tons-of-money-and-maybe-get-rich method, where the founders of Private No More Co. can still claim ownership--along with a bevy of shareholders. Now no one's saying it's right or wrong. But aside from the fact that this trend is altering the strict definition of "entrepreneur," some insiders fear wealth-centric temptations--primarily of the IPO sort--will lead to business plans devoid of substance and multimillion-dollar ad campaigns backing shoddy products. To investigate whether the old-fashioned entrepreneurial ethic of starting up for the sake of autonomy rather than making obscene amounts of money overnight still exists, we asked several young current and former business owners what motivated them. If anything, our findings were refreshing.

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