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#68: Anystream Inc.

Arrogance and stupidity--yep, they're part of these entrepreneurs' M.O. Find out why that's not as bad as you think.

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Company: Anystream Inc., a Sterling, Virginia, software company

Founders: Geoff Allen, 31; Alan Gardner, 55; Steve Geyer, 44; Rod McElrath, 35

Began: March 2000

2001 Sales: $3.4 million

What business philosophy do you live by?

Geoff Allen: There's nothing ground-shaking here. You have to pick a plan. You have to execute and you have to measure it. You've got to be flexible. The great companies always succeed.

Who is your business role model?

Allen: I have a psychological role model: Ayn Rand, who wrote The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. If you want something, go make it. It's a very strong sense of personal empowerment. It's part arrogance and part stupidity, because if you look at the odds you would never build a business.

What business books do you recommend?

Allen:Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey Moore and Regis McKenna for high-tech is very big. Open Book Management by John Case is tremendous. We use a lot of open-book principles here. Rules for Revolutionaries by Guy Kawasaki.

Do you have any secrets to success?

Allen: At some point you have to decide if you're going to do it or not, and that means you have to accept the consequences. Be passionate about what you're doing. If you're going to build a business, you should be really deeply interested in it because you're going to spend a lot of time with it.

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