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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.

By Michelle Prather

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Selling out. It's taboo in so many social circles. But inbusiness, it's practically en vogue. Ever since independentinnovations in software and Internet spaces became prey for techmanufacturers and Internet portals seeking increased brand power,the minds behind them have willingly begun to accept a lump sum--ofcash, stock or salary at a new corporate job (complete withhigh-walled cubicle)--in exchange for their contribution totechnological advancement.

And don't forget the white-hotselling-out-to-the-public-to-raise-tons-of-money-and-maybe-get-richmethod, where the founders of Private No More Co. can still claimownership--along with a bevy of shareholders. Now no one'ssaying it's right or wrong. But aside from the fact that thistrend is altering the strict definition of"entrepreneur," some insiders fear wealth-centrictemptations--primarily of the IPO sort--will lead to business plansdevoid of substance and multimillion-dollar ad campaigns backingshoddy products. To investigate whether the old-fashionedentrepreneurial ethic of starting up for the sake of autonomyrather than making obscene amounts of money overnight still exists,we asked several young current and former business owners whatmotivated them. If anything, our findings were refreshing.

Granted, our test sample is small. But to our surprise, the oneentrepreneur who actually admitted to selling his company for theriches involved isn't the power-hungry playboy-type you'dimagine him to be. We can't numerically define JaysonAdams' wealth--but let's just say, despite retirement amonth before his 30th birthday, the now-33-year-old will be verywell-off in life. The Stanford grad's "How He GotThere" story didn't climax until he sold his 1995 start-upNetcode Corp., creator of a Java-based interface builder and objecttoolkit for developing Java applications, to Netscape in the springof 1996. Before that, Adams co-founded a software company and ane-mail-based subscription news service "way ahead of itstime," which sold for practically nothing in 1995 aftersuffering a lackluster response. But the wanna-be tech gameparticipant started at 12, when Adams taught himself to program thefamily computer. By 16, Bill Gates was his idol. Taking a companypublic was also on the teenager's to-do list. "Ididn't want to be a super-powerful person," he says."[Gates] wasn't even that powerful back then. I was justvery excited about computers and had lots of fun making them docool things. It was that, plus not wanting to work for 40years."

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