"There's mass consolidation in my industry. I get calls every day: buyout offers, investment offers. It's like the buzzards are circling. The most frightening are the huge companies. They come by just to chat, and halfway through they start pulling out the camera and taking notes on you. Now I don't let them in the damn building." ? CEO, $5 million California sports equipment manufacturer

"In the Internet software business, you have to have an early exit plan as well as a long term growth plan. Many companies are being acquired before they have a product."? Cofounder, $1 million Virginia software developer

"I get at least one call a week from big companies, investment banking groups, or venture capitalists. I respond occasionally because I want to keep my finger on the pulse of what the industry thinks is valuable." ? President, $11 million California staffing service