When I started Viking Systems last October, I took a seminar on financing high-technology companies and researched the subject of venture capital financing, both in the literature and through personal contacts. Then, I opted not to pursue venture funding, but rather to provide the seed capital from my own personal resources. My decision resulted from my desire to structure a company that emphasizes the needs of our customers and that provides tangible rewards to the employees. I feel that the present venture capital financing atmosphere forces a company to shift its priorities away from the customer and toward the investmemt community. While the path I have chosen is not easy (I drive a beat-up Subaru instead of a Mercedes-Benz), it is one I can live with. Time will tell whether it was the correct choice.
When we publised "Why Smart Companies Are Saying No to Venture Capital" (August), we anticipated that the article would generate much response fom both entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. The response, as reflected in the letters that follow, has shed some additional light on a very important subject. We trust that this is not the end of the discussion about the role of venture capital in building companies, and we encourage other readers to inform us of their experiences.