Scott Gibson likes a good party, but he decided to call Sequent Computer Systems' seventh anniversary bash a second founding. "We wanted to get 1,300 people as charged up as the founding team," says Gibson, president of the $146-million Beaverton, Ore., company.

So Sequent posted billboards around town announcing the occasion, hired a band, and arranged to close off a few blocks in downtown Portland. The second founding featured a multimedia show, which included slides of employees and their kids and snatches of President John F. Kennedy's speech about sending a U.S. astronaut to the moon.

"It really worked -- we had people crying at the end of this thing," Gibson says. And the new mission was clear: "We want to build a billion-dollar global company we can be proud of."