1. Get in over your head. --Robert Donat, GPS Insight No. 281

2. Before you build the product, write the ad. --David Friend, Carbonite No. 9

3. Focus on simple things like profitability and execution. You don't need to come up with the next Facebook to create a successful business. --Jesse Lipson, ShareFile No. 104

4. Keep the main thing the main thing. --Brad Oberwager, Sundia No. 130

5. You will be remembered for how you deal with the ups and downs. --Andy Monin, Vendormate No. 25

6. Failing gracefully is much more important than succeeding. --A.J. Lawrence, The JAR Group No. 475

7. Surround yourself with great partners and share the rewards. --Curtis Hite, Improving Enterprises No. 210

8. Hire slow; fire fast. --Justin Talerico, ion interactive No. 202

9. It's a lot harder to repair a train while it is rolling down the tracks, so get everything set up before you build momentum. --Gabriel Krajicek, BancVue No. 117

10. Systems run the company; people run the systems. --Curt Richardson, OtterBox No. 395

11. It will take four times as much work as you expect but be 10 times more rewarding than you can imagine. --Eric Albee, Aromatic Fusion No. 205

12. There is always a solution. --Gregory Lilien, IguanaMed No. 264

13. You cannot do everything yourself. --Elia Wallen, Travelers Haven No. 90

14. Without knowing where you are at all times financially, you are destined to fail. --Dean Austin, Wyngate International No. 163

15. Never confuse a consultant with a partner. --Bing Howenstein, BackJoy Orthotics No. 51

16. At its founding, a business is victim to what you don't know; at adolescence, it's victim to what you think you know; and as it matures, it's victim to how willing you are to hand the reins to those more qualified. --Kevin Burke, Centuria No. 79

17. You don't lose until you give up. --David Wachs, Cellit No. 262