No Exit

New follower on Twitter promises to help me take my business venture "from start-up to exit". I can't begin to tell you how sad that makes me. Is exit really a worthy business goal? Is this best we can do?

Yes, I know it's a financially lucrative goal. But as important as dollars may be, there are other things that are equally as important. Like making good, solid, inventive products that help people get through their days with a little less stress and a little more joy.

If selling your business is the goal you have at the outset, the product you make is simply not likely to be anything of lasting value. It will be, by the very nature of your business intentions, something flashy and fashionable, a mayfly. If exit is your goal, then you know you will never have to deal with ongoing maintenance or upkeep of your product, whether it's software or hardware, and as such, there's no need to build longevity and stability and repairability into your product.

It is a harder road to make a good product than to make ooh-shiny snake oil, no question. But isn't it the right thing to do? Isn't it what entrepreneur used to mean? There was a time when entrepreneurs were the makers of products they believed in enough to risk their own personal capital resources to bring to the marketplace. The perversion of entrepreneur into someone using someone else's money to extract yet more money from a bunch of rubes makes me so incredibly sad. Think of all that talent being squandered on flashes in the pan - and think of what amazing things all the talent might come up with if it were aimed at making good products instead. Tragic, really.

I am still figuring out where to take my own business, and how to make it profitable as well as personally fulfilling. But I can tell you for sure that I am not taking it to exit.