George Staikos, founder and president of Torch Mobile, a mobile technology company that was recently acquired by Research in Motion (RIM):
1. When building a technology-based asset, definitely understand how to keep your competitors away, (how to) bring your technology to market and have a path to continually evolve and enhance the product offering.
2. Full control of funding is very nice to have. I'm self funded here, and I wouldn't want it any other way!
3. Sale (of your company) is hard to do, especially if you move to the new company. You lose control and gain a lot of restrictions, which can make it difficult to continue operating as you once did. IPO has the same effect by bringing in lawyers instead of management, assuming you retain control. My only experience is with the former here, and it was planned to happen from the beginning. IPO was never considered viable: either we were profitable and stayed private forever or we sold, and the market decided for us.