In my experience it takes at least 5 years to build a good business. There is just so much to do and some things just can't be rushed.
So, will the fact that we are in part of the cycle where exits for tech start-ups are really hard to come by, be a positive thing for some good businesses in the making?
In boom times, it is difficult for founders and their backers to turn down some really juicy offers. Everyone's a winner? Not necessarily the company in question.
There certainly comes a time when new owners with greater resources, superior distribution or stronger brand can benefit the acquired business. However this often happens too early in the company's life.
Having to carry on independently may not have been the founder's or the VC's plan but could benefit the business significantly - the innovation is sustained, the focus shifts to revenue/earnings growth and cash conservation. This all breeds a strong and healthy culture for the business.
As much as we like exits, we do like building great businesses.