VC firm founder Vinod Khosla, writing for The New York Times:
There are of course mercenaries and people setting up for “acqui-hires” in the valley as well, but that is not what Silicon Valley’s special sauce is about.
In my view, it’s irreverence, foolish confidence and naivety combined with persistence, open mindedness and a continual ability to learn that created Facebook, Google, Yahoo, eBay, Microsoft, Apple, Juniper, AOL, Sun Microsystems and others.
Having a vision does not prevent you from being acquired, but starting a company to “do a deal” is not what Silicon Valley culture is about even if most companies that have a successful exit are acquired. An acquisition may be a safety net, a way to free yourself or learn to pursue another bigger or more interesting vision, but those are tools rather than goals of the true Silicon Valley entrepreneurs I have seen.