For a brief period of time after college, I ran a small consulting firm with a partner. During that time we had a short but insightful conversation with the CEO of a client company, asking for his advice and talking about general motivations. Several things he said really stuck with me - this post is about one of those things.
My partner and I incorporated an LLC for our firm. We had not attempted to hide the fact that consulting was not our end goal as a company; we hoped to consult to get a cash 'safety net' in the bank and make some contacts in industry with the ultimate goal of spinning off into a startup / product company, à la 37Signals (now Basecamp). We told the CEO this, and one of the first questions he asked us both was simple and direct: