Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures once described Hype Machine as "the best thing to happen to music since the Rolling Stones!" But for a founder like Volodkin, taking nearly all of a $10 million offer must surely seem more attractive than rolling the dice by taking venture capital and trying to get a smaller slice of a larger jackpot. Some VCs have resorted to bribing founders — buying shares outright, rather than just increasing their paper wealth — to dissuade them from selling, as Automattic's investors did with Matt Mullenweg. VCs like to talk about making entrepreneurs wealthy. But they like to arrange things so they hitch a ride to the payday.