Forum OpenACS Q&A: Philip Greenspun tells about being pushed out of aD
With the dot-bomb, this series at sfgate may not be relevant for a few years.... VCs can be helpful, but it's important to understand that what is in their interest is not always what's in your interest.
Been down this road a bit myself... I'd say it's essential that you understand what motivates a VC before you jump into bed with them. The only objective they have is to maximize their return at the lowest risk and in the shortest time.
If this means taking control of the company, folding it, merging it, taking it to IPO, etc., then so be it. This is pure capitalism at it's best or worst, depending on your point of view. It's got nothing to do with friendship, growing a company, employee welfare, technology, maximizing shareholder value (unless it's their own) etc. These are all important only if it helps achievement of the VC objective.