Excellent article by Ben Horowitz, about how to go about making the decision whether to sell your company, both emotionally and intellectually, and how to explain the decision (present or future) to employees.
When analyzing whether or not you should sell your company, a good basic rule of thumb is:
If: a) You are very early on in a very large market AND b) You have a good chance of being number 1 in that market
then you should remain stand-alone.
... it makes sense to pay the CEO [a salary], so that the decision to keep or sell the company isn't a direct response to the CEO's personal financial situation as in: "I don't think that we should sell the company, but I live in an 850 square foot apartment with my husband and two kids and it's that or divorce."