I've worked for large companies (AOL, Accenture) and small companies. I always really preferred the small ones as you had more sphere of influence on decisions. In July, I partnered with two old co-workers and 1 ex-competitor and started an IT Consulting company. I have 5 kids, house payments and the economy stinks.
I must admit that the "in your gut" fear of failing still hits me every now and then, but I'm still convinced I made the right move. I have near complete control over my day, I can see exactly where we are financially (as opposed to having to trust executives), and I love the challenge of building a company in this rough environment. I figure if our model works in 2009, we will be around for a LONG time.
We have used sub-contractors till now as we didn't want to hire until we had plenty of cash in the bank (don't want to bring someone into a bad situation). Next week, we are hoping to hire the first 3-5 people. I'm very excited to begin growing the customer-focused, employee-rewarding company I've wanted to work for my entire career!
If you all know any solid Java engineers in the DC area....or know any software security types in Alabama or Mass, give a shout!