The new economy offers a large range of opportunities to family businesses if they are able to promote values that allow constantly innovative behavior and business evolution. Although family firms are commonly associated with a traditional way of doing business, this paper shows the heterogeneity among first-generation family firms by building a taxonomy of four groups of founders based on values. The results show the relevance of identifying founders' value systems to understand the founders' influence on family business behavior. This value profile can be a valuable tool for family business owner-managers and advisors in identifying and promoting values that add value to firms without compromising next-generation family firm development. © 2001, SAGE Publications. All rights reserved.