If you are a tech type that thinks business types are a dime a dozen, you are grossly misinformed and good luck spinning out failure after failure. It takes both – never forget that!


  • I would have written “a tech type who thinks…”. This simple word makes you look like a business type who thinks tech guys are mere lackeys born to be at his service, and who is very surprised to find nobody who wants to become his technical co-founder. I bet those tech guys told you they can startup without people like you. Am I wrong ?

    • You’re wrong. The point is that it takes both. you clearly are a tech type that has an inferiority complex because you don’t have what it takes to build a kick ass business. If you did, you would never allow yourself to think that others thought you were a lackey.

      • I’m a business type and I think this comment is completely uncool. Unless you have doctorate in psychology don’t be dishing out judgments like “you clearly are a tech type that has an inferiority complex because you don’t have what it takes to build a kick ass business”. I agree with the tech guy, why would anyone want to work with that attitude?

        • stop taking the word you personally especially when the sentence begins with a conditional if. Not psychology, but English. You told on yourself. Call me uncool, but you honestly don’t know me or my heart.

  • I agree with this comment. I’m an engineer by training who did business development, product marketing, and product management at a tech company before going the startup route.

    Despite my experience above – the difference in being able to achieve funding through bringing a banker into the team has been dramatic.

    Yes, if you’re ex-Google/Apple/Microsoft VP or were a visible (but not founding) member in some high profile startup, you can get funding.

    For people without the above credentials or successful exits, getting funding is REALLY hard – too hard for me pre-banker days.

    From the banker, I have learned a lot – enough to now say that there are absolutely skills associated with the fundraising side which I never imagined previously.

  • It all depends on the type and stage of business. B2B sure a business guy is important to cultivate the feedback and relationships while the product is built. B2C the business guy is going to twiddle his thumbs until traction kicks in. He becomes important once post-traction. Nobody says business guys aren’t important.

    However to the point dime a dozen. Its true everyone who is not a tech is a “business guy”, that makes the population of business guy very large. That doesn’t mean there aren’t legitimate ninja rockstar business guys, but at meetups you meet lots of guys who has no business track record wanting to get involved in startups that position themselves as the business guy and that’s why business guys get the bad rap.

    • Business isn’t just management and “business knowledge”, whatever you mean by that.

      Fundraising is a big category on the “business” side, so is sales. Then there’s things like strategic partnerships. Credibility in the industry. Financials and accounting. Operations. etc.

      • I agree… but this same CTO also had better ideas of sales, strategic partnership, nose for accounting and operations than CEO.

        Half of the company complained about his lack of skills and even called him sexist and useless to get company to the next level.

  • Yes there are ! Some arrogant people use “assertive ifs” which are not conditional at all. Example: “If you were not a stupid coder, you would agree with me” :o)

  • I’ve worked on both sides of the house because I knew that eventually I would start my own company and I would need both. I don’t really like to give myself a C-title for a two person team, so let’s just say I make the strategic, financial, and technical decisions. What I do notice about many people who have never worked on the technical side of the house is that they tend to underestimate the time and difficulty of things they ask for or sell to clients. I have often seen the “sell it first, shove it down tech’s throat later” approach. This is not only a poor way to make high quality software, it affects the real lives and health of those on the tech side. I’m not saying OP did this. I am outlining what I view as the historical relationship between these two archetypes. This behavior is most aggravating to tech side when they are paid a base salary with perhaps a meager bonus, whereas the business side stands to gain a lot more from closing a sale or the business doing better on the whole. On the business side, there is a constant pressure to outperform the competition, who could very well be making undeliverable promises to clients. There is the fear that, if you don’t “win”, then maybe no one will have a job next month. What puts these two worlds at peace is listening to one another. Often times I want to say “just get it done” (to myself), and oftentimes that is correct. But other times, there is a complexity there that would harm the business if it is rushed through. Some techies don’t understand that strategy requires thinking on a different level of detail than tech. And because they don’t see that, if they get pushed to rush through important complexity, they can use the ‘your job has less steps than mine, so it’s easier’ argument. Certainly someone at the CTO level should be good enough at strategy to understand that business is hard. And certainly someone at the CEO level should understand that technical tasks are more time-intensive than business tasks (once you get down to the task level, for example “send e-mail” vs “create application that sends e-mail”). I hope you are able to find a techie you can trust, OP.

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