Â I just read a brilliant article on developing the proper environment for fostering growth in a startup company. Misanthropy Today - 10 Rules for Startups
The most poignant line and probably sums the article up best is when the author states, "Companies will often become top-heavy to disperse responsibility amongst insecure or ineffective executives." I have worked with numerous companies that have gone the route of hiring senior non-technical managers to lead product development and have yet to see it succeed. The most successful teams are led by technical staff that can adapt and understand the technology.
By hiring senior level non-technical managers you are marginalizing the technical staff and diluting your ability to innovate new products.
Take for example the two biggest tech darlings of the week, Google and Facebook. The founders were competent technically and grew into the management portions. They did not have to disperse responsibility because they had the capabilities themselves. Instead, they could focus on growing their position by becoming the leaders in their chosen fields. They chose to hire smart and competent technical staff first.
As a rule, avoid working for a tech startup whose founder or senior management team are technically weak. Inevitably this means a passive approach to new product development. They will always follow a stronger technical company. Most top-heavy companies are unable to rapidly tackle new products.