In the early days of a startup, a tremendous amount of effort is put into getting product shipped and selling the vision. It’s very difficult to achieve the former without doing the latter. Great leadership is required in order to sell the vision. The ability to recruit and motivate the right people to make things happen is invaluable.
It’s accepted practise that the visionary founder assumes the role of CEO. I see the role of CEO as two parts. Firstly to set direction, define culture, motivate and inspire, recruit, and reinforce the vision. Secondly to manage the business of the business – essentially the operations of the business.