After doing a lot of research, talking to entrepreneurs and based on my experience, I’ve outlined what I think are the most important responsibilities and skillsets of a non-technical co-founder or early employee at a tech startup.
Fundraising. Pitching and managing relationships with prospective and current investors.
Recruiting. Not just posting ads on job boards, but actively seeking out top-tier talent to join the company.
Vision. Setting and preaching the company’s vision, roadmap and strategic initiatives.
Product. Setting product roadmap, product management, analyzing metrics, quality assurance (use product, look for bugs), UI/UX design.
Business development. partnerships and new business development. Thinking strategically about partnerships that add value to the company and making them happen.
Sales & user acquisition. Some combination depending on your distribution model.
Customer development & support. Getting feedback from customers (to drive product roadmap) and customer support.
Press & marketing. Managing press relationships, SEO/SEM, content marketing, blogging, social media, branding, and/or community management.
I think the exact prioritization will depend on the co-founder’s skill-set. Overall, it seems relationships and sales skills are very important.
I’ve also posted this on Quora: http://qr.ae/8dy98