VentureBlog: Good (CEO) Help is Hard to Find
"A CEO who does not understand technology will:
confuse the technically possible and the impossible be misled by development schedules usually overestimate the value of acquired technology perform poorly in negotiations that value technology not understand the relative value of standards, open source, and proprietary technology
[…] Of course, technical understanding is just a foundation – good business judgement, common sense, work ethic, leadership, and entrepreneurial bent are still essential."
It’s not just the CEO. I’ve always thought that sales and marketing people in technology companies need a solid technical veneer to do their job properly. It’s my experience that marketers who neglect to understand the underlying technology end up making incredibly stupid decisions (like marketing software to corporations as if it was soap) and some sales reps have credibility issues with CTOs and even CIOs. As to senior management, a grasp of all things technical helps build the right expectations.