Off the top of my head:
Apple: Jobs, Woz
(pattern match below)
Viaweb: PG, rtm
Google: Sergey, Larry
Reddit: Alexis, Steve
Paypal: Thiel, Levchin
It seems not uncommon that the Jobs, if this theory is correct, can also hack, unlike Steve Jobs.
I don't know for sure of any counterexamples, but I'm also not very sure of the theory.
Edit: GRR! Does this use markdown [now](now.com) too?
Edit 2: Good, it doesn't.
I think our school system is very much designed around this idea of "give a man a fish and you'll feed him for a day, teach a man HOW to fish and you'll feed him for the rest of his life."
Almost everything we learn in school is a HOW question. Hacking is a HOW question. To the extent that school focuses on WHAT questions, it's busy work like memorizing the places and dates of historic battles. WHO, WHY, WHEN, and WHERE are barely touched touched on at all, and that doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of questions that don't fit into this paradigm.
But there are other questions that aren't how questions. They aren't taught in school, which leads some to believe that they aren't important or don't require intelligence or that they don't even exist.
Success in a startup is partly a HOW question, but it's more than just that. After all, the point isn't knowing how to manipulate tools, but rather making something people want.
I think the reason why MBAs (deservedly) get a bad rap is because they don't know how to answer the HOW questions, but they also don't know how to answer any other questions either.
So I'd say it's not really an answer of one hacker and one non-hacker, but rather that both put together cover the full range of human thought.
It's helpful to think ahead and prepare multiple pitches, including the elevator pitch, the casual pitch, and a full blown presentation, including difficult questions that will probably rise up. Some questions will be difficult, and are more of a test of the presenter than the actual idea. This shows the amount of thought and foresight a presenter puts into the plan, as well as the dedication.
It seems harder to identify a good "Jobs" type person. Good presentation skills... Couldn't you just get a smooth talking MBA type? An MBA that is good with technology? A smooth talking engineer with an MBA?
The reddit comments: http://programming.reddit.com/info/pzaq/comments