CTO vs VP of Engineering

What is the difference?

Then there is the open question, after you’ve been some time into a startup, what is the difference between a CTO and a VP of Engineering? A very good answer can be found - at least it was enlighting to me - at Mark Suster blog in “Want to Know the Difference Between a CTO and a VP Engineering?":

The CTO [...] So I believe that every great technology startup has the technology visionary inside the company. This is the person who lays the foundation of what should be built. [...] And first and foremost a VP of Engineering is a people manager. 

The VP of engineering is basically managing people and processes, while the CTO is managing technology and the vision. My take on this:

In the beginning you better need a CTO that also does a VP/E job.
Later you can split the position and hire a VP/E for processes - if needed

Coming back to the tilte of the post: “Want to Become a Startup CTO?” - These are skills to have and the role to play. I hope this made the CTO role clearer, technical and non-technical founders. See if this is really for you, perhaps know what your boss should