I find this characterization in the article to be naive and misleading, and has nothing to do with startups. In fact, its blind characterization being applied to all size and types of businesses is just one of the ways it is grossly lacking.
For startups you need either a) technical founder (title Founder or CTO) OR b) technical advisor + lead software engineer OR c) technical advisor + outsourcing + <best engineer you can afford>
There is no such thing as a VP of engineering at a startup, nor is there a CIO, unless the startup is overfunded and doomed.
At a startup your Technical person has these responsibilities:
1) Strategy of technology of product or strategy of product if product is technical in nature
2) Building/Execution (writing code)
3) Dev Ops (setting up everything to do #2)
4) Operations (including infrastructure (email, wiki, reporting etc..)) including waking up when there is a problem
6) Vendor Selection and Management (to fill gaps for 2, 3, and 4 so he/she can focus on 1, 2 and 5)
7) [OPTIONAL] Product Management (spec writing, or at least Story identification)
As companies grow or depending on how central the technology is to the business 4-6 are handed off to the CIO or IT manager whatever.
CTO and VP of engineering become synonyms with only a few minor nuances when a startup is acquired by a larger company. A senior most technical leader of a division, product, line of business, business unit, is typically given the title VP of Engineering. While the CTO is the top most technical leader for the parent company. Some companies find technology to be secondary to their business, and in this case may not have a CTO but may rely on a "CIO" or a VP of Engineering to be the senior most technology decision maker.