I've recently had some conversations around what it means to be a founder of a company and thought I would pass these thoughts along to the blogosphere.
A founder takes on more risk and more responsibility and puts the company first. A founder is the last one to go on salary and the first one to come off salary in hard times. A founder generally works longer hours than most of the staff while trying to find that something that will finally put the company over the top. If need be, a founder washes the dishes and takes the trash out. A founder rallies the troops to him. A founder keeps the communication lines open to all parts of the business, looking for holes to fill and ways to help out. A founder is cost sensitive and looks for ways to extend the company runway.
Being a founder is not an entitlement day to day other than the receipt of an accompanying sense of satisfaction in creating something new and useful in the world.
... and, for all of his efforts, in the long run the founder hopes to be well rewarded financially