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Infrastructure Software
Powered by Battery  |  July 15, 2019
Looking for Larry Ellison’s Glasses in the Pacific, and Other Tales from a Former Enterprise-Tech CEO

The Powered by Battery podcast features guests from inside and outside the Battery ecosystem discussing major tech issues of the day. Guests from the Battery portfolio in this season of the podcast represent a subset of business-software and enterprise-infrastructure companies, across investment stages and geographies, highlighting the trends of marketing tech; the broader use of big data and AI; productivity software; user experience; and healthcare software. If you’re interested in learning more about these companies, or others in the Battery portfolio, you can access more information here.

On this episode of Powered by Battery, we chat with Max Schireson, a Battery executive-in-residence who previously served as the CEO of open-source database company MongoDB.

After growing up in a tent in Canada (his parents were hippies), Max followed a fairly non-traditional path to the CEO suite. He also has some interesting stories to tell about working with Oracle founder Larry Ellison—including searching for the Oracle chief’s glasses in the Pacific Ocean. Max also discusses managing work-family balance, the future of artificial intelligence and the potential antitrust implications of some recent industry moves in cloud computing.

Key takeaways:

  • You can take a non-linear path to becoming a leader in the technology industry–and might not even need to graduate from college.
  • As a CEO, you don’t always have to be reasonable to be an effective leader. In fact, being unreasonable may help sometimes–such as having the vision and ability to solve extremely difficult technology problems.
  • Successful open-source companies need to win the battle for securing developer mindshare and adoption as well as figure out a sustainable monetization strategy. Companies can’t just do one or the other.
  • Amazon Web Services’ move to compete with some open-source startups could raise antitrust concerns.
  • Machines are on track to perform a lot of intellectual, creative human tasks better than us, and this will have a huge impact on society and the economy, including, potentially, a universal basic income.

Have a listen.

This material is provided for informational purposes, and it is not, and may not be relied on in any manner as, legal, tax or investment advice or as an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy an interest in any fund or investment vehicle managed by Battery Ventures or any other Battery entity. 

The information and data are as of the publication date unless otherwise noted.

Content obtained from third-party sources, although believed to be reliable, has not been independently verified as to its accuracy or completeness and cannot be guaranteed. Battery Ventures has no obligation to update, modify or amend the content of this post nor notify its readers in the event that any information, opinion, projection, forecast or estimate included, changes or subsequently becomes inaccurate.

The information above may contain projections or other forward-looking statements regarding future events or expectations. Predictions, opinions and other information discussed in this video are subject to change continually and without notice of any kind and may no longer be true after the date indicated. Battery Ventures assumes no duty to and does not undertake to update forward-looking statements.

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