At the time, he was the CEO of MongoDB, a New York-based database startup worth over $1 billion. Under his watch, MongoDB grew its sales 30X and raised over $230 million in funding.
But being the CEO of a New York-based company required a lot of travel. Schireson and his family live in Palo Alto, California, where his wife is a professor and doctor at Stanford University. Instead of moving his family, he decided to fly to New York every 2-3 weeks, which made him “miss a lot of family fun.”
That led him to that impassioned resignation letter, where he wrote, “the only way to balance (work-life) was by stepping back from my job.” Now he serves as MongoDB’s vice chairman.
We checked back with Schireson to see how he’s been doing in his new job.
“I’m very happy - two weeks into not being CEO and I’m loving it so far,” Schireson told Business Insider. “I think Dev Ittycheria will be a phenomenal leader for the next phase of our growth, and I’m just happy to stay with MongoDB and help it grow.”
He said he wasn’t expecting the letter would get the level of coverage it got, but he’s happy that it helped raise awareness of the long working hours men have to endure in the tech industry.
“I think, even more broadly than the tech industry, expectations of fathers is much lower in terms of their participation in family. I just felt the desire to point that out,” he said.
In his resignation letter, Schireson wrote that as a male CEO, he was asked what kind of car he drove and what type of music he liked, but was never asked how he “balanced the demands of being both a dad and a CEO.”
“It’s been that way for a long time. These things change slowly, but they do change,” he said.
When asked how people who don’t have the luxury of leaving their jobs could achieve better work-life balance, Schireson offered a simple yet powerful advice.
“When you’re not working and spending time with your family, just try to put the phone away for a while and really be present in the moment with your family. Work is always in the back of our minds, but the more we can just try to be more present and make the most of that time, I think that makes a big difference,” Schireson said.
Schireson pointed out that even though he’s no longer the CEO, MongoDB is continuing to see massive growth. It’s growing so fast, he says, it’s now taking away a lot of the clients that used to rely on Oracle’s more traditional, SQL databases.
MongoDB offers database that’s designed to let developers write applications. But it’s a different kind of database, called NoSQL, which is better for handling things that Oracle and other traditional SQL databases don’t do well. Unlike the SQL, which relies on neat and structured data, NoSQL database can work with messy data like documents or tweets, and be applied to low-cost computer servers.
So basically, MongoDB is easier to use, more flexible, and more scalable, compared to traditional SQL databases. In fact, DB-Engines, a site that tracks database usage, says MongoDB is now the fifth most popular database and the most widely used NoSQL database.
“The traditional relational databases used to be the only name in town,” Schireson said. “But they’re absolutely being disrupted and we’re definitely taking away some of their business.”
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The first wave of reviews is out for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and critics have had mixed things to say about the smaller model's battery life.
The Wall Street Journal, Engadget, and CNET ran stress tests to see how the iPhone 6's battery held up under extended use. Geoffrey Fowler of The Wall Street Journal said the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 died before his iPhone 5s did after he cranked the screen's brightness up to 100% and streamed video.
During Engadget's video playback tests, the iPhone 6 only lasted for 10 hours and 19 minutes. That may sound impressive, but the iPhone 5s was able to hold out for 10 hours and 50 minutes during the same test. CNET reported similar results after early battery tests.
Re/code's Walt Mossberg, however, seemed satisfied with the iPhone 6's battery life, writing that it lasted for about 14-15 hours after daily use. The New York Times' Molly Wood also appeared to be impressed with the smaller model's battery life, reporting that it lasted for nearly two full days on a single charge.
The Verge's Nilay Patel said the iPhone 6's battery lasted a full day and a half on a single charge.
In most cases, the critics said the iPhone 6 Plus offered slightly longer battery life. This isn't too surprising, since the phone itself is larger and therefore requires a bigger battery. The Times' review was one of the only exceptions, saying that the iPhone 6 Plus only lasted one full day of constant usage versus the iPhone 6's near two-day battery life.
It's hard to get a clear understanding based on early tests, but it seems like the iPhone 6's battery life won't be radically different than that of the iPhone 5s. Expect a bit more juice, but it's still likely to burn out fast if you frequently stream video or regularly turn the screen brightness up high.
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The first reviews of Apple's new iPhones, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, were published Tuesday night.
They're all very positive. Many reviewers are calling the iPhone 6 the best phone in the world. It seems like the only problem reviewers had is which model is better, the iPhone 6 with a 4.7-inch screen of the iPhone 6 Plus with a 5.5-inch screen. (In case you forgot, both models are bigger than the iPhone 5S, which has a 4-inch screen.)
Here's a quick roundup of some of the reviews:
Walt Mossberg of Re/code says the iPhone 6 is the best smartphone you can buy:
The iPhone 6 is a great upgrade for current iPhone owners, or for anyone, really. It manages to provide a much larger display in a phone that’s still small enough to handle easily. It’s my recommendation for the best smartphone you can buy.
Molly Wood of The New York Times praised the battery life:
Call quality on the new phones is excellent and I found battery life on the smaller iPhone 6 to be impressive. I went almost two full days without a charge. Battery life on the iPhone 6 Plus is more like a day of constant use and not much more, but that’s not terrible on a phone that size.
Joshua Topolsky of Businessweek liked the design, but had a few minor complaints:
The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are significantly redesigned compared with last year’s iPhone 5S and 5C. Both devices utilize an ultrathin unibody aluminum enclosure, one that bares a startling resemblance to the original iPhone from 2007, and the devices can be bought in “space” gray, silver, or gold. The iPhone 6 is just 6.9mm in thickness (in comparison the 5S seems flabby with its 7.6mm profile), while the 6 Plus is only 7.1mm. Both feel svelte and lean in your hand—solid, with good weight, but incredibly skinny. Though I must say, while the iPhone 5S stood out in a crowd of Android smartphones with its chamfered edges and Leica-esque controls, you might not know the iPhone 6 next to the latest Galaxy S5 or the HTC One. And while the design is still impressive, some details feel a bit off. The bold antenna lines that run around the back of the devices and the protruding camera lens make the phones seem slightly less disciplined compared with the company’s previous work.
Tim Stevens of CNET prefers the larger iPhone 6 Plus, but admits it might be too large for some:
The iPhone 6 Plus is a great phone, but it isn't for everybody. I hate the word "phablet" (literally, "phone" plus "tablet"), but you can't deny that's exactly what the 6 Plus is. Its 5.5-inch, 1080p IPS LCD deftly straddles the chasm that existed between the former 4-inch iPhone 5s and the 7.9-inch iPad Mini. While the new 4.7-inch iPhone 6 fits in the same gap, the 6 Plus sits right in the sweet spot for those who'd like a little tablet with their smartphone.
Geoffrey Fowler of The Wall Street Journal says the iPhone 6's slightly larger screen comes with a lot of benefits:
That 0.7-inch bump in screen size from the 5S to the 6 buys you a lot. You get an extra row of apps on the home screen and can see an extra email in your inbox. Long-form reading is easier: When using the Kindle app, setting fonts to roughly the same size, I got about 30 more words on each iPhone 6 screen than on an iPhone 5S. (That means a third less time turning virtual pages.) And anyone with poor vision will appreciate a new "zoomed" mode that's like reading glasses for your iPhone.
Lance Ulanoff of Mashable praised the camera, especially the video recording:
The iPhone 6’s video capabilities are mind-bogglingly good. While the default setting for video is 1080p, 30 frames per second (fps), you can go into settings and change it to 60 fps. The resulting video has an almost hyper-real look; essentially people and objects look like you could reach out and touch them.
Nilay Patel of The Verge says the larger screen on the iPhone 6 Plus makes some apps look worse:
The app scaling also affects various apps differently, and most of them definitely need to be updated to look better. Twitter looks fine, with sharp text and only moderately soft icons. (It’s hilarious that you can only see four tweets at a time, though.) Instagram photos look terrific, but the text is a little soft. Facebook and Gmail are pretty fuzzy all around. Text in the Kindle app is headache-inducing soft; it definitely needs an update to be readable. FIFA 14 looks solid, but Madden Mobile glitches out with a totally misaligned screen on load. Whoops.
Many reviewers, including David Pierece of The Verge, said you should buy a case for the iPhone 6. It sounds like this thing is slippery:
In a weird way, slim and gorgeous as it is, this iPhone begs to have a case on it. (Apple makes some, including a really nice line of leather cases, and the third-party ecosystem is going to get even bigger.) It helps obscure the unsightly plastic strips, it make the otherwise slick phone a little easier to grip, and it compensates for the awkwardly protruding camera lens on the back, which prevents the phone from sitting flat on a table. I’m worried I’m going to scratch the lens, and I’m annoyed that the phone wobbles. A case solves both problems.
Several reviewers also liked the curved, seamless design. Here's what Darrell Etherington of TechCrunch said:
The rounded edges all along the display help contribute to the near-seamless look that Apple was going for, but they also serve an ergonomic purpose. Using Apple’s swipe-back and swipe-forward gestures, which it began to use to replace back and forward button navigations in iOS 7, is much easier and more natural with the iPhone’s new front glass design, and when the device’s screen is darkened, these catch and bend light in a way that’s sure to appeal to a design fan’s eye.
Jim Dalrymple of The Loop said both models are good. You just have to decide if you prefer the extra-large screen of the Plus:
I found nothing significant in my week of use with either iPhone 6 model that would lead me to any other conclusion than to recommend both. Choose the one that fits your lifestyle the best and be happy.
David Pogue of Yahoo Tech said the screens aren't just bigger, they're also better looking:
The screens are terrific. The smaller iPhone 6’s screen has 1334 × 750 pixels (326 dots per inch), and the Plus’s screen is 1920 × 1080 pixels (401 dpi), which is full high definition. Other phones have more dots or smaller ones, but at this point, everybody is just chasing unicorns; these screens have long since exceeded the ability of our eyes to distinguish pixels.
SEE ALSO: Photos of the iPhone 6
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The first iPhone 6 reviews are out — and they're predictably very strong.
One of the most influential reviewers, Re/code's Walt Mossberg, was among the first journalists to receive a test unit. Mossberg reviewed the iPhone 6 (not the 6 Plus), which he called "the more mainstream of the two models."
He said it's the best smartphone you can buy. Call that a ringing endorsement.
Mossberg addressed one of the key areas for concern for any iPhone user: battery life.
You won't be hunting for a plug, Mossberg says. The iPhone 6 lasted 14 to 15 hours during his testing.
Mossberg's qualms with the smartphone were few. He said the form factor can be slippery until you get used to it. His test unit also had issues pairing the iPhone's Bluetooth to his car.
But those concerns are minor. Mossberg's review is glowing and should nudge anyone who's considering buying an iPhone in the right direction.
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Yahoo Tech writer and former New York Times columnist David Pogue reviewed the iPhone 6, calling it "thin" and "sexy."
He says there's nothing surprising about the phone really, because of all the leaks leading up to the event. The only thing that's surprising to people, he says, is that they don't even feel the iPhone 6 is that much bigger. "You have to hold an iPhone 5S next to it before you really notice," he says.
There is a downside to a bigger screen, though, he says: "You have to carry around a bigger phone." And he describes the iPhone 6 Plus in particular as being a "pocket-filler."
Some other highlights:
- "On both phones, if there’s something at the top of the screen, too far away for your shrimpy little thumb to reach, you can touch the home button twice (touch, not click) to make the screen image slide down so you can reach what was at the top."
- "The iPhone 6 gets slightly better battery life [than the iPhone 5S] — 14 hours of reported talk time, up from 10; 11 hours of Web surfing on WiFi, up from 10. The iPhone 6 Plus gets substantially better life: 24 hours of talk time, 12 hours of browsing, and so on."
- "The iPhone camera is getting scarily good."
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Last week Apple unveiled the Apple Watch and insiders have already begun speculating how much the device might cost.
We know the least expensive model, Apple Watch Sport, will start at $349. But the 18-karat gold Apple Watch Edition could retail for as much as $4,999, according to Apple insider John Gruber.
Gruber speculated on Apple Watch pricing in his latest blog post.
"Most people think I’m joking when I say the gold ones are going to start at $5,000," said Gruber. "I couldn’t be more serious."
If that sounds like a lot, it is. But bear in mind that the Apple Watch Edition will be made with 18-karat gold, not just plated with it.
Gruber says the least he could see the Apple Watch Edition costing is $1,999. But he says that price point is unlikely because the components alone would be worth more than that.
The Apple Watch is slated for release in early 2015. We'll have to wait until then to know precisely how many thousands it will cost.
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Microsoft announced on Tuesday that it is replacing two board members and increasing its quarterly dividend by 11%.
The new board members are Teri List-Stoll, executive VP and CFO of Kraft Foods Group, and Charles W. Scharf, CEO of Visa. They’ll be replacing Dave Marquardt and Dina Dublon, who will retire from the board after the annual shareholder meeting in December. List-Stoll and Scharf will join the board on Oct. 1.
Microsoft will also increase its quarterly dividend 3 cents, or 11%, to $0.31 per share. The new dividend is payable Dec. 11 to shareholders of record on Nov. 20, the company said.
Scharf previously served CEO roles at JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Retail Financial Services and Bank One Corp. He was also CFO at Salomon Smith Barney before that.
Before joining Kraft, List-Stoll was senior VP and treasurer at Procter & Gamble, where she had a 20-year career.
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A parent so desperate to help her young daughter get in front of YouTube celebrity "Lohanthony" offered me $500 for my meet-and-greet admission card this past weekend at an event called inTOUR. The pair had traveled 9 hours to see the 15-year-old Bostonian teen with millions of followers on Twitter and YouTube.
InTOUR (basically a big YouTube stars convention) was held in Pasadena, California and I attended on behalf of Business Insider.
About a dozen teens and 20-somethings were there to entertain thousands of their fans who had purchased tickets to attend. The "stars" — all with millions of followers and subscribers on all social media channels — performed skits, sang songs, and told jokes.
The crowd, all 13 and 14-year-old girls, screamed wildly every time their idols appeared on stage.
Each ticket for a minor came with complimentary admission for a parent or guardian. And as the girls screamed and shrieked and gasped and yes, even cried tears of overwhelming joy, the parents stood back and watched, somewhat bewildered by their daughters' ability to lose it over a shaggy-haired boy the majority of the world had never heard of.
VIP ticket holders were able to attend a meet-and-greet with all of the stars. Lots of selfies were taken and hugs were given.
This is JC Caylen (and a fan) on the right. He has over 700,000 subscribers on YouTube and 1.6mm followers on Twitter.
VIP ticket holders were thrilled to get to meet all of their idols. Most of them came to see one or two people in particular.
But the team that put on the event had a special surprise for general admission ticket holders. Those folks would have the opportunity to participate in a meet-and-greet with just one of the YouTube stars.
Each guest would receive a card at random with the photo of the YouTube celebrity they would be able to meet. The phrase "you get what you get and you don't get upset" was the hope of those handing out the cards.
These were the cards.
Unfortunately, some girls didn't get the card that they had hoped for.
There were tears. Gulpy, sad, hormonal, depressing tears. Some of the parents looked helpless, while others disciplined their kids.
At one point, I walked out of the press room to find two police officers talking to a bunch of girls who were all crying. One of the staff members at the Pasadena Convention Center told me that they were being scolded for "pushing each other to get to a girl who was offering to trade her JC Caylen card for a Ricky Dillon card."
It was all we could do to not grin at the ridiculousness of it all, but this was the new world we were inserting ourselves in. Anything goes.
Eventually, the cards had to be taken away and hidden in a press room. I walked in to talk to some of the staff of the team putting on the event, a company called Fullscreen. When I told them I was interested in writing a story about the cards, they handed me a pile of them.
"I won't trade them on the black market," I joked.
But when I walked out of the room, a mom approached me, asking if I would be willing to give her my "Lohanthony" card for $500. I explained that I was press and using the cards for a story and couldn't sell them to her. She pleaded with me.
Her daughter, 13, was a huge fan of Lohanthony, who, at 15, has already gained fame across so many social media channels. Lohanthony, who's real name is Anthony Quintal, told Business Insider in an interview later that day that he started making vlogs to help people feel comfortable with being who they were.
"I was bullied so much in middle school," Quintal explained to me. "I wish there had been something online for me to watch and help me deal with that. That's what I want to be to other people."
Indeed, that's what he was for this woman's daughter, a young girl who had been having some hard times adjusting to life in 7th grade. The mom explained how much she wanted and needed the card, and told me her offer of $500 still stood if I changed my mind.
Eventually a Fullscreen staffer helped make a meet-and-greet between the teenager and Lohanthony happen.
"Getting to meet my favorite YouTubers is cool because like, you learn that they are human, just like we are," a teen named Alissa told me as she waited in line to see her favorite YouTube singer, Sam Tsui.
"The guys feel like our friends instead of celebrities. But they're so much cuter than most of the boys I know," she added.
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What's the San Francisco startup world chattering about right now?
We met with a bunch of investors and entrepreneurs over the past few weeks and grabbed their phones. Here's what's on them:
Gametime: We first saw this on an investor's phone who was looking into a funding deal. Then we saw it an another investor's phone, HotelTonight CEO Sam Shank. Shank is invested in about 20 startups, including Gametime. Gametime is a quick way to pay for last-minute sports tickets on your phone. There's no paper printing involved. All tickets become mobile QR codes that can be scanned upon entering the stadium.
Hinge: A lot of single San Franciscans are beginning to ditch Tinder or use it in tandem with another dating app, Hinge. Hinge is a New York-based startup that brings together friends of friends. Like Tinder, it's tied to your location and it also matches you up with people who went to the same college, if that's of interest. One San Franciscan who is using both Tinder and Hinge says he's matched up with the same people on both networks, so there seems to be cross pollination. One suitor even told him, "You're so much nicer on Hinge!" because he was more responsive to messages on the new platform, rather than Tinder's subtle notifications.
BloomThat: BloomThat is like Uber for flowers. Pick a bouquet, put in the recipient's address and boom, flowers will be delivered within the hour. It's only available in San Francisco right now. Before you roll your eyes at the next "Uber for X" startup, here's why investors say they are excited about it:
The average person sends two to three bouquets of flowers per year. Apparently, BloomThat has been able to drastically increase that number to about 11 times per year. Its annual revenue run rate is already in the multiple millions too.
Investors get excited about on-demand markets that grow the size of the user pie, not just chip away at it. In other words, before Uber, a very small amount of people used black car services. Now average people hail a ride on Uber, Lyft, Sidecar, or another competitor, so it's increased the amount of customers available to the car service industry. Early data shows BloomThat is positioned to turn non-flower buyers into regular customers too.
Pay By Phone: San Franciscans can avoid parking tickets by downloading PayByPhone, which allows them to pay parking meters remotely, straight from their mobile devices.
Reserve: Garrett Camp's latest app, Reserve, is getting ready to launch with a bunch of funding. It's still in stealth mode, but it will be Open Table meets Yelp, with a forced rating feature like Uber has. You'll have to rate every place you eat before you can reserve a new restaurant outing.
Reserve is run by True[X] CEO Joe Marchese and it will be an Expa company. Camp co-founded Uber and is running Expa, a startup incubator that's rumored to have raised about $50 million. Each startup it launches will be seeded by Expa and raise its own funding as well.
TD4W: It took SV Angel associate Abram Dawson and his app developer buddy Matt Baker 45 minutes to create the "stupidest thing they could think of," Turn Down For What. Shortened to "TD4W," the app doesn't require the user to take any action. Upon opening the app, the hook for Lil Jon and DJ Snake's hit song "Turn Down for What" begins playing. That's all the app does. It has about 1,000 installs and it's been live for four days.
Justin Shaffer and Aaron Sittig's new startup: Justin Shaeffer, founder of a Facebook-acquired location startup HotPotato, left Zuckerberg's company last year. He hasn't announced what's next, but whatever it is, he's working on it with early Facebook designer Aaron Sittig. It may be a Garrett Camp-like Expa model, where the pair create a bunch of new startups at once.
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