MongoDB Chair Dwight Merriman Discusses Scaling Up, R&D, and Change

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a real-time, 360 degree view of everything they do with us including from different departments. The question is, do you have those capabilities? The answer is, in general people are building them right now, they’re not done, and they need new tools to do that.

XC: Has the development of MongoDB been different or comparable to the ways DoubleClick grew?

DM: It’s different. At DoubleClick, all of the sudden there were a lot folks who needed ad serving capabilities. They had a website, they had traffic, they wanted to sell ads, and needed a way to deliver those ads—target them and report on them. It was a sudden need and there was a set of technology, like we were building [at DoubleClick] to solve that, but it was all new.

Here [at MongoDB], you’ve got a situation that is different because databases have existed for a long time. Relational theories have existed for 45 years. Databases go back a little further than that. It’s a really a new technology in an existing space.

Another contrast is the database market is big; it’s $30 billion market and growing. The opportunities are massive. The size of the marketplace we were operating in at DoubleClick was a lot smaller.

XC: Why did your company pick Dev Ittycheria to become the next CEO?

DM: He has a great background for us. He has a technology background; he’s managed large organizations before and is a good fit culturally. I’m looking forward to him starting.

XC: Does he have any particular marching orders awaiting him when he arrives?

DM: Not really. I’m at the company full-time and Eliot [Horowitz, co-founder and CTO] is too. We want Dev to help us execute the vision, which is to build this leading next generation, open-source database software that is widely used. That’s very ambitious. It’s going to take time. It’s going well so far, but it’s a big task. Basically help us grow fast and make sure we are executing well to do that.

XC: There has been some media speculation of an IPO in the offing for MongoDB. Can you comment on this?

DM: We’re really focused right now on building the company and growing it, not on financing per se. We have a good amount of capital on hand in the bank. But we do want to build something large.

XC: You are a prominent part of the New York tech community; are there any plans to expand more here?

DM: We’ve had good luck hiring in New York. It’s hard everywhere and we have offices worldwide at this point. It’s hard hiring for everything. It’s hard hiring engineers; it’s also hard hiring sales, marketing, business, anything. We’ve had good success finding awesome developers in New York. There’s a lot of supply in Silicon Valley, but there’s also a lot of demand. I’m really excited we’re in New York as a pure, horizontal technology company because that’s rare. There’s been technology companies in New York, but they’re finance tech, or ad tech, or things like that. You don’t see a lot of horizontal technologies in a Silicon Valley-origins sense.

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