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Behind the Cloud: The Untold Story of How Salesforce.com Went from Idea to Billion-Dollar Company and Revolutionized an Industry Hardcover – 29 Oct 2009


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 1 edition (29 Oct 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470521163
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470521168
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 2.5 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 97,439 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

From the Inside Flap

How did salesforce.com grow from a start–up in a rented apartment into the world′s fastest growing software company in less than a decade? For the first time, Marc Benioff, the visionary founder, chairman, and CEO of salesforce.com, tells how he and his team created and used new business, technology, and philanthropic models tailored to this time of extraordinary change. Showing how salesforce.com not only survived the dot–com implosion of 2001, but also went on to define itself as the leader of the cloud computing revolution and spark a 46 billion–dollar industry, Benioff′s story will help business leaders and entrepreneurs stand out, innovate better, and grow faster in any economic climate. In Behind the Cloud, Benioff shares the strategies that have inspired employees, turned customers into evangelists, leveraged an ecosystem of partners, and allowed innovation to flourish. Benioff shows how salesforce.com pioneered a simple idea (delivering business applications as a service over the Internet) to change the way all businesses use software applications and, ultimately, change the way the software industry works. With Marc Benioff′s candid, unconventional advice and unusual call–out lessons from the Salesforce.com Playbook—including Benioff′s proprietary management tool, V2MOM—any business can go against the grain, rapidly change the game, and learn how to achieve lasting success.

From the Back Cover

Praise for Behind the Cloud "Salesforce.com and Google share a vision for how the cloud will revolutionize computing. Behind the Cloud gives us a rare glimpse at the development of one of the most important trends in business today."—Eric Schmidt, CEO, Google "In Behind the Cloud, Marc Benioff takes us through the ups and downs of building one of the most extraordinary businesses of our time and reveals the tactics that gave salesforce.com its amazing edge. This book will show you how to focus your vision, think differently, align your organization—and transform your business and your life." —Anthony Robbins, author, Awaken the Giant Within and Unlimited Power "Reading this book, I laughed out loud many times as Marc told his story, a story of great ideas, thunder–stealing pranks, and a world consciousness that is at the heart of salesforce.com."—Neil Young "Reading, but also afterwards, practicing the 111 plays described by Marc Benioff opens the door for entrepreneurial success much better than any MBA program."—Klaus Schwab, founder, World Economic Forum, and cofounder, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship "Cisco and salesforce.com share a vision of how the network is the platform to transform business. In his book, Benioff outlines how salesforce.com has used cloud computing to disrupt and reshape the enterprise software space. It is clear that we are just beginning to understand the potential of networked business and the future benefits and productivity gains of the next phase of the Internet."—John Chambers, chairman and CEO, Cisco "Behind the Cloud demonstrates what happens when companies act as good citizens. Everyone—from employees to shareholders to the community—wins. Get ready to be inspired and make a difference."—Charles Moore, executive director, Committee EncouragingCorporate Philanthropy

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By P. Cheesbrough on 3 Nov 2009
Format: Hardcover
I couldn't put this book down when I began to read it. Not only does it give you the background to one of technology's modern day pioneers but it provides it in a format that is easy to digest and remember. It covers 111 of the key points that has helped to make Salesforce.com the $1bn company that it is today, and it provides unique insights into the early days of such a groundbreaking organisation, which ended up disrupting the entire software industry and went on to create a marketplace in it's own right - Software as a Service.

What strikes you is the bold approach they took to marketing and promotion during the early days - striking out to hit the lead players at the time and aiming high. Whilst doing this, they also embedded philanthropy into the culture and DNA of the company - creating the 1:1:1 model, which Google eventually adopted.

The book will give you ideas about everything from management styles through to product development techniques. Well worth reading, especially if you work in technology but also useful if you're interested in entrepreneurship and product development. A must read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris TOP 500 REVIEWER on 3 Mar 2014
Format: Hardcover
It's always interesting as well as instructive to learn how a company such as Salesforce.com created a new industry (i.e. cloud computing), helped to make its customers successful, and established itself as a market leader while growing -- in less than a decade -- "from a simple idea to a public company with more than a billion dollars in revenue."

Marc Benioff offers 111 "plays" within nine "Parts" and then "The Final Play." The information, insights, and counsel are based on what he has learned thus far, especially during the years he has served as chairman and CEO of Salesfgorce.com. More specifically, HOW to achieve these strategic objectives:

o Turn a simple idea into a high-growth and profitable company
o Cut through the noise and pitch the bigger picture
o Use events to build buzz and drive business
o Energize customers into a multi-member sales team
Note: To create what Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba characterize as "customer evangelists"
o Develop products that users love
o Make a company about more, much more than the bottom line
o Launch a product and it introduce a business model to new markets
o Raise capital and create a return without compromising organizational and individual integrity
o Create proper alignment -- the key to organizational success
Note: Benioff introduces V2MOM (vision, values, methods, obstacles, and measures), "an exercise in awareness in which the result is total alignment.

Benioff would be the first to point out that attempting to adopt all of Salesforce.com's strategies, tactics, and models would be a fool's errand.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rolf Dobelli TOP 500 REVIEWER on 16 Aug 2010
Format: Hardcover
Salesforce redefined customer relationship management (CRM) applications - and the entire enterprise application industry - for the 21st century. The forward-looking company provides businesses with software in a remarkably efficient manner: online, "without the complexities of installation, maintenance and constant upgrades." In this book, Salesforce founder and CEO Marc Benioff and journalist Carlye Adler tell the absorbing, often quirky, Salesforce story, from start-up to global expansion and beyond. Even better, they break this singular tale down into a series of discrete, highly valuable business lessons. getAbstract agrees with Dell founder Michael Dell that Benioff and Adler's new volume is "the playbook for Enterprise 2.0." Entrepreneurs and business leaders can learn much from this instructive company history.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By T. Wright on 13 Nov 2009
Format: Hardcover
On seeing this book, I assumed it would be the same old silicon valley founder/CEO story of rags to riches. However after the first chapter it was clear this was a different beast, a clear roadmap of a journey in a completely new industry, with a set of audacious goals. Anyone developing technology products (or any product) could do worse than read this.
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By Matt Moore on 5 July 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found the book inspirational as it defines a business model that we and other companies should all follow. A model that emphasises not only on revenue but also on philanthropy as it seeks to do more than create profit. A great read and a book that should be read by all.
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