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9 Reviews
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for all technologists and aspiring entrepreneurs!
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...
Published on 3 Nov 2009 by P. Cheesbrough

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Some good tips, a lot of smugness and arrogance too.
Reading this book is a lot like going back to the heady days of the dotcom boom where stupid money, smugness and arrogance abounded. Fair enough in some ways as that's when salesforce.com started. I simply think that for anyone starting out now without a lot of money to invest much of the advice becomes irrelevant. When you consider the dropped in cliches of swimming with...
Published 6 months ago by Daphne


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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for all technologists and aspiring entrepreneurs!, 3 Nov 2009
By 
P. Cheesbrough (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Insider's guide to how Salesforce became successful, 16 Aug 2010
By 
Rolf Dobelli "getAbstract" (Switzerland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
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
4.0 out of 5 stars building a company 2.0, 13 Nov 2009
By 
T. Wright (London) - See all my reviews
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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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5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring, 5 July 2014
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This review is from: Behind the Cloud: The Untold Story of How Salesforce.com Went from Idea to Billion-Dollar Company-and Revolutionized an Industry (Kindle Edition)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars "Vision without execution is hallucination." Thomas Edison, 3 Mar 2014
By 
Robert Morris (Dallas, Texas) - See all my reviews
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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. However, he is convinced -- and I totally agree -- that, with appropriate modifications, V2MOM can help almost any organization (whatever its size and nature may be) to make several critically important determinations: what it wants to accomplish, what it values most in all of its operations and relationships, which methods will be most effective and efficient, which obstacles must be overcome and how best to do that, and finally, what the numerical outcome will be. "In addition, having a clarified direction and focusing collective energy on the desired outcome eliminate the anxiety that is often present in times of change."

Here is a covey of mini-commentaries from among the hundreds that caught my eye. They suggest the scope of Benioff's coverage.

o How to Stray Calm in the Eye of a Storm (Page 11)
o The Host's Playbook: How to Throw a Great Event (55+56)
o The David Rudnitsky Sales Pitch (91-95)
o The 1-1-1 Model of Integrated Philanthropy (142-143)
o The Case for Corporate Philanthropy (147-148)
o Think Like a Start-Up (174-175)
o Build a Recruiting Machine (238-239)

Obviously, no brief commentary such as mine can do full justice to scope and depth of material provided in abundance. However, I hope I have indicated why I think so highly of Behind the Cloud. It remains for all who read this book to determine which of the material is most relevant to their own organization.

Here are Marc Bennioff's concluding remarks: "Seize the opportunity in front of you. Imagine. Invent. Disrupt. Do good. I know that you must be passionate, unreasonable, and a little bit crazy to follow your own ideas and do things differently. But it's worth it. Life grows relative to one's investment in it. I promise you that by considering every one's success, you will see the return. I wish you great success. I look forward to hearing about the future you predict -- and living in the one you create."

To these remarks I presume to add this call to action by Tennyson's Ulysses:

"Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho'
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."
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3.0 out of 5 stars Some good tips, a lot of smugness and arrogance too., 2 Mar 2014
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Reading this book is a lot like going back to the heady days of the dotcom boom where stupid money, smugness and arrogance abounded. Fair enough in some ways as that's when salesforce.com started. I simply think that for anyone starting out now without a lot of money to invest much of the advice becomes irrelevant. When you consider the dropped in cliches of swimming with dolphins, indian sabbaticals and gurus, dalai lama meeting etc it's all a bit nauseating.

Cloud computing these days is a much more modest affair to get started on so much of the advice there is very dated.

That said the more down to earth bits of advice are useful, so it's not all bad.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great insights, 24 Nov 2013
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I work in IT and wanted to know more about the cloud. This actually gave me an insight on how to start a company and make it successful. Who knows this time next year my dreams of starting a company may be on Cloud 9 !
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5.0 out of 5 stars A bit of David and Goliath, 15 April 2012
This is the story of how salesforce.com when from idea to world beating business, changing the software industry for ever. A great David and Goliath story, with victory of simple over complex, where expensive isn't necessarily better. A fascinating tale of the secrets of success, from guerilla marketing tactics to super-fast expansion at the same time as Dot.Com was bombing. If you want an energetic read, with practical advice for those in the software industry, or indeed any industry, this is worth a go.
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5.0 out of 5 stars thought inspiring, 31 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Behind the Cloud: The Untold Story of How Salesforce.com Went from Idea to Billion-Dollar Company-and Revolutionized an Industry (Kindle Edition)
Full of the basics that we all forget, which are proven time after time to support the growth of the most successful companies
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