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 dotcom implosion of 2001, but 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.
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About the Author
Marc R. Benioff is the chairman and CEO of salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM), which he cofounded in 1999. Under Benioff's direction,salesforce.com has grown from a groundbreaking idea into a publiclytraded company that is the market and technology leader inenterprise cloud computing. Salesforce.com has received a WallStreet Journal Technology Innovation Award, been lauded as one ofBusinessWeek's Top 100 Most Innovative Companies, been named No. 7on the Wired 40, was selected for the past two years as a Top TenDisrupter by Forbes, and been voted one of the world's most ethicalcompanies by Business Ethics Magazine. Benioff is the recipient ofmany awards for pioneering innovation, including the 2007 Ernst& Young Entrepreneur of the Year. In 2000, Benioff launched theSalesforce.com Foundationnow a multimillion-dollar globalorganization. He lives in San Francisco.
Carlye Adler is an award-winning journalist whose articles haveappeared in BusinessWeek, Departures, Fast Company, Fortune,Forbes, Portfolio, Wired, and Time. She cowrote, with Marc Benioff,The Business of Changing the World. She lives in New York City.
Table of Contents
Foreword (Michael Dell, Chairman and CEO of Dell).
Part 1 The Start-Up Playbook: How to Turn a Simple Idea intoa High Growth Company.
Play #1: Allow Yourself Time to Recharge.
Play #2: Have a Big Dream.
Play #3: Believe in Yourself.
Play #4: Trust a Select Few with Your Idea and Listen to TheirAdvice.
Play #5: Pursue Top Talent as If Your Success Depended onIt.
Play #6: Sell Your Idea to Skeptics and Respond Calmly toCritics.
Play #7: Define Your Values and Culture Up Front.
Play #8: Work Only on What Is Important.
Play #9: Listen to Your Prospective Customers.
Play #10: Defy Convention.
Play #11: Have—and Listen to—a Trusted Mentor.
Play #12: Hire the Best Players You Know.
Play #13: Be Willing to Take a Risk—No Hedging.
Play #14: Think Bigger.
Part 2 The Marketing Playbook: How to Cut Through the Noiseand Pitch the Bigger Picture.
Play #15: Position Yourself.
Play #16: Party with a Purpose.
Play #17: Create a Persona.
Play #18: Differentiate, Differentiate, Differentiate.
Play #19: Make Every Employee a Key Player on the MarketingTeam, and Ensure Everyone Is On-Message.
Play #20: Always, Always Go After Goliath.
Play #21: Tactics Dictate Strategy.
Play #22: Engage the Market Leader.
Play #23: Reporters Are Writers; Tell Them a Story.
Play #24: Cultivate Relationships with Select Journalists.
Play #25 Make Your Own Metaphors.
Play #26: No Sacred Cows.
Part 3 The Events Playbook: How to Use Events to Build Buzzand Drive Business.
Play #27: Feed the Word-of-Mouth Phenomenon.
Play #28: Build Street Teams and Leverage Testimony.
Play #29: Sell to the End User.
Play #30: The Event Is the Message.
Play #31: Reduce Costs and Increase Impact.
Play #32: Always Stay in the Forefront.
Play #33: The Truth About Competition (It Is Good forEveryone).
Play #34: Be Prepared for Every Scenario . . . and Have Fun.
Play #35: Seize Unlikely Opportunities to Stay Relevant.
Play #36: Stay Scrappy . . . but Not Too Scrappy.
Part 4 The Sales Playbook: How to Energize Your Customersinto a Million-Member Sales Team.
Play #37: Give It Away.
Play #38: Win First Customers by Treating Them LikePartners.
Play #39: Let Your Web Site Be a Sales Rep.
Play #40: Make Every Customer a Member of Your Sales Team.
Play #41: Telesales Works (Even Though Everyone Thinks ItDoesn't).
Play #42: Don't Dis Your First Product with a Discount.
Play #43: Sales Is a Numbers Game.
Play #44: Segment the Markets.
Play #45: Leverage Times of Change.
Play #46: Your Seeds Are Sown, so Grow, Grow, Grow.
Play #47: Land and Expand.
Play #48: Abandon Strategies That No Longer Serve You.
Play #49: Old Customers Need Love.
Play #50: Add It On and Add It Up.
Play #51: Success Is the Number-One Selling Feature.
Part 5 The Technology Playbook: How to Develop Products UsersLove.
Play #52: Have the Courage to Pursue YourInnovation—Before It Is Obvious to the Market.
Play #53: Invest in the Long Term with a Prototype That Sets aStrong Foundation.
Play #54: Follow the Lead of Companies That Are Loved by TheirCustomers.
Play #55: Don't Do It All Yourself; Reuse, Don't Rebuild.
Play #56: Embrace Transparency in Everything You Do or BeTransparent and Build Trust.
Play #57: Let Your Customers Drive Innovation.
Play #58: Make It Easy for Customers to Adopt.
Play #59: Transcend Technical Paradigms.
Play #60: Provide a Marketplace for Solutions.
Play #61: Harness Customers' Ideas.
Play #62: Develop Communities of Collaboration (aka LoveEverybody).
Play #63: Evolve by Intelligent Reaction
Part 6 The Corporate Philanthropy Playbook: How to Make YourCompany About More Than Just the Bottom Line.
Play #64: The Business of Business Is More Than Business.
Play #65: Integrate Philanthropy from the Beginning.
Play #66: Make a Foundation Part of Your Business Model
Play #67: Choose a Cause That Makes Sense and Get Experts onBoard.
Play #68: Share the Model.
Play #69: Build a Great Program by Listening to theConstituents.
Play #70: Create a Self-Sustaining Model.
Play #71: Share Your Most Valuable Resources—Your Productand Your People.
Play #72: Involve Your Partners, Your Vendors, Your Network.
Play #73: Let Employees Inspire the Foundation.
Play #74: Have Your Foundation Mimic Your Business.
Part 7 The Global Playbook: How to Launch Your Product andIntroduce Your Model to New Markets.
Play #75: Build Global Capabilities into Your Product.
Play #76: Inject Local Leaders with Your Corporate DNA.
Play #77: Choose Your Headquarters and Territories Wisely.
Play #78: Box Above Your Weight.
Play #79: Scale Without Overspending.
Play #80: Understand Sequential Growth.
Play #81: Uphold a One-Company Attitude Across Borders.
Play #82: Follow Strategy, Not Opportunity.
Play #83: Going Far? Take a Partner. Going Fast? Go Alone.
Play #84: Fine-Tune Your International Strategy.
Play #85: Send Missionaries to Build New Markets
Play #86: Handle Global Disputes with Diplomacy (aka Light andLove).
Play #87: Edit an Overarching Outlook.
Play #88: Bring Old Tricks to New Regions.
Play #89: Don’t Use a “Seagull Approach”; theSecret to Global Success Is Commitment.
Part 8 The Finance Playbook: How to Raise Capital, Create aReturn, and Never Sell Your Soul.
Play #90: Don't Underestimate Your Financial Needs.
Play #91: Consider Fundraising Strategies Other Than VentureCapital.
Play #92: Use Internet Models to Reduce Start-Up Costs.
Play #93: Set Yourself Up Properly from the Beginning, ThenAllow Your Financial Model to Evolve.
Play #94: Measure a Fast-Growing Company on Revenue, NotProfitability.
Play #95: Build a First-Class Financial Team.
Play #96: Be Innovative and Edgy in Everything YouDo—Except When It Comes to Your Finances.
Play #97: When It Comes to Compliance, Always Play by theRules.
Play #98: Focus on the Future.
Play #99: Allow for Change as Your Company Grows.
Part 9 The Leadership Playbook: How to CreateAlignment—the Key to Organizational Success.
Play #100: Use V2MOM to Focus Your Goals and Align YourOrganization.
Play #101: Use a Top-Down and Bottom-Up Approach.
Play #102: Build a Recruiting Culture.
Play #103: Recruiting Is Sales.
Play #104: Keep Your Standards High as You Grow.
Play #105: How to Retain Top Talent.
Play #106: The Importance of Mahalo.
Play #107: Build Loyalty by Doing the Right Thing.
Play #108: Challenge Your Best People with NewOpportunities.
Play #109: Solicit Employee Feedback—and Act on It.
Play #110: Leverage Everything
The Final Play.
Play #111: Make Everyone Successful.
About the Author.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A CEO business book which doesn't follow the tired Gilda Radner formula of `Enough of me talking about me...let's hear what others think about me!'. This is a fun to read book chock-full of no-holds-barred advice on everything a growth company faces. In short easy to read chapters, Benioff writes instructively about everything from fostering an innovative product development and marketing machine, to driving explosive sales in existent and new/emerging markets, to focusing on customers while simultaneously inspiring a culture of employee hyper-success. His chapters on giving back to the community should be standard reading at all business schools today. In short, this is a practical guide on how to grow a successful business without selling your soul to Mephistopheles. The enthusiasm infused in the writing is contagious. For those looking for MBA jargon, four quadrant charts, circles with arrows, new buzzwords, or formulaic bromides on business success brought about by `the cult of the leader', don't pick up this book. Benioff and Adler have penned an easy to read practical, no-nonsense step-by-step `how to' guidebook on building and running a great company. John Henry - Danville, CA
Great book on high tech industry. Very well-written and easy to understand. Marc Benioff has an amazing sense of humor and adds much depth to life stories he has presented in this book.
A must read for anyone interestd in computing
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. To learn more about this book, check out the following link: http://www.getabstract.com/summary/12648/behind-the-cloud.html