2019 will be the year Salesforce celebrates its 20th Anniversary.
How it Began
To mark the occasion they have released a video with footage from back in the day, where we can see where it all started (very much in the line of the garage where Steve Jobs created Apple). An apartment in San Francisco where the internet connection was hooked to the home modem of Marc Benioff, founder and owner of Salesforce.
It was 1999, the heyday of the .com boom and the internet was this brand new thing where companies like Amazon and Oracle were trying to find their own identity.
The No Software Idea
Salesforce.com began to acquire its identity under one premise: “how to make it easier to use enterprise software”. Marc Benioff is seen on a No Software demostration, in front of a technology event, telling the press “software is superfluous”.
There’s even an office dog! Marc Benioff’s golden retriever Koa is featured when he was just a puppy.
A Sustainable Growth Model
The approach as the company grew bigger was a 1+1+1 model: a three legged stool which represented business, technology and philanthropy.
The focus then was to concentrate on feedback from their initial customers to focus on and improve those key features highlighted by them: they reported the product was consistent, easy to use, responsive, very quick, and budget friendly.
The first Dreamforce is also featured at around the same time another milestone took place: when the company first went public in 2004.
By this time the amount of employees was closer to 2000. Quite a leap from the couple of guys in a shed full of wires!
Communication is King
Chatter is also featured in there, again to bring the highlight back on communication and customer feedback: Benioff is heard on voiceover how the culture at Salesforce “is based on trust”, with Salesforce being one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies according to Ethisphere Magazine.
Trailhead is Born
Into the tens of thousands of employees, the keyword became “community“, with Trailhead being the materialisation of this proposition. Trailblazers were essential when they worked with their customers to convey knowledge and let Salesforce grow at the speed required.
Employee culture is built into the compensation philosophy, when they hire people and promote people. Not in vain it has consistently been at the top 5 of the Fortune’s 100 best Companies to Work For during the past few years.
We wish Salesforce the best in their anniversary. Here’s to another 20 years!