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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 – October 19, 2009
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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 Playbookincluding Benioff's proprietary management tool, V2MOMany 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 organizationand 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. Everyonefrom employees to shareholders to the communitywins. Get ready to be inspired and make a difference."Charles Moore, executive director, Committee EncouragingCorporate Philanthropy
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Top Customer Reviews
Without the pompous cadence of the motivational speaker, Benioff and his co-author, Carlye Adler, actually manage to impart useful information for anyone looking to start their own company while remaining interesting to the casual reader. There's also a lot of information about the prevailing technology culture and insights that help those of us who don't live on the West Coast understand the special brew of technology, entrepreneurship and spirituality that make it what it is.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who is open to the positive side of capitalism and disappointed by what they've experienced thus far. Marc Benioff has done more than create a great company; he's set a great example.
In sum, this is a good but not great book.
The book is a cross between a business success story, personal basking in success and a playbook for creating new companies. The book is a piece of corporate self promotion, but it goes beyond boosterism for the company and its offering to provide some real advice and insight. It is an example of the `different way' sales and marketing that [...] has become known for.
Benioff covers all of the major areas associated with setting up and leading a company. This gives the book a comprehensive nature normally not found in a piece of corporate marketing. This difference makes the book recommended, not as a book about Cloud Computing, but as a look into the mind of a business leader and innovator.
The book is organized around 111 `plays' representing concepts and ideas behind starting a business in general and [...] in particular. These `plays' are organized into parts covering strategy, marketing, events, sales, technology, philanthropy, globalization, finance and leadership.
So recommended reading for people who want to know more about Benioff and [...] and recognize the hyperbole that is in the book. Not recommended if you want to understand how the cloud works.
This is not a specific cookbook around starting a business and all the areas you need to master and understand. I see it more as a story that has entrepreneurial themes interwoven - secure 'excess' capital early-on, watch your cash flow like a hawk, only hire when necesssary, etc. I particularly liked the story of he started and when - coming out of the dot-bomb cycle, in a recessionary environment, against the on-premise software grain, etc. It has all the makings of a good story - Silicon Valley setting, timeless themes, antagonists/protagonists, conflict - you get the picture.
Three main things stood our for me ... the 1-1-1 mission, always looking for 'talent', and continually testing and iterating your product. They sound basic, but many firms do not execute them well or think about their social responsibilities and how they create a brand that attracts talent, customers and investors.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Plainly written with good advice and honest reflection on how leaders can make a difference in their country and communities.Published 3 days ago by Lance Stovall
As an avid reader of business books, my standard is,"Do I regret reading this on my Kindle because I wanted to scribble notes in the margins?" Marc gets an enthusiastic "yes. Read morePublished 5 days ago by B. Boyd
Great book to learn the full story behind the great success of Marc and his Salesforce.com!Published 3 months ago by Tommy
If you ever wanted to know how to start a new company in todays world, this is the book to read. It's a hard bound MBA !!Published 4 months ago by stanburford
The author is very genuine in the book. Marc is a genius in promoting Salesforce brand and guru in marketing. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Rui Wang
Marc Benioff shares the personal journey that took him to found Salesforce. Marc shares the difficulties, personal choices and company choices that have defined what the company is... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
This book quickly became repetitive and lacks any substance. It is highly disappointing. I would not suggest buying or reading this book. Read morePublished 8 months ago by amr88