5 Amazing Salesforce Facts You Never Knew

5 Amazing Salesforce Facts You Never Knew

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Salesforce, the world’s most popular customer relationship management (CRM) company, is featured by some of the most amazing stories in Silicon Valley. Undoubtedly, the evolution of the CRM giant has been a story of vision, creativity, dedication, and entrepreneurial spirit.

The Evolution Of Salesforce

In 1999, Salesforce started in a one-bedroom flat and is now a 40,000 people company. Let us dive into some of the most surprising facts about this CRM giant we now call Salesforce. 

1. A Visionary Founder

Salesforce was founded by Marc Benioff, who is a visionary technology entrepreneur and credited with pioneering the concept of modern cloud computing. At the age of 12, Benioff started knocking door-to-door to repair antennas at the home of people. 

At 15, Benioff managed to sell his first bit of computing software and managed to pay his college fees through software royalties developed by him. 

Benioff then went on to join Oracle and enjoyed a long and successful career there. There is no doubt that Marc Benioff is an exemplary visionary and has been a pioneer with philanthropic work, which was recently evident from the contributions made by Salesforce to procure Personal protective equipment (PPE) for American citizens.

2. Bold Marketing Schemes

On-premise servers used to reign over the technological world back when Salesforce was founded. This made the task of Benioff and his team to convince the world that cloud-based technology was the way forward more difficult. The fact that Benioff had a team of fewer than 10 people at that time made things even worse for him. 

This was when Benioff decided to hire fake protestors outside the Siebel Conference to protest against software. The team of Benioff even hired a fake television crew to cover the event. Siebel (which was later acquired by Oracle) called the police, the unknown brand of Salesforce received an unprecedented media buzz, and the logo “No Software” was born. 

The tactics of Benioff didn’t end here. In another conference by Siebel, Salesforce hired all of the airport cabs and paid for all the 45-minute rides. This gave Salesforce a chance to pitch itself before IT professionals across the world as it provided marketing material and put lots of Salesforce logos in the cabs.

3. Salesforce & Amazon

What could be common between Amazon and Salesforce? During the initial days when Benioff was contemplating pushing cloud computing beyond the boundaries, he had the vision to deliver it cheaply through the web. 

This concept was based primarily on the usability aspect of Amazon. Both Salesforce and Amazon have one thing in common – an easy-to-use interface and taking clear advantage of a menu of tabs.

In his book “Behind the Cloud,” Benioff wrote we wanted to take advantage of the Internet in the era when organizations were paying hundreds of thousands to buy and millions to install applications that were costly and frustrating to maintain. Benioff further added that the aim of this platform was to deliver business apps through a website like Amazon.com effortlessly.

4. The App Store

Salesforce launched the AppExchange (the enterprise cloud marketplace with ready-to-install apps, solutions, and consultants) back in 2005, much before the Apple App Store was launched in 2008. Benioff gifted the term “App Store” to Steve Jobs in 2008 as a gesture for all his support over the years.

5. Oracle Vs. Salesforce

Salesforce and Oracle, or should we say Marc Benioff (the CEO and Founder of Salesforce) and Larry Ellison (CEO and Founder of Oracle), have a long history together. Benioff worked under the wing of Ellison at Oracle and became the youngest Vice President ever at the age of 25. He wanted to explore other ventures, and Ellison went on to support his ideas. 

Interestingly, Ellison even offered a 6-month sabbatical to Benioff and invested the first $2M into Salesforce and joined its board of directors. However, things soon turned sour between the two when Benioff learned that Ellison was developing a competing CRM and removed Ellison from the board. Today, Salesforce is a big Oracle customer, and its platform is hosted on Oracle Technology.

We hope that this blog on 5 interesting facts about Salesforce helped you gain some insight into the CRM giant we all know as Salesforce.


Nitish Bhardwaj

Salesforce Principal Consultant | Chief Information Officer
An experienced Salesforce.com professional with 5+ years of experience in consulting on and delivering Salesforce projects for mid size, large and very large customers.

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