Episode#16 – Behind The Cloud

Behind the Cloud

by Marc Benioff and Carlye Adler


The book in one sentence

How Marc Benioff founded salesforce.com, covering the start-up phase, marketing tactics, events, sales, technology, corporate philanthropy, global expansion, finance and leadership.


My personal opinion

Still, this is one of the best books I ever read! Amazing!

Content wise, the book is complete to me. Marc Benioff covers all important aspects of founding a high-tech company. He is straight to the point, explaining how salesforce.com was build and how it grew to the global leader of CRM it is today.

I really like the style switching between biography and business book. It is well written, quite entertaining and contains a lot of ideas you can use for your own professional life.


To whom I would recommend this book

A great book for everyone who wants to start a technology company, for everyone who wants to grow her or his company very fast and for everyone who believes in doing good.


What I learned from this book

  • Create a “feedback-loop” with your customers.
  • Make your customers successful. Let them be your evangelists.
  • Take your time to step back and recharge.
  • Leverage the 80/20 rule. 80% of the result can be achieved with 20% of the effort.
  • Challenge the rules of your industry.
  • You have to make noise to create awareness.
  • Don’t be afraid to take risks.
  • Business is temporal, relationships are eternal.
  • Welcome competition.
  • Listen to your people.
  • If you try to win a big organisation as a customer, land and expand with your product or service.
  • Make your customers your weapon of innovation.
  • Do good.
  • Do not stress profits over revenue in the beginning when you are starting out.
  • “While a company is growing fast, there is nothing more important than constant communication and complete alignment.”
  • Define your vision, values, methods, obstacles and measures (salesforce.com’s V2MOM). Update them regularly.
  • Hiring is the most important thing. Always go for the A players.


Want to read this book?

Check it out on Amazon.com – Behind the Cloud by Marc Benioff and Carlye Adler



Thanks to the publisher for printing such a great book!

Wiley / Jossey-Bass