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The Force Is With Many: A Reflection on Six Years with Salesforce

After a brief hiatus from blogging, I thought I’d use this post as an opportunity to indulge a little. So I’d like to take some time to reflect on how far has come in the past six years, and how we’ve seen companies benefiting from it. Marc Benioff’s favorite accolade is “it’s amazing,” and we think it truly is.

In March 2005, at an intimate conference gathering of 200 early cloud enthusiasts, I saw Adam Gross from show just how easy it was to add a field in Salesforce. That simple 2-minute demo was my cue to join the ecosystem – first as a product manager to help Salesforce build out the PRM product, and later as an entrepreneur starting a Salesforce services firm.

It is remarkable how the pace of Salesforce product innovation has actually increased over time, rather than slowing down as is typical of large technology vendors.

The Force has grown up and validations abound:

For administrators and business users:

Rollup summary fields, validation rules, field types, and powerful reports and dashboards allow administrators to build applications without knowing a lick of code.


Apex, Visualforce, Flow, Siteforce, Sites, and Triggers are powerful development features allowing companies to develop exactly the look, feel, and behavior needed for their applications.

Independent Software Vendors (ISVs)

ISVs have adopted the platform in droves. FinancialForce, DocuSign, and Veeva Systems, for instance, have all developed commercial applications built in part or entirely on

We have been on an incredible journey with our customers to take advantage of these innovations, and it has been amazing – just like Marc Benioff said. Companies like Dolby, Pandora, ngmoco, Verisign, and TiVo have felt the Force and reaped the benefits.

I talk with CIOs each week about how – not when — they can move more applications to

It will be even more amazing to see what the next 6 years brings.

What will you do with the Force?!

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Andrew ODriscoll

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