I was at the first Dreamforce. It was in a hotel at the Westin St. Francis in San Francisco and it attracted 500 people and perhaps another 200 employees — roughly 2/3 of the entire company. The big announcements were related to sales force automation, but the company also announced custom tabs and some nifty Dashboards. The precursors to far bigger ambitions and successful customers.
There were about 148 other major features too. And even though salesforce.com announced “features” the user community knew the company wasn’t just a company hosting sales force automation on some servers. The company’s mantra was about success (and not software). There was something far more magical happening and people realized it. Even the name Dreamforce connoted a different way of thinking than the traditional conference.
I had come from a place where I was able to attend hundreds or perhaps thousands of technology conferences. They’re all dead now. They were not aspirational. They collapsed because of an implosion that resulted from a clash of egos, underachieving revenue based on ancient models, and the status quo. Without inspiration, those old conferences festered and died. You can rattle them off Comdex, all those DCI shows that no one remembers, VBITS — there are far too many to remember.
Dreamforce 2010 is aspirational. It is about Collaboration. It is about going viral. It is about building new applications. It is about design and function. Most of all it is about getting things done while simplifying things at the same time.
So what will happen Tuesday through Thursday?
(Cross-posted @ The Cloud Blog)