Friday, September 20, 2013

Benioff's latest success: the salesforce.com Startup Cloud


This month has seen 3 big enterprise cloud platforms get funding - Zuora ($50M), Hearsay  Social ($30M) and Okta ($27M), as well as Zuora's user conference - subscribed. Rocket Fuel also just went public today.

These four companies have a few things in common apart from September being a fabulous month for them - they are all (except Rocket Fuel) subscription-based, are all cloud-based, and they are all based in the bay area.

The other thing they have in common is that they are also all founded by salesforce.com alumni. Ever since the original "Fairchildren" that left Shockley Semiconductor, great companies in the bay area have spun out more and more entrepreneurs ready to start something new, and also generated the financial backing to help them.

From the PayPal mafia which has created some well known companies recently like Telsa and LinkedIn to Oracle, which not only counts Marc Benioff, founder of salesforce.com, but also Thomas Siebel, founder of Siebel Systems, many companies are training grounds for another generation of entrepreneurs. Salesforce.com is no different, where Tien Tzuo led out, founding Zuora in 2007.

Just as Robert Noyce removed the hierarchy at Fairchild, salesforce.com also had great lessons while working there, with Marc Benioff encouraging everybody to "be your own CEO".

I've compiled a list of the startups founded by salesforce.com alumni here - I'm sure I missed some, please leave a comment or email me at leo [at] appme.sh. Some are now dominating their industries, other still starting up:




At PandoDaily, they've begun charting some of the diaspora for other companies:


I don't know what Stephen Few would say about the visualization, but the data is intriguing to explore.

Looking at the long list of companies, it's going to be interesting to see which truly become great and spawn the next generations of companies.

23 comments:

  1. Don't forget Veeva (Peter Gassner) and EchoUser (Aaron Rich)!

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  2. Great list! Keen.io (Daniel Kador + Ryan Spraetz) is also Salesforce mafia founded.

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    1. Hey Mark, keen is on there already. Will add the others, thanks! Amazing I forgot veeva!

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  3. Are you sure you want use the term Mafia - as theirs was a racket, punctuated by violence and some hard time.

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    1. I thought Startup Cloud would be more positive, and also in line with sfdc's branding style. That said, I have heard others refer to it as mafia, with the term used in a more generic sense, no doubt.

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  4. ChuckG to the list but I bet he is still in stealth mode...

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  5. Great post Leo! Say, can you also include Andrea Wildt with Full Circle CRM? She is a founder and also former salesforce.com. Thanks!

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  6. Hey Leo - we'd like to be added to the list also! ManyWho - founded in May this year to help companies deliver enterprise mobile apps using our cloud platform. Founders - me (Steve Wood) and Dave Norris - both alumni :) Site here: http://manywho.com

    Hope things are going with AppMesh - nice app.

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    1. Hi Steve, ManyWho was already there, my friend! Added Dave Norris.

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    2. Ah yes! I skipped right past it. Thanks Leo - that's good intel :)

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    3. Great name, Steve. Where did you come up with that? ;)

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    4. It came from salesforce actually. There's a field for tasks called the "who" field - basically - "who" is going to do the task. A whole bunch of customers said "but we sometimes have many whos!". As our platform is all about building apps that are collaborative (and I mean deeply - from the ground up about many users engaging at the same time) it felt like a great name :)

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  8. Great list Leo!

    Would be interesting to see how many of us will be at Dreamforce in November. runcoach will be there and I'd love to connect.

    Kudos on the funding too!

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    1. We're trying to gather a group of Salesforce alum to either do a big sponsor or at least get tickets to sit near each other and reminisce (dance, schmooze, etc)

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  10. @Leo, thanks for including KudosKorner. I really feel honored. As a new entrant in this space, I would really love to connect to each one of you to see if there is an opportunity to support each other during the early phases of the startup. We are still bootstrapped and hoping to raise some money soon and can definitely learn a lot from your experiences.

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  12. Leo, thanks for including getfeedback.com in your Salesforce Mafia list ;) I founded the company earlier this year with Sean Whiteley to take on the $2B online survey and research market. Our goal is simple, with 50% of all online surveys (sent via email, social media, etc) now opened on smartphones and tablets, we think this market is ripe for disruption.

    We are 100% bootstrapped and are following the DHH approach of no-VC money. In the spirit of helping one another, we would like to offer enterprise access to our modern survey marketing app to everyone on the list posted in this blog. Email me at kraig (at) getfeedback (dot) com and I will hook you up!

    Hope to see you all at DF13. Here is a fun preview using our technology
    http://www.getfeedback.com/r/Vw8LvE6h

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  13. Quite the impressive list of SalesChildren. Kudos to all!

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  14. Monetate appears to be another one
    http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/inq-phillydeals/Monetate-adds-SAP-deal-Salesforce-exec.html

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  15. one more Founded by former top Salesforce executives, Claus Moldt and Trae Chancellor, m>Path is coming out of stealth mode today.

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