Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

Tedious Salesforce presentation forced escape to MOMA

Posted by Tom Foremski - April 13, 2005

By Tom Foremski for SiliconValleyWatcher

bored12-cropped.jpgI was late for the Salesforce event, a big launch of something, and Outcast PR had been hammering away at my inbox for weeks. It’s at the Four Seasons and Ulysses King from Outcast greets me in the near empty corridor and I get my badge.

But, there are what seems to be hundreds of badges unclaimed, and outside the conference room there are a dozen mini-trade booths. I soon realize that this is also a “customer” event. Not good, however; it is lunchtime and I missed breakfast.

I follow Ulysses into a packed conference room with about a dozen large round dining tables and I slip into a chair at a table near the front.

Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, is on stage and selling software. Marc is always selling; whether it is through his spirituality or through his larger than life persona, Marc is always selling.

Pain in the neck

I am sitting with my back towards Marc. It was a bit of a strain to twist my back and neck and look at Marc selling; but I found that if I didn’t, I was quite comfortable. I could hear Marc selling of course; but I didn’t need the visual of Marc up on the podium, as usual looking awkward in a suit and tie.

I ate lunch, sipped a coffee, looked around. Andreas from the Economist was shoulder-tapping distance away, so I tapped and we smiled and nodded. Helene from FT Deutschland caught my eye from three tables away and waved. And the indefatigable Dan Farber, editor in chief of ZDNet, was at the adjoining table, laptop on his lap as usual.

The Salesforce presentation was tedious, tedious, tedious, which is the case every time I am invited to company sales events. Media and customers are different audiences requiring different methods of communication.

I looked at the clock and my heart sank; because there was likely about another hour of Marc selling. I walked outside to feed the parking meter but the day was so nice that I couldn’t face returning. I figured Dan or someone else will very likely file a good piece about the event; no sense in my reinventing the wheel, I’ll just blog it. Thus, I managed to fit in a pleasant walk in the sun and browsed the MOMA store for 20 minutes.

I really, really like this blogging journalism thing!

Here is News.com's Alorie Gilbert on Salesforce.com lifts curtain on new release
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