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Publisher's Summary

How did salesforce.com grow from a start up in a rented apartment into the world's fastest growing software company in less than a decade? For the first time, Marc Benioff, the visionary founder, chairman and CEO of salesforce.com, tells how he and his team created and used new business, technology, and philanthropic models tailored to this time of extraordinary change. Showing how salesforce.com not only survived the dotcom implosion of 2001, but went on to define itself as the leader of the cloud computing revolution and spark a $46-billion dollar industry, Benioff's story will help business leaders and entrepreneurs stand out, innovate better, and grow faster in any economic climate. In Behind the Cloud, Benioff shares the strategies that have inspired employees, turned customers into evangelists, leveraged an ecosystem of partners, and allowed innovation to flourish.
©2009 Mark Benioff; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.

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Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Daryl
  • Perth, Australia
  • 08-13-10

Great advice from an IT revolutionary

I thought this book was fantastic and very inspiring. It is not everyday you get to take lessons from one of the people who is shaping the modern business world.

Great tips on what works, what doesn't, moving forward and all sorts of ins and outs from someone who has been there. I watched this company since before the turn of the century and I remain very inspired by this entire story.

If you want to start your own business, and you feel as though they are all lined up against you, then this book is for you.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book with some great content

Heads of SAAS companies should all read this book! Marc has some great insights to share, and the book is full of them. I bought the paper version as well to jot down notes and go back to key points and ideas.

The narrator is difficult to follow though, because his intonation and pace is off, perhaps Marc's writing voice just doesn't match the narration.

Highly recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Pixel
  • Australia
  • 11-23-11

Too much about marketing not much about business

I don't mind the play format since I enjoyed it with the audiobook Rework by Jason Fried founder of 37 Signals. I've listened to Rework twice and learned many insights.

While I'm an admirer of Salesforces and the SAAS model Marc Benioff created I stopped halfway through this audiobook. There were just too much marketing for me and not enough about the business itself (leadership, management, challenges, finances, HR, operations, etc.).

Paradoxically I felt the many plays I listened to had more to do with what was happening before than behind the curtain. Maybe what's behind the cloud is covered in later plays and maybe I will get back to it later on. But for now I've switched to another audiobook.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Startup guide

Apart from the fact that I have been a great fan of Salesforce as a company , have been impressed with this book throughly as Mark goes on explaining the startup challenges and the work around and unique - non conventional ways of surviving, thooughly enjoyed listening to the book

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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One long commerical

Feels disingenuous and consistently drops site urls and other info to lead to more customers. Don't water your time

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Lisa
  • singapore, Singapore
  • 04-02-18

More than I expected!

Would you listen to Behind the Cloud again? Why?

Marc Benioff founded an industry and a company culture that is second to none in the big corporates. I was actually surprised by how much insight he provided into his thoughts and plans. If you are in the space things may seem like common sense now but they weren't 10 years ago. That said, many things may be industry norms, but Benioff has shared his guiding principles of thinking differently, backing yourself, getting their first etc. to allow you to potentially have similar impact. Although everything may not be applicable to what you're doing it is both interesting and inspiring!

What was one of the most memorable moments of Behind the Cloud?

I forgot how dirty Salesforce played with their marketing in the beginning.

Any additional comments?

Marc Benioff is an inspiration. It's quite different that a CEO starts off as a philanthropist. Gates, Zuckerberg all instilled these values after they made their fortunes.

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An inspiring insight from an industry leader

111 plays. Compelling read for anyone in business (& life). Marc shows how his passion and values alongside proven and hard learned rules for success can help any company with ambition. The customer is at the centre and customer success has driven Salesforce to be #1, aiming for what's ahead. 2 train journeys & a 12 mile hike over 2 days - hearing the whole inside story - amazing!

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It’s like listening to a long sales brochure

Apparently the product described in the book is very different from the one we used at work (in a bad way). Salesforce is a Comcast of SaaS with CEO only carrying about promoting it at any opportunity using borderline unscrupulous methods. Hopefully the future of SaaS will be very different...

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Good book for people who want to Lead

Good book to start thinking outside the box. Great for stating your own business. two thumbs up

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Really a great playbook for SaaS model

Gives view into how Salesforce was built with insights on topics like guerrilla Marketing, sales, PR, recruitments, pricing models, disruption, management and philanthropy. Special focus comes out on the importance of building great relationships which help propel an individual and the organisation, whether it's ex-bosses, colleagues, employees, journalists, customers or partners. Highly recommended.

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  • Kim G.
  • 05-24-15

Easy read

An easy read, quite interesting at times but not much to learn from (considering the success of the company). Written by a fixed mindset it seems; successes are personal contributions, failures aren't mentioned or referred to with "us".

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Vinnie
  • 04-28-15

Recommended for any aspiring Entrepreneur

Provides valuable insights into striking the balance between being the disruptive scrappy startup and the age old accepted ways of working.

The approach to philanthropy was particularly inspiring.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Liam
  • 02-09-17

Great for business development.

Good book for business development. He offered great insights into problems the business faced and how it effected the company.

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  • Jag
  • 09-21-16

Best ever

Loved it... It is a Must listen for every entrepreneur. Inspiring story and some key lessons. Thank you Marc!