I had an opportunity to attend a portion of Dreamforce 2012 in San Francisco last week. It was informative, fun and energizing. Most of all it was a lesson in how you REALLY create jobs. Some background
For those you who are not familiar with Dreamforce it is the annual conference for Salesforce.com, a company based in San Francisco. It was founded by Marc Benioff and other ex-Oracle executives. It is computing in the cloud and they are best known for the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. They have over 80,000 customers, including Omega HR Solultions. But it is much, much more than that. Founded in 1999 their goal is to make everything “social.” They are 27th on the list of the top 100 companies to work for in 2012. They are worldwide and a pillar of the community in San Francisco with a Foundation that is building a $100 million children’s hospital.
Much of my time was spent in the Expo, the marketplace that most HR people try to avoid at a conference. This one was amazing. There were at least 100 vendors there all with a cloud software product built on or tied to the Force.com platform which Salesforce.com has made available to developers. In fact there have been over 2.5 million applications written to tie to Salesforce.com. One of them is Vana Workforce, with whom I will be teaming with in the future. The diversity of applications at this Expo was wide.
During some downtime as I watched the activity of people going hither and yon I started to think about the impact this company and conference has had on its community, its industry and indeed on the world.
The impact that Benioff and his compatriots have had is pretty big. They have a company that now employ almost 9000 people worldwide. Not a huge amount. However, with a bit of research I uncovered that the estimated numbers of jobs that have been created as a result of Salesforce.com is almost 800,000. All the companies that write applications need workers. One of my clients is a Force.com company and they employee over 50 people. Just the number of jobs that were created in San Francisco this past week is amazing. For this conference companies had to supply graphics, trees, picnic tables, printed material, carpet, artificial grass, food, AV equipment, and much, much more, including my favorite the “clouds” to sit in (aka beanbag chairs.)
The secret to how you really create jobs is to do the following:
- Have a great product or service that you are passionate about. Benioff exudes passion in his keynotes.
- Enlist others in that passion. The keynoters for the conference where Colin Powell, Richard Branson, Jeff Immelt and Tony Robbins all of whom are customers of Salesforce.com and friends of Benioff.
- Treat people the right way. Salesforce.com takes 1% of their profit and donates to organizations around the world. They make Salesforce.com available for free to 501(3)c organizations. They donate milllions in just the San Francisco area.
- Innovate yourself and encourage others to innovate by making the platform of your business available for others to use.
- Throw great parties!
With these you will not only grow your business and company, thus creating jobs, but you will help others grow as well. Colin Powell and Jeff Immelt, in their remarks both said that many of the problems in the Middle East would be solved if people just had jobs. While out there I met with with a small company, for whom I will be doing some writing, named Smart Recruiters that has the very noble goal of eliminating worldwide unemployment, one job at a time.
Let us hope it works.
Photo credit: Taken by Mike Haberman