I had the good fortune to be at Dreamforce14 this past week. For those of you who have not heard of Dreamforce, it is the annual conference for SalesForce.com. It is a huge conference and pretty much dominates San Francisco when it is in session. I wrote about it when I attended in 2012 and the job creation engine the company is in How You REALLY Create Jobs. This time I came away from the conference with a strong lesson in the power of collaboration.
Will.i.am, of the Blackeyed Peas fame, is not only a singer he is also a technology creator. At Dreamforce he revealed his Puls device, a wrist worn smart device that he insists is not a smart watch. It is so much more. It does have a watch, but it is also a phone, a GPS, an applications platform, music capabilites and much more. It is also attractive and fashionable. You can find out more about the device by visiting here.
While the device is pretty incredible, the story Will.i.am told about its creation was what I paid attention to. He started about two years ago by funding, out of his own pocket, the formation of an engineering team from Bangalore and Singapore. He then sought out AT & T to provide the phone capabilities. He sought out a European telecom company, and a GPS company. He sought the help of people he knew in the fashion industry to make the device more “wearable” and attractive. He got encouragement from Marc Benioff of Salesforce.com to bring it to market. He went back to the ghetto he grew up in and worked with high school students to write applications for the device at the same time he was keeping them in school and out of gangs.
Granted, his celebrity probably opened some doors for him, but how many technology companies really would have paid attention to a “singer” if he did not have a great idea.
This story is one of encouragement and collaboration. We can all collaborate; we can all get collections of people around us to work on ideas if we try. How might you use this idea in your business or your department?
Watch this brief YouTube to get a better idea of what this collaboration is about.