Since so many of my Enterprise Irregulars friends and colleagues were at the same place I was last week – and have already done such a great job summarizing the news – I’ll keep this short.
- Energy – it’s been a long time since I’ve seen the type of attendance and energy that I witnessed last week. And it was great to see. It’s one thing to get 30K people to San Francisco, it’s another thing to have every session, every hallway, every booth packed to the gills. Kudos to Salesforce.com – there’s no question that they are leading not just a market but a movement – and an ecosystem – to the Cloud. Last week proved – and reinforced – that leadership.
- Community- of course our hosts at Salesforce played a big role in a great week, but I also want to thank a few other companies, notably GetSatisfaction for hosting both a terrific event on Monday evening and me on Wednesday, and Focus Research where I dropped by on Thursday. Both are emerging companies that leverage online communities and have built exciting & innovative business models around them – I fully expect big things in ’11 from both companies.
- Hospitality – the companies hosting events in and around Dreamforce which included Hubspot, Marketo, Timetrade and last but certainly not least my friends at Glance Networks with whom I spent a large portion of the week and who announced their new and very well-received Glance for Salesforce offering.
- Friends – I am not going to name all of the old and not-so-old friends with whom I had a chance to catch up last week – because I will almost certainly and inadvertently forget and offend someone. Instead, I’m going to simply say that it was a wonderful opportunity for connecting & reconnecting with friends – you know who you are. I will, however, call out Vinnie Mirchandani who, despite his recent health issues, was looking healthy, recovered and re-energized.
If you’ve read this far, you’re probably under the impression that the primary benefit I gained from last week’s event was social – and that perception is (mostly) correct. I’ve always been a believer that the main purpose of live events is to put names and faces to those you otherwise may mostly encounter online – and make those relationships ‘real’. Many meetings follow, and there is indeed much to follow up.
In any case, there’s only so much ‘deep insight’ that one can expect glean from an event attended alongside 30,000 of one’s closest friends. My expectations were more than exceeded – Dreamforce was energizing, encouraging, and most definitely time well-spent – I’m delighted I made the trip.