Whenever I read a great book, I summarize it so I can learn better and recall it later. I have been asked to make some of my “Ken’s Notes” available. Here is part 5 of “Behind the Cloud” by Marc Benioff, the founder of salesforce.com. Scroll to the bottom for links to the other Parts – Ken Krogue
How to Develop Products Users Love
Play #52: Have the Courage to Pursue Your Innovation—Before It Is Obvious to the Market
Produce a product customers love. Build a product for companies in the world to use at the same time. Build ground up for the Internet. A securely partitioned, highly personalized experience with their own data, logic, and end-user experience. Call it “multitenancy.”
Don’t give up the End of Software mission. This is our religion.
Play #53: Invest in the Long Term with a Prototype That Sets a Strong Foundation
“Do it fast, simple, and right the first time (and did we mention fast?)”
Play #54: Follow the Lead of Companies That Are Loved by Their Customers
Follow Google, eBay, and Yahoo! By offering one product, then adding more later. Focus.
Play #55: Don’t Do It All Yourself; Reuse, Don’t Rebuild
Don’t build it all yourself from scratch.
Play #56: Embrace Transparency and Build Trust
Admit problems, don’t hide. They posted their internal monitoring service to the customers. Bold. Offers real-time information on system performance, planned maintenance, historical information, speed, phishing and malware, and info on security.
“Open the kimono.”
Solve reliability with technology and communication. We call all customers if we are down.
Play #57: Let Your Customers Drive Innovation
Ask what is missing and why prospects don’t go with you. Watch what customers do in the application. Added vertical and horizontal tabs, renameable tabs, and workflow, etc. ideas from customers.
Play #58: Make It Easy for Customers to Adopt
Integration with an API.
Play #59: Transcend Technical Paradigms
Become a platform by making code available to companies to build complimentary online services. Platform-as-a-service (Paas).
Built VolunteerForce, MultiForce, Visualforce. Now Force.com
Play #60: Provide a Marketplace for Solutions
AppExchange is a single site where developers could upload applications they built and customers could search, read reviews, test for free, and purchase and download applications.
No royalties, but difficult to leave for a competitor. But approvals are real. Only quality applications.
It’s imperative that you never do anything to squander a customers’ trust.
Play #61: Harness Customers Ideas
IdeaExchange: 11,000 ideas, 257,000 votes, 26,000 comments. It’s how the title for this book was tested. Jeff Howe: Crowdsourcing: Why the Power of the Crowd Is Driving the Future of Business. How can my business be part of this conversation, learn from it, and innovate from it.
Play #62: Develop Communities of Collaboration (aka Love Everybody)
Developed apps incubators. Providing developers with a platform, a community (and free T-shirts) to develop over 800 apps.
Play #63: Evolve by Intelligent Reaction
The only theory in the software industry that makes sense is: surviving by learning from experience and usage patterns, or as Adam Bosworth said, “intelligent reaction.” Dev cycle is 90 days, with minor upgrades every week and quarterly releases. Named by the seasons like the fashion industry. Users drive the releases.
Part 1 – The Start-Up Playbook – How to Turn a Simple Idea into a High-Growth Company
Part 2 – The Marketing Playbook – How to Cut Through the Noise and Pitch the Bigger Picture
Part 3 – The Events Playbook – How to Use Events to Build Buzz and Drive Business
Part 4 – The Sales Playbook – How to Energize Your Customers into a Million-Member Sales Team
Part 5 – The Technology Play Book – How to Develop Products Users Love
Part 6 – The Corporate Philanthropy Playbook – Make Your Company About More Than the Bottom Line
Part 7 – The Global Playbook – How to Launch Your Product and Introduce Your Model to New Markets
Part 8 – The Finance Playbook – How to Raise Capital, Create a Return, and Never Sell Your Soul
Part 9 – The Leadership Playbook – How to Create Alignment—the Key to Organizational Success
The Final Play