When does a company no longer qualify as a “startup”? When it goes public? When it surpasses a certain revenue, transaction, or employee threshold? When its products become stale and innovation begins to falter?
Salesforce.com is now 15 years old. We process upwards of 2 billion transactions per business day, employ nearly 15,000 people in over 20 countries around the world, and reported $1.3 billion in revenue last quarter.
By the numbers, that doesn’t sound much like a “startup” — a word that brings to mind late-night garage coding and semi-desperate cofounders who can’t afford to pay themselves, much less an employee. But salesforce.com still feels like a startup. We still move fast and pride ourselves on being named the world’s most innovative company four years in a row by Forbes. Our offices are full of whiteboards and sticky notes.
Through the years, we’ve learned that turning a startup into a great company requires many ingredients, but the most important one is customers. Startups fail because they lack relevance to customers. At salesforce.com, we are passionate about transforming the startup journey, and want to help young companies focus on customers from Day One to ensure they build and grow successfully.
Enter Salesforce for Startups. By connecting early-stage tech startups with successful fellow entrepreneurs and Salesforce experts; giving them free access to the Salesforce1 Platform; and providing them with free CRM and customer service tools for one year, we believe we can change the game for promising young companies. Here’s how:
Once an initial idea is crystallized, the journey for startups usually begins with establishing a solid technology foundation. By partnering with the more than 1.7 million developers in the our community, startups can leverage salesforce.com’s unparalleled cloud computing expertise and tap into new initiatives like Salesforce Wear Developer packs, Service SOS, and Journey Builder for Apps.
Once tech startups establish product/market fit, they need to grow quickly and efficiently. Services like Sales Cloud and Desk.com support steady growth and effective customer relationship management to ensure continued success as the company matures. Equally critical to growth is channel development; by connecting startups to the Salesforce AppExchange, the leading business apps marketplace, we can also give them a unique opportunity to find new customers.
Salesforce.com was founded on the principle of giving back. As such, we encourage our partners to adopt our 1–1–1 model of philanthropy, which calls for donating 1% of product, 1% of equity, and 1% of employee time back to your community.
We’re not limiting our scope to early-stage startups, either. We also recently launched new venture capital initiatives, Salesforce Ventures and the $100 million Salesforce1 Fund, to support innovative entrepreneurs who extend the power of the Salesforce1 Platform to build next-generation mobile apps and connected products. Because, as any entrepreneur knows, success doesn’t happen in a vacuum. By empowering young companies, we believe we can build a future in which connected products and rich customer relationships can move our entire technology ecosystem forward.
Learn more at salesforce.com/startups.
To learn more about the Salesforce Advantage, visit our website, or download the free e-book.