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One of the best things about Salesforce is our community — our Ohana. It is impassioned, creative and forthright — which is exactly what we want in our family. 

This week we heard our Ohana loud and clear. They came to us about the IdeaExchange and how it's not living up to its promise. They expressed concerns that we are not engaging with the community in the most timely, transparent and accountable manner.

We agree. 

Originally created in 2006, the IdeaExchange was a radical concept — a place where members of our community could suggest and vote on the new product features they wanted us to build. Over the years, the IdeaExchange has been instrumental to our product strategy as we define and prioritize our future roadmaps. 

But much has changed since 2006. Our product portfolio has expanded greatly, and so has the size of our community. There are now more than 65,000 ideas on the IdeaExchange, reaching a point where it is no longer conducive to fostering a meaningful dialogue with our community that helps shape the direction of our products. Unfortunately, it has also left many members of our community wondering whether their ideas and their votes were having any influence on our product strategy.

This is not acceptable. It is certainly not a reflection of our core values, and we are committing to re-imagining this experience and the engagement model to ensure we are having a meaningful, progressive dialogue around our product direction. And in fact, we've been in the early stages of thinking about what a new IdeaExchange could look like. We want to use this moment to bring our community along on this journey and co-develop it with us. 

Here's how we're going to start.

At Dreamforce, Parker Harris will host our annual True to the Core session. Many of you have participated in it over the years and made it one of our most spirited sessions at Dreamforce. This year, I'm going to join Parker and facilitate a discussion around what a more transparent and accountable IdeaExchange can look like. We already have a product design team working on early concepts for the community to react to, and we look forward to hosting an engaging experience for co-innovation.

The main thing I ask is that we make sure the new IdeaExchange can scale with our community's growth and our growth - and that in 5, 10 years and beyond it will still be a place for meaningful, impactful discussions where together we can prioritize our product roadmap. Our goal is to come out of Dreamforce with an actionable plan for a next generation IdeaExchange that's transparent and innovative.

For those of you who can't join us at Dreamforce, we also plan to take our Dreamforce co-innovation session on the road, so we can reach more members of our community for input (dates, cities and details to follow). We also invite you to make your voice heard by joining our remote advisory board (sign up here). 

Getting a new IdeaExchange up and running will take us some time. But it's worth it and we're committed. We always welcome all of your feedback. Thank you for making your voices heard and pushing us to be better.

See you at Dreamforce. 

Get involved in creating the next IdeaExchange:

  • True to the Core, Wed 9/26, 3:30 PM: Led by Parker Harris, this session will focus on re-imagining the next IdeaExchange. Details here.
  • IdeaExchange Co-innovation Roadshow: Join us in a city near you for an intimate discussion and feedback session on the IdeaExchange. Details forthcoming.
  • IdeaExchange Advisory Board: Sign up to participate remotely and meet with our product and engineering team quarterly to give input on the next IdeaExchange.

 

Bret Taylor is Chief Product Officer at Salesforce.