Today, Salesforce was once again named by Forbes as one of the world’s Most Innovative Companies. We have now been ranked among the top 3 companies on this list every year since Forbes began compiling these rankings in 2011. This is not something we take for granted because it recognizes that most intangible quality that every company strives for: a culture of continuous innovation.
Forbes’ list ranks companies most likely to come up with the next big innovation. And it is that challenge that’s been the driving force for our technology and product organization. As an engineer, developer or entrepreneur, there is nothing more rewarding than the process of building a product that users love, that reframes their expectations around what’s possible, and gives them a completely faster, smarter, and better way to do something.
Today, technology is reshaping the way we live, work, and relate to one another. Our top priority is to continue harnessing our amazing culture of innovation to deliver solutions that enable our customers’ digital transformation. And while the company has come a long way since 1999, our innovation playbook remains the same:
- Relentless customer focus: Salesforce has an unrelenting focus on customer success. We are only successful if our customers are. We listen and empathize to truly understand their business goals, their customers, and their pain points. Only then can we build the killer products that will help them drive their business today and into the future.
- Build products for a new era of work: We’ve experienced a profound shift from PCs to mobile computing. Now a new era of intelligent form factors — from watches to digital assistants — is becoming prevalent in our lives. These shifts dramatically change what people expect from software. The easiest, smartest, and most connected digital experience sets the bar for everything else — whether you’re a consumer or a business user. Lightning and Einstein are our cornerstones for delivering those experiences to our customers. And innovations from companies like MuleSoft, CloudCraze and Quip give our customers new ways to expand those experiences.
- Empower everyone: The majority of companies do not have thousands of software engineers and data scientists at their disposal. It is not enough to just democratize enterprise software. We must also bridge the gap between those who do and don’t have access to learning, and that is why Trailhead is such a vital part of Salesforce. We want to empower everyone with the skills needed for the new digital economy, so they can be an agent of change for their companies. This is the software opportunity of our generation — to unleash everyone’s entrepreneurial spirit so that the connected, digital experiences of tomorrow are a reflection of all of our ideas.
- Embrace the beginner’s mind: When designing products, we try to rethink any pre-established ideas, notions, and behaviors. This can be tricky. Especially when you’re redesigning an existing, beloved product that millions use. But if you don’t, you will get stuck doing iterative improvements and that’s not what anyone wants. With customer feedback, experimentation, and good old-fashioned intuition, you can strike a balance of knowing just how far to take a product design so that it pushes the envelope while also seeming like it should’ve been that way all along.
This is an exciting time to be in enterprise software. The convergence of disruptive technologies — from AI and IoT to voice and augmented reality — is accelerating the pace of change. We’re honored to (again) be acknowledged for our continuous innovation, none of which would be possible without the trust and inspiration from our customers and all of our Salesforce Ohana.
Together, we will blaze new trails!
Bret Taylor is Salesforce’s President & Chief Product Officer.