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Tale of Two (Tech) Cities

Tale of Two (Tech) Cities

One employee recounts what it was like to learn about her company's acquisition and how it affected the tech scene in Indianapolis.

We’re posting a series of vignettes to celebrate Salesforce’s 20th birthday. Follow our digital scrapbook to get a behind the scenes glimpse of our history.

One humid summer morning in 2013, I was getting ready to head to the office. It was an ordinary morning, until it wasn’t.

But first let’s rewind to 2000. Around the same time that Marc Benioff and Parker Harris were breaking ground on Salesforce, a like-minded trio in Indiana was hatching plans for an email marketing software. As legend has it, Scott DorseyChris Baggott, and Peter McCormick initially sketched out the idea for ExactTarget on a napkin.

“We were three first-time software guys starting a software company in Indianapolis, so our friends and family were the only people interested in backing us,” Dorsey told Inc. Magazine.

But 12 years later, ExactTarget would ring the bell at the New York Stock Exchange, making an orange splash with the ticker symbol ET.

And then the following year, on that morning I was getting ready for work, my husband yelled from the next room, “ExactTarget is on TV! You were acquired by Salesforce!”

Fast forward to today. As I write this, I’m sitting on the top floor of the Indianapolis Salesforce Tower, 47 stories above “The Circle” (if you know, you know). Indianapolis is the largest Salesforce hub outside of our headquarters in San Francisco. We’ve been named one of the best places to work in Indiana for three years running.

In the intervening years, we’ve taken a stand against state legislation that would have jeopardized equal rights. The Indianapolis tech scene has continued to flourish. And, believe it or not, some have even kicked around the epithet “Silicon Valley of the Midwest.

Happy birthday, Salesforce. Here’s to the next 20.

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