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Behind the Cloud

The Untold Story of How Salesforce.com Went from Idea to Billion-Dollar Company and Revolutionized an Industry
Narrated by: Ax Norman
Length: 7 hrs and 54 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (32 ratings)
Non-member price: $29.22
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Publisher's Summary

How did salesforce.com grow from a start up in a rented apartment into the world's fastest growing software company in less than a decade? For the first time, Marc Benioff, the visionary founder, chairman and CEO of salesforce.com, tells how he and his team created and used new business, technology, and philanthropic models tailored to this time of extraordinary change. Showing how salesforce.com not only survived the dotcom implosion of 2001, but went on to define itself as the leader of the cloud computing revolution and spark a $46-billion dollar industry, Benioff's story will help business leaders and entrepreneurs stand out, innovate better, and grow faster in any economic climate. In Behind the Cloud, Benioff shares the strategies that have inspired employees, turned customers into evangelists, leveraged an ecosystem of partners, and allowed innovation to flourish.
©2009 Mark Benioff (P)2009 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Liam
  • United States
  • 09-02-2017

Great for business development.

Good book for business development. He offered great insights into problems the business faced and how it effected the company.

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  • Jag
  • 21-09-2016

Best ever

Loved it... It is a Must listen for every entrepreneur. Inspiring story and some key lessons. Thank you Marc!

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  • Daryl
  • 13-08-2010

Great advice from an IT revolutionary

I thought this book was fantastic and very inspiring. It is not everyday you get to take lessons from one of the people who is shaping the modern business world.

Great tips on what works, what doesn't, moving forward and all sorts of ins and outs from someone who has been there. I watched this company since before the turn of the century and I remain very inspired by this entire story.

If you want to start your own business, and you feel as though they are all lined up against you, then this book is for you.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 20-08-2010

Startup guide

Apart from the fact that I have been a great fan of Salesforce as a company , have been impressed with this book throughly as Mark goes on explaining the startup challenges and the work around and unique - non conventional ways of surviving, thooughly enjoyed listening to the book

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Owoeye J.
  • 24-07-2018

Wow inspirational.

must read for every enterpreneur who seek to make a huge difference and bring their idea to fruition.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Michaelbriggs
  • 16-10-2016

One long commerical

Feels disingenuous and consistently drops site urls and other info to lead to more customers. Don't water your time

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Pixel
  • 23-11-2011

Too much about marketing not much about business

I don't mind the play format since I enjoyed it with the audiobook Rework by Jason Fried founder of 37 Signals. I've listened to Rework twice and learned many insights.

While I'm an admirer of Salesforces and the SAAS model Marc Benioff created I stopped halfway through this audiobook. There were just too much marketing for me and not enough about the business itself (leadership, management, challenges, finances, HR, operations, etc.).

Paradoxically I felt the many plays I listened to had more to do with what was happening before than behind the curtain. Maybe what's behind the cloud is covered in later plays and maybe I will get back to it later on. But for now I've switched to another audiobook.



3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Shaun
  • 16-09-2015

Great book with some great content

Heads of SAAS companies should all read this book! Marc has some great insights to share, and the book is full of them. I bought the paper version as well to jot down notes and go back to key points and ideas.

The narrator is difficult to follow though, because his intonation and pace is off, perhaps Marc's writing voice just doesn't match the narration.

Highly recommended.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Anthony
  • 19-02-2019

Incredible journey behind the genius of Salesforce

Must read! Especially for those interested in the choices and paths taken by Salesforce Co-CEO, Marc Benioff.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 22-01-2019

Great book!

I love the Sales Force story. Great insight on how to grow a SaaS company. a literal playbook.

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  • Roberto Rodriguez
  • 26-10-2018

Absolutely love this book..

This is a great story, told by the protagonist, in a very genuine language. Thanks

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  • Lisa
  • 02-04-2018

More than I expected!

Would you listen to Behind the Cloud again? Why?

Marc Benioff founded an industry and a company culture that is second to none in the big corporates. I was actually surprised by how much insight he provided into his thoughts and plans. If you are in the space things may seem like common sense now but they weren't 10 years ago. That said, many things may be industry norms, but Benioff has shared his guiding principles of thinking differently, backing yourself, getting their first etc. to allow you to potentially have similar impact. Although everything may not be applicable to what you're doing it is both interesting and inspiring!

What was one of the most memorable moments of Behind the Cloud?

I forgot how dirty Salesforce played with their marketing in the beginning.

Any additional comments?

Marc Benioff is an inspiration. It's quite different that a CEO starts off as a philanthropist. Gates, Zuckerberg all instilled these values after they made their fortunes.

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  • Tarek Negm
  • 20-02-2019

Interesting Read

Interesting read and an amazing business growth story, but I didn’t find it as insightful or reflective as other autobiographies (e.g. Shoe Dog). It sounded more like a business management book where most of what’s described is the right way of doing things, not what has been tried and failed and things failed earlier on and what lessons were learnt. Still interesting and exciting to listen to but if you are looking for a personal, down to earth story, I would recommend “Shoe Dog” or “Creativity inc.”

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  • Kim G.
  • 24-05-2015

Easy read

An easy read, quite interesting at times but not much to learn from (considering the success of the company). Written by a fixed mindset it seems; successes are personal contributions, failures aren't mentioned or referred to with "us".

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Vinnie
  • 28-04-2015

Recommended for any aspiring Entrepreneur

Provides valuable insights into striking the balance between being the disruptive scrappy startup and the age old accepted ways of working.

The approach to philanthropy was particularly inspiring.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful