Most people don't know this but Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff was once a summer intern at Apple. Story is that Guy Kawasaki, the original Apple evangelist hired Marc into that role. Here he is greeting the Dreamforce faithful.
Remember when people waited for hours to get into the MacWorld Expo in San Francisco just to get a glimpse of the future and to hear from a visionary leader?
Well they still do...only now it's called Dreamforce and the future is in the clouds. I'll update this blog today as I see cool things and try to tie the excitement for Salesforce marketing to the good 'ol days at Apple marketing.
I have heard from many friends since Steve Jobs' resignation. As we discuss frequently on this blog it is clear that Steve changed the way people relate to technology. Before Steve computers were relegated to the white-coated high priests of the raised-floor, air conditioned labs where mere mortals never dared tread. Steve changed all that - giving us first the "Computer for the Rest of Us" and then eventually changing the way everyone consumes their music, movies, magazines and even the Internet.
Steve will long be equated with the small letter "i" - at once meaning Internet, innovation, inspiration but most importantly individual. He leaves a legacy as our generation's Thomas Edison: both proud, determined inventors who would not rest until they sparked equal technological and cultural revolutions literally empowering people to reach higher and dream bigger.
Some day I will tell the story on this blog about how I got my first job at Apple and how I resigned during Apple's darkest days...only to be invited back by Steve Jobs to help him save the company. That story reminds me of the transformational power of a true leader. A person who with one breath convinced me to take a chance on the future when - on paper - Apple didn't have one. That same leadership and unwavering attention to detail and the belief that people deserved better is what sparked the iMac (which begat the iBook, iPod, iPhone and iPad) and began the love affair we now have with technology - formerly cold, austere and beige and now sleek, reflective and affectionate. In many ways - thanks to Steve - our romance with technology has only just begun.
In case you didn't hear, Steve announced his resignation of the CEO title today. This marks the end of a dozen years of Apple's most exciting times - featuring exhilarating highs and culminating with Apple's explosive growth. Steve's impact will be felt for another dozen years and hopefully he can rest knowing how far that he has taken Apple over this time.
Here's hoping that Steve's decision to stay Chairman and Apple employee is an indicator that he's ready to let someone else take hold of the wheel but that he will stay involved (and healthy) for years to come.