Behind the Cloud: The Untold Story of How Went from Idea to Billion-Dollar Company--and Revolutionized an Industry

  • 4h 11m
  • Carlye Adler, Marc Benioff
  • John Wiley & Sons (US)
  • 2009

How did 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, tells how he and his team created and used new business, technology, and philanthropic models tailored to this time of extraordinary change. Showing how not only survived the dot-com implosion of 2001, but also 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. Benioff shows how pioneered a simple idea (delivering business applications as a service over the Internet) to change the way all businesses use software applications and, ultimately, change the way the software industry works.

With Marc Benioff's candid, unconventional advice and unusual call-out lessons from the Playbook—including Benioff's proprietary management tool, V2MOM—any business can go against the grain, rapidly change the game, and learn how to achieve lasting success.

About the Authors

Marc R. Benioff is the chairman and CEO of (NYSE: CRM), which he cofounded in 1999. Under Benioff's direction, has grown from a groundbreaking idea into a publicly traded company that is the market and technology leader in enterprise cloud computing. has received a Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Award, been lauded as one of BusinessWeek's Top 100 Most Innovative Companies, been named No. 7 on the Wired 40, was selected for the past two years as a Top Ten Disrupter by Forbes, and been voted one of the world's most ethical companies by Business Ethics Magazine. Benioff is the recipient of many awards for pioneering innovation, including the 2007 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year. In 2000, Benioff launched the Foundation—now a multimillion-dollar global organization. He lives in San Francisco.

Carlye Adler is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in BusinessWeek, Departures, Fast Company, Fortune, Forbes, Portfolio, Wired, and Time. She cowrote, with Marc Benioff, The Business of Changing the World. She lives in New York City.

In this Book

  • Foreword
  • Introduction
  • The Start-up Playbook—How to Turn a Simple Idea into a High-Growth Company
  • The Marketing Playbook—How to Cut through the Noise and Pitch the Bigger Picture
  • The Events Playbook—How to Use Events to Build Buzz and Drive Business
  • The Sales Playbook—How to Energize Your Customers into a Million-Member Sales Team
  • The Technology Playbook—How to Develop Products Users Love
  • The Corporate Philanthropy Playbook—How to Make Your Company about More than Just the Bottom Line
  • The Global Playbook—How to Launch Your Product and Introduce Your Model to New Markets
  • The Finance Playbook—How to Raise Capital, Create a Return, and Never Sell Your Soul
  • The Leadership Playbook—How to Create Alignment—The Key to Organizational Success
  • The Final Play
  • Notes