“Is a Church of Salesforce a crazy idea? The Agile testing on this one so far has 100% of my sample agreeing: This is Crazy with a capital C, but..?? I think I have to take that as a good sign.” Jess Jessop
I am a newbie to Salesforce as a Platform, (yes Virginia it really is a platform these days, more on that latter). And like we all know, new converts are often the most zealous. I certainly fit that model.
Is a Church of Salesforce a crazy idea? In a very long career in the computing industry of doing really off the wall innovative crazy things like the Electronic Tomato Sorter or .. (I’ve been called the Forrest Gump of Technology) it may well be my craziest idea yet, but when I reread the We Believe ... Hummm...
But beyond that I am an Elder in this tribe, I am what they now are calling a Full Stack Developer, I do Code, Project Management, Marketing, Sales and the C-Suite. And have been cutting code professionally for over 35 years.
My first Software Engineer Gig, (crossing over from hardware), was for Jack Tramiell; I wrote the diagnostics and original final test software for the Commodore 64. I was a Sr R & D Engineer at Atari Corporate Research, brown bag lunches with Alan Kay and late night drop by to visits at my drafting board with Ted Hoff. And .... :) I like to think that all gives me a unique perspective on the nature of computing, the Internet and what it all means.
So when I started Lemons2 a year ago, I started yet another round of the platform evaluation ritual. A required part of beginning any new computing project, I have done this since the choices were few and the safe bet was “Nobody ever got fired for choosing IBM”.
The assumed winner was Microsoft because of their development tools being the most commonly used by the hot developers that I know. And, their BizSpark program has been an awesome leg up for Startups.
But I do my homework and that meant looking at Google and AWS also. Which I did and in the end decided on Microsoft, because of our experience base. AWS and Google had advantages, it wasn’t an easy choice. But we made it and you can see some of the challenges involved in that effort in my LinkedIn post In Search of the Holy Grail.
You may notice that Salesforce was not on the list. That is not because I didn’t know of Salesforce, I just didn’t know they are a general purpose computing platform. This isn’t just CRM anymore baby! For some reason I totally missed that and it cost us, nearly a year I think.
So we are busily prototyping on Azure when we get to the Salesforce integration requirement. You see, we never doubted we would be using Salesforce. But we saw it as a super duper contact management system, not a computing platform.
The shocking thing is that I am a pretty aware CTO level kinda guy and Salesforce as a Platform didn’t hit my radar until I stumbled into Dreamforce. (in San Francisco, Dreamforce is hard not to stumble into ;)
But when it did I was IMPRESSED! Holy Sh^*t it’s built on an incredible object oriented database! It has drag and drop components that work! You can create professional apps without coding at all! (Again read my In Pursuit of the Holy Grail post) If you want to code there is Force Salesforce’s own language. Or or can code in almost anything and use Heroku to encapsulate it into a Salesforce Object. Visual Developer Workflow built in! Did I mention the integrated AI? (Meet Einstein!) And best of all Salesforce integration is automatic ;)
So all that means we can deliver our applications much faster and with far more polish then we could have dreamed any other way.
I made the choice to change to the Salesforce Platform. And promptly lost all of my developers and base of potential developers. I know many hot .NET coders, only a couple of Salesforce Developers and they are busy.
Salesforce has an incredible free online training for Developers, I am loving it by the way. But it takes a commitment and time, like any other platform. So now I am looking to meet other Salesforce developers and discover I am a different kind of duck in this pond!
Almost everyone I meet at the Salesforce Incubator is building for the Salesforce App Marketplace (perhaps the best bet going today for creating a predictably profitable software company). And while we have lots in technical things in common and a love of Salesforce, there are huge differences in our structure, goals ... I have felt very alone in the crowd.
We also have extra space. I got thinking how cool it would be to have a half a dozen other Salesforce Startups in the room all building on the Salesforce Platform. I started to fantasize about it and the more I thought about it the more it grew on me.
I thought about how back at Atari my mentor used to call our informal team meetings on Sunday at my house going to Church. I checked and sure enought the URL was availible, www.ChurchOfSalesforce.com
What started out as a joke, really started to make sense to me as I wrote the We Believe. Our choice of computing platform is more relevant to most of us then our choice of Church. We are far more likely to identify ourselves in the public space as an iPhone or Android user than by our Creed.
So you tell me, am I crazy? Or What?
All are Welcome at the Church of Salesforce.
Service every Sunday starting February 5th 2017.
We will be holding services in San Francisco and invite you to join us in person
The Church of Salesforce Incubator is Accepting Applications NOW!
Let me know what you think. Jess@Lemons2.com