Reflections on Dreamforces Past and Present

By Tien Tzuo November 4, 2008

by Tien Tzuo

 

 

 

It’s the second day here at Dreamforce for Zuora, and the entire team is charged up from all the energy and ideas buzzing around the conference.

On a personal note, being at Dreamforce stirs up many mixed emotions for me.  Walking into the Moscone the first day, I saw Marc Benioff (my old boss, and an investor in Zuora) standing outside, and we chatted a bit before he had to head inside to prepare.  Marc looked back and shot me one last remark: “you know, this is the first Dreamforce we’ve had without you”.

Indeed it is!  I can remember our first Dreamforce, at the St. Francis in Union Square, where we were proud to have 8 partners exhibiting.  Okere was one of the 8, and now they are Fujitsu Consulting and have a huge booth the size of the entire partner expo that year.  I can also remember the two Dreamforce’s I ran as CMO of Salesforce, including the one during the last US election, when George Bush dropped in to kick things off.

How time flies.

Every Dreamforce has had its own flavor and character, and this one is no different.  One thing that jumps out at me is the contrast between the excitement around the future of Cloud Computing, with the concern around the global economy.  Are technology companies spooked by the negative buzz that was sparked by the Sequoia presentation?  Absolutely, but to the last person, everyone believes that the long term prospects of Cloud Computing are bright.

We couldn’t agree with them more.  Now is not the time to slam on the brakes, to reduce costs and “hibernate” through the winter.  Now is the time to look to the future.  That doesn’t mean companies shouldn’t reign in their costs and focus on a path to profitability.  But now is a great time to invest intelligently in your business. This is not time a time to weigh a company down with decisions and purchases that will pay off far in the future – it’s time to take actions that work NOW, fit NOW, are strategic NOW and – most importantly – actions that will still benefit the company next month, next year.

 

This is exactly why both the cloud and the subscription model are smart investments in any economy, and what at Zuora, we will continue to invest in creating great products that deliver positive business impact for our customers.

If you’re at the Dreamforce event today, come see us:

–   Zuora will be at Force.com session today at 11:30am in Esplanade 305

 

–   Tomorrow, Wednesday, I will present a session at Partner Day at 3:45pm on “How to Make More $$$”

And, come by and meet Zuora in-person. We’re at booth #230.