tv Studio 1.0 Bloomberg December 25, 2014 12:00pm-12:31pm EST
>> he may be the most influential man in san francisco. marc benioff, founder of salesforce, has transformed the way that businesses do business. he has pioneered the flight to the cloud and a new model for philanthropy along the way. he launched his career at apple,under steve jobs, became a star salesman at oracle under larry ellison. then he went on to start one of oracle's biggest competitors. joining me, from dreamforce 2014, marc benioff. so great to be here at dreamforce, the largest software conference in the world. how many people are here today?
>> we have more than 145,000 registered to attend physically. 3 million have already attended online. >> i will never forget the first time i saw your keynote. it was like seeing moses part the red sea. you are a force up there. how much practice goes into that? >> this year, i have not been on tour, so it was a brand-new show, and i had to practice it quite a bit. >> you announced wave, a cloud-based analytic platform. what does it give your customers that they did not have? >> analytics is a category that is rich for innovation.
a lot of companies in our industry have sat on their kingdoms too long and kept the status quo going. there's a long list of those companies and ceo's. one of those areas is analytics. it is a new way to look at it with mobile visualization, analytics for the rest of us. >> there are myths that are boiled down into legend. what is the myth of marc benioff, and what is the reality? >> the reality is getting to this point in your career is a lot of hard work over a long time. the fundamental reality in our industry is that people are always overestimating what you can do in a year and what you can do in a decade. in this industry, if you focus and have a clear vision, you can have a phenomenal outcome, and that is what we are doing here at salesforce. >> you started your first company when you're 15. then you went to apple and worked under steve jobs. what was the most important thing you learned from him? >> passion. steve jobs is one of the most passionate people i ever met. i still remember in 1984, i was programming assembly language, the language at the core of the microprocessor, down at apple headquarters. we were writing the first software for the macintosh.
steve jobs came storming down the halls, motivating the developers. his energy was infectious. everybody wanted to work as hard as they could because he was there and he was working so hard. i learned that, i learned that you have to be all in. that is something i try to bring to salesforce. >> how confident are you in the future of apple under tim cook? >> i think he is doing a great job. we have seen great products this month with the new iphone. i have a 6 plus. apple is a great company, the greatest story in american business. look, steve was the greatest of the greatest, we all know that. being the follow-on will be tough. >> steve jobs and larry ellison were great personal friends, but how were they different as bosses?
>> both are phenomenal visionaries. both have a feeling for where the industry is going and work hard with teams to create that reality. i think that where they are a little bit different is there a -- larry was maybe a little more of a suit and tie person, steve was always in his jeans and black turtleneck. their styles were remarcably the same. their aesthetics were a little bit different. i think that is why they got along so well together. >> in what way? >> it gets back to that passion. they were passionate, dedicated, focused. the number one issue for both of them, their business. nothing was more important to steve than apple, nothing is more important to larry than oracle. there is a message in that. if you want to put everything above everything else, you will achieve that. whatever you focus on, you will get. for both of those executives,
>> when larry ellison stepped down as ceo, you tweeted, "there has been and always will be one ceo at oracle." what did you mean by that? how optimistic about these co-ceo's? >> i am sure they will continue to do a good job just like they will have, but we all know that larry ellison is a force of nature and what larry ellison wants, he will get. whoever is the ceo will have to bend to larry's desires. >> larry gave you money to start salesforce. >> he did. he was our first investor.
>> salesforce has become the main competition of oracle. >> that might be true. >> what did salesforce do right that oracle has done wrong? >> we really got singularly focused on the vision of the cloud. like what yahoo! and google do, but instead of delivering books or search results or something like that, we are delivering business functionality. we have stayed very focused and dedicated to the idea for 15 years. because of that singular focus, we have been able to achieve great success and there is a message in that around business, which is you have to be dedicated. >> is there another message that oracle missed the cloud? >> oracle has a different business. on my way out of oracle, the cfo at the time said, it is a good thing you are leaving. he said, it will be hard for us to do a brand-new technology model and business model because everything from the way you
deliver the software to the way you recognize the revenue is completely different in cloud computing. >> you and larry ellison have had a rivalry and a partnership. what is your relationship really like behind the scenes? >> we have a great relationship. i saw him sunday night where we were hugging and kissing. [laughter] >> frienemies? >> we have been friends for 30 years. it is very exciting. i do not think -- i have had some great mentors. people i am thrilled to have. my parents, my grandparents and also as you mentioned steve jobs and colin powell. dramatically influenced me in philantrophy. in business, i don't think anyone has influenced me more than larry ellison. i would not be the ceo i am today, salesforce would not be the business it is, not just because of this money but because of everything i learned from him. >> big tech companies are
splitting up. from hp to ebay. why is that happening? are we going to see more of it? >> i think there are a lot of different reasons why that is happening. one may be the companies have become too big, unmanageable and you want them to be smaller units. smaller units are easier to manage, so an organization like hp, they will have one for each and that will be a great strategy for them. i think the same thing is a great strategy for ebay. probably a lot of other companies will follow that. >> will oracle follow? is oracle one of those companies? >> i think that with oracle, that is difficult. number one, the distribution will be the same no matter what. oracle has to innovate at a higher rate. that's what we've not seen oracle do in the last decade. >> salesforce has been a big acquirer. how do you continue to buy companies without losing focus or getting bloated? >> acquisitions are hard no matter who you are.
i can tell you firsthand after doing 25 acquisitions over the last five years, acquisitions are hard. but you can transform your company through acquisitions. they bring incredible people into your company, and if you can nurture them, you can get results. >> what are the challenges when you buy another big company? >> the number one thing is that, as a ceo, you have to choose what you will be in. i only have so much time. where i spend my time is super important. i kind of divide my time into four quadrants. in a certain quadrant, my transformation quadrant, that is where i spend the majority of my time. the things that, if i do not do them, they will not get done. there will be other things, around operating the business,
nurturing things that are coming two or five years from now or things around the efficiency of the business, that i do not have to be as involved in. those transformational things, i have to pick and choose carefully. and then i can really deliver a great result. >> we hear a lot about google investing in moonshot technologies, self-driving car. google glass. how much time and how many resources do you devote to innovating from within? >> for us, that is what it is about. when i sit there with my teams, we are figuring out -- and i think wave is an example. we wanted to do three things. we wanted to build a product that would be for everyone of the company, not just analytics. number two, that it would run great on these mobile devices. it's built for this product and this platform. the third thing is, behind us are a lot of developers and a lot of software ceos.
they want to build on that platform and build their own companies. so, we build a platform as well. by doing great, great, great democratization, great consumerization, and then a great platform, we're delivering a new product. >> what is the salesforce strategy to get into china? one of the most crucial markets of the future. >> china is a super important market. we work closely with customers there. we have to work very closely with the government. with our partners. all of those things come together to create something in china. >> the nsa revelations, i wonder how they have impacted your business, because you have sensitive data. will you have to have one in every important country? >> yes, but for another reason -- because the cloud is going mainstream, every president of every country want to have their
own cloud. i was just in germany with angela merkel. she wants the german cloud. i was with francois hollande. he wants the french cloud. abe wants the japan cloud. cameron wants the u.k. cloud. >> they want a cloud maker. >> they should have one. they should have their own clouds. every important country in the world will have their own clouds. they will all interoperate, if that's what they want, or they can have their own local versions. that is my job. >> how does that work from a security and privacy perspective? >> from a security and privacy perspective, we use the best practices in the industry. i will tell you something that you already know, and that every viewer will know, there is no finish line when it comes to security. we are in a difficult and dynamic situation for cyber security. it doesn't matter what company or executive you are. if you take any position other than that it is a tough environment, you'll have challenges.
>> no shareholder should be worried about your confidence? >> as one of the largest shareholders, i have never been more excited. >> you created the 1-1-1 model, giving 1% of time, equity, and profits to philanthropy. why is this the best way for companies to give back? >> on day one, we put 1% of our equity, 1% of our profit, and 1% of our time into a public charity. it was easy because we had no stock, no employees, no product. a very easy decision. now that it is paid out, we have delivered more than 680,000 hours of community service, $70 million in grants to nonprofits around the world, including big grants locally to public schools and hospitals, and -- this is what i am most excited about. more than 23,000 nonprofits and ngos use salesforce for free. that's a huge part of our philanthropic focus. >> you are san francisco born and raised. obviously the business is so important to you. why is giving back so important
to you? >> because i knew i would never have real joy and happiness and fulfillment in my life without giving. i had already been through a pretty awesome ride at oracle. 13 years. being with oracle from $50 million in revenue when i joined in 1986 to 1999, i had seen the trajectory, but what i recognized was that just building a product and selling it to the customer will not make you happy and fulfilled as an executive. i had seen that and i saw was that if we could tie philanthropy into our business, we would have not just a good finance result, technical result. i was maybe too confident in my ability as a technical leader. but i wanted to have fulfillment to enjoy in my life. i knew i would have to do something philanthropic to achieve that. >> some people criticized your philanthropy efforts as marketing. how do you respond to that?
>> i think it is just amazing to me that anybody can say that. because we are so dedicated, over a decade and a half, to helping other people. we are so through-and-through that this is what we are about and what we want to leave behind. at the end of the day, i am not sure that people will remember salesforce or cloud computing. but i know that they will remember the work we did in the world while we were a successful business. and all the things we did to give back. and that is what is important to me. >> inequality protests have broken out in san francisco. google buses have been attacked. you have become the social conscience of the tech industry. you have said the tech community has to do more. how satisfied are you with their response? >> i'm kind of a protestor and activist in the tech industry seeking change, so i feel very
aligned with the protesters. i will tell you, what is exciting for me is that it gives me a vehicle to say to companies, give. do more. if you want to, somehow, quality -- quell these voices, show them that you are not just extracting value from society but giving value back. our corporate leaders are phenomenal leaders. if they can partner with the mayors and superintendents, they -- we can do a lot of good. the more that we can make that happen, the more result we will get. we see that in san francisco and we will prove that. >> but you have been disappointed, haven't you, in terms of the response of some of these companies? i wonder why aren't we seeing more? >> i can give you great examples of where i say to someone, hey, we should do more and i see them fully give and go all in. then i can give the example of a famous ceo who i will not say on -- not call out on your show and say don't you want to give back?
and he wrote back and said, what have i been given? i said, what do you mean? he said i created all of this. i did this. i made this happen. and i was like, i am taken aback by that. it is a point of view. the reality is that we are all working together to make this a better place. if we do not work together, it will not happen. taking that position is not going to anyone anywhere. >> you are active politically. you've hosted fundraisers for president obama. how satisfied are you with his presidency? >> number one, i am not a democrat or republican. i give money to a lot of different politicians, including the president and some of his competitors. i am an american, i want to advocate for my causes, and programs like that give me access to them and make my case
on why we should do things like philanthropy, increase cyber security -- >> how closely are you keeping an eye on the startup community and what could become the next salesforce? your next nemesis? >> i spend a lot of time on with startups and entrepreneurs. i love spending time with them. i only get a limited amount of time. in my next life, whatever that is, i would like to spend more time helping entrepreneurs. >> what is next for marc benioff? >> a lot more philanthropy and giving. we've built these two great children's hospitals with oakland and san francisco. i would love to spend more time with entrepreneurs and with philanthropy. both of those are highly constrained because i have a day job, which is running salesforce. i love that.
i love the job, i love the industry, i love making the people behind me happy. that's why they come to dreamforce. >> we talked about your mentors. how does marc benioff want to be remembered? >> if i leave anything behind, it should not be cloud or the democratization of enterprise software. it should be that the true joy in life comes from giving. you can be in business, you can be a ceo and have a great company, and that can be one of the greatest vehicles for giving that you ever have. use that platform to give back, and you are going to not just have great success, but you are going to be happier than you will be successful. >> marc benioff, thank you for joining us. this has been a phenomenal opportunity. >> thank you for coming to dreamforce. i hope you come back next year. >> i will be back for sure. ♪
>> he wrote one of the most famous lines in hollywood history. >> i want the truth. >> you can't handle the truth. >> "a few good men" catapulted aaron sorkin from starving actor to celebrated screenwriter, producer, truth-teller, and conflicted character creator. he went on to bring us "the west wing," "moneyball," "the social network," and, most recently, "the newsroom" on hbo. with a steve jobs biopic coming soon. joining me today on "studio 1.0," emmy, golden globe, and academy award winner, aaron sorkin. aaron, thank you so much for being here. >> it's my pleasure. >> it's great to have you. '