People You Should Know, Software as a Service, Videos, Web/Tech, Yahoo

My Mini-Moby Dick

I never thought I'd see the day Marc Benioff was a hard interview to get. In the earlier part of this decade, he helped make enterprise software sexy through his stunts and very quotable bon-mots anytime a reporter would ask.

But most of this year he was so busy jet-setting around the world on his customer tour to evangelize his platform, he had no time for little old Sarah Lacy. Well, until this column. For the record, I wasn't so much trying to be snarky as I was legitimately curious why he was suddenly so MIA-- particularly given widespread rumors he wants to sell. That same press-accommodating Benioff clearly still existed though, because as soon as he saw it, he reached out to me. Within days I was flying back from my first UGBT stop, showering, and racing to Half Moon Bay to interview Marc at Fortune's Brainstorm conference. Huge thanks to my crew for jumping through hoops to make it happen on short notice and produce four lovely clips.

I used to cover software for BusinessWeek, so it was hardly the first time we've met, but I hadn't seen Benioff in a while and I was struck by how mellow he came across. I thought it was one of the best interviews I've ever done with him. Rather than Twittering all four links, I decided to just collect them here. (TT really needs a better system to link similar pieces together) I hope you enjoy! (We were all pretty amused by the Segway parade going on behind me. It was all my graphics editor could do not to edit in more ridiculousness just to see if we'd notice.) Clips on the jump!

On whether he's tired and where Salesforce goes next:

On whether other SAAS vendors will reach its size:

On SAP, Microsoft, Netsuite, Google:

Finally, on philanthropy:


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Great story and editing. "People are always over-estimating what you can do in one year in our industry and under-estimating what you can do in one decade." Absolutely!!!

Marc seems like a decent guy. I have more time/respect for his POV after watching this. I didn't cringe (much) when he used "Web 3.0" because it had useful context.

Was any interesting info cut out?

Way to go. Great Interview!

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"Brilliant, Crazy, Cocky" puts a well-deserved spotlight on the fascinating entrepreneurs working in some of the most overlooked places on Earth. This book reminds us that when entrepreneurial opportunity is enabled and embraced locally, the economic and social benefits have the power to transform us all.
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Srah Lacy

Sarah Lacy is an award-winning reporter who has covered high-growth entrepreneurship for more than fifteen years. She is the founder, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of, the site-of-record for the startup ecosystem. She lives in San Francisco.

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