Business Is Social: The Message Of Dreamforce 2012 And What Apple Can Learn From It

Ben Lee

Ben Lee

CEO and Co-founder of Neon Roots

Ben Lee is the co-founder and CEO of Neon Roots, a digital development agency with a mission to destroy the development model and rebuild it from the ground up. After a brief correspondence with Fidel Castro at age nine, Ben decided to start doing things his own way, going from busboy to club manager at a world-class nightclub before he turned 18. Since then, Ben has founded or taken a leading role in 5 businesses in everything from software development to food and entertainment.

In the old days of product releases, Apple reigned supreme. Grown men would count down the days until the next new apple product was unveiled, and social cliques in schools were based off of who did and who didn’t have an iPod (Because who really wanted a Zune?). However, after the recent release of the iPhone 5, many people are left wondering, “Is that it?” There was no life changing addition, no god-given ad campaigns—such as the iPad’s “You already know how to use it,” slogan (so good). It seems the market has caught Apple, and in some ways passed it. The iPhone 5 “premiered” a lot of features that already exist in other phones, and it even spurred a slew of commercials from Samsung where they proclaim (talking about their phone), “The best new thing is already here.”

Forbes released an article recently where they jump on the apple bash wagon and argue that they’ve “lost the magic,” and then point to Salesforce.com’s Dreamforce as being the hot new kid on the block. We had the privilege of partnering with Salesforce for this year’s Dreamforce conference to help with their new social media command center. The command center displayed live data pulled from social media outlets, and illustrated the value social media can bring to a business.

Forbes argues that Dreamforce converted anti-social media companies like the Apple unveils of the old days convinced Windows’ lifers to switch teams…and they’re right. We know. We were there. The message of this year’s Dreamforce conference, deep down at its core, was this: Business is social.

Business is social. Something that has always been true. Think about all the great business phrases: It’s all about who you know, Great leaders are great motivators, You can’t do business with someone you don’t trust. All these mean the same thing: Great businesses are great with people. Dreamforce opened people’s eyes to the products available to help them be social. They convinced lots of stubborn businesses that social media isn’t something that has to change the way you operate—it’s merely a tool to help you do something you’re already good at: Be social.

Forbes goes on to detail how exactly the conversions took place, and we over at Neon Roots were lucky to have been a part of it.

Creative Commons Dreamforce” by jaycross is licensed under CC BY 2.0