This year’s Dreamforce, more than any other, felt like the changing of the guard.
Every Dreamforce is transformative to the point of overwhelming-ness, and this year’s was no exception. But this time around, there was a noticeably different feeling surrounding the event.
I believe the Salesforce world in 2018 and beyond will be vastly different than the years before it. Scary, I know. That’s life when you’re in the hottest tech industry in the world.
Here’s what I see coming on the horizon:
Lightning is no longer the future. It’s here now
If you haven’t switched your org to Lightning yet, you’re falling behind.
Before, the question used to be: “How do we get Lightning to have the same features as Classic?”
Today, the equation is flipped on its head. Lightning, and Lightning only, is getting brand new technology and changing the way we think about CRM. Classic? It’s going the way of the dinosaurs.
My advice: do whatever you can to learn or migrate to Lightning now… or become a dinosaur!
Einstein (and artificial intelligence) is the future of CRM
Dreamforce this year opened my eyes to how much AI (Einstein) is going to change this industry.
AI technology has come a long way in a shockingly short period of time. It’s capable of beating the best humans at the most complicated game in the world. And it’s progressing so quickly.
Demo after demo at Dreamforce showed me the power of Einstein. Algorithms I remember taking months to build and fine tune are now possible to set up using Einstein in minutes. Things like lead scoring algorithms, advanced forecasting, and support suggestions can now potentially be launched stronger, faster, and better than any human being can do.
Remember when Salesforce was just a glorified data entry tool for reps?
…Well now Einstein enters your data for you!
The only thing preventing Einstein from cannibalizing us already is it costs $50 per user per month.
My advice: start learning about artificial intelligence and machine learning! I sure am!
The glory days of swag are over
Sure, I wasn’t on the prowl for swag like I’ve been in years past.
But all my elite swag buddies and I agreed – this year’s Dreamforce was noticeably short on swag.
Gone are the days where most vendors will have piles of t-shirts lying around their booths. Nowadays, it’s just candy, fidget spinners, or even worse – raffles for a 5% chance to get a t-shirt. Even Salesforce didn’t give out that many shirts this year.
I think vendors are catching on to us shameless swag hunters. Some vendors even recognized me as “that swag guy”. It was painful out there.
My advice: I recommend spending your time trying to get the good stuff, like an SFDC99 shirt!
There was no killer feature announced this year
I’ve been to Dreamforce ~7 times, and every year there’s a killer announcement.
Einstein, Lightning, Wave, Salesforce1, Chatter – you name it. This year? Who knows!
Instead, we got sizable updates to killer announcements of the past: Einstein and Lightning.
Is the rate of innovation at Salesforce slowing down? Are we in trouble for choosing this platform?!
My advice: The new iterations of Lightning and Einstein are MASSIVE! Don’t forget how far ahead Salesforce already is in this industry!
The Salesforce MVP program is evolving
I noticed there were fewer “old timer” Salesforce MVPs this year.
After putting on my detective hat, I found out many MVPs were not renewed from previous years. I also noticed there were many first-time MVPs too.
I generally think this is a good thing. Keep the MVP entry bar high. Make us earn it!
The more important takeaway I got though is that Salesforce changes so quickly – we can’t expect to see continued success if we don’t adapt and learn quickly too.
My advice: in this new era of Salesforce, there will be a new batch of MVPs leading the way! Maybe that new MVP will be YOU! (My advice)
Other Dreamforce 2017 Highlights
Donald Bohrisch getting a standing ovation at the Partner Keynote
After helping get his girlfriend to safety during the shooting, Donald actually went back into the fire to help save others. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the building as his story was told.
Steph Herrera asking Marc Benioff to go to Texas Dreamin ’18
She talked about overcoming her difficult upbringing – working in the cotton fields and learning how to use technology. Today she is the Director of Technology in her company and spends her time giving back to the community.
Meeting Natalie Portman in real life
Sure I was 100ft away from her, sitting in a crowd of hundreds. But seeing my childhood crush in real life was priceless. Totally worth the 2 hour wait!
Natalie talked about equality, and how we can make the world a better place together. She was brilliant, inspiring, and balanced – well worth the time even for those without a major crush on her!
Giving out t-shirts to YOU!
Getting ready for Dreamforce… pic.twitter.com/T6QnJwnJtD
— David Liu (@dvdkliu) November 6, 2017
I would take a t shirt dude! I have been carrying around this card all DF you sent me 3 years ago — it'd be great to shake your hand, man pic.twitter.com/tlL8ZIL5Wn
— Gabriel Rholl (@gabrielrholl) November 9, 2017
— Gabriel Rholl (@gabrielrholl) November 9, 2017
— Luis Roberto Acosta (@luisrobertoac) November 9, 2017
— Christine Chapa (@ChristineChapa) November 9, 2017
After a long week spent in the cloud at #DF17, I'm thankful to have gotten the chance to shoot the breeze with @dvdkliu who couldn't be more down to earth. Great way to end the last day of @Dreamforce – David, visit Seattle anytime and I'll show you some extreme pickleball 😎 pic.twitter.com/U1u1HkhdNo
— Tarek Zaheer (@FinesseForce) November 10, 2017
— James Sinor (@jrsinor) November 8, 2017
— Anisuzzaman Khan (@AnisuzzamanKha1) November 8, 2017
Not all super heroes wear capes. Sfdc99 was such a great resource for me on my path to CTA, thank you! pic.twitter.com/lLvLCvItuw
— Gustavo Tandeciarz (@dcinzona) November 8, 2017
— Olivia Davis (@pnwpegasus) November 8, 2017
— Jeanette Jett (@JeanetteJett) November 8, 2017
— Medhanie Habte ☁️⚡️💥 (@HabteMedhanie) November 7, 2017
— Sumir Saini (@Sumir_Saini_) November 7, 2017
— Paul Padua (@paulrpadua) November 7, 2017
— James Ellis (@sfdcjames) November 7, 2017
— Jenny Tran (@jennytranNET) November 9, 2017
— rupeshbalaji (@rupibala) November 7, 2017
Starting today, the Salesforce world will never be the same.
If this sounds scary to you, I have good news. You’re not a sentient robot AI, you’re human!
With every change comes massive opportunity for those quickest to adapt. Think Tesla and the electric car industry.
Knowing what you know now post-Dreamforce, you gotta make a decision. Adapt, or stay forever in the comfortable world of Classic?
It’s never easy, but I know what decision I’m going to make.
See you in the clouds!