Thursday, March 17, 2011 Competitive Mischief

My review of Marc Benioff’s Behind the Cloud focused on the big picture of what his company,, has done. I should note that the book also recounts some of’s scrappier sales and marketing tactics, to entertaining effect.

For example, when’s then-larger rival Siebel Systems was holding a user conference in Cannes, France, rented every taxi in nearby Nice, where most attendees would be flying in.

We rented all the taxis and used the forty-five-minute drive, which we provided for free, as an opportunity to pitch our service. We decorated the vehicles with NO SOFTWARE logos and filled them with marketing brochures. The [Siebel] executives, with no other option than to take our rides, became irate and called the police (again).

You’ll have to read the book to see what the “(again)” is about. ;)

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