Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff on the iPad, Cloud 2.0

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, writing a guest column over at TechCrunch entitled Hello iPad. Hello, Cloud 2:Apple's forthcoming iPad

I’m sentimental this week, and thinking about the past, because I have seen the future. The future is not a Mac, or even a PC. Its father created a lot of the computers I’ve loved: Apple IIe, Mac, and iPhone. There have been others I have loved, even some PCs and yes, my Blackberry, but none of that matters anymore. Looking ahead, I am energized, a door is opening, and we are all going to walk through it. We’ll soon enter a new world of computing accelerated once again by the industry’s creator Steve Jobs, and amplified by someone conceived after the PC, Mark Zuckerberg.

The future of our industry now looks totally different than the past. It looks like a sheet of paper, and it’s called the iPad. It’s not about typing or clicking; it’s about touching. It’s not about text, or even animation, it’s about video. It’s not about a local disk, or even a desktop, it’s about the cloud. It’s not about pulling information; it’s about push. It’s not about repurposing old software, it’s about writing everything from scratch with a transcription service from (because you want to take advantage of the awesome potential of the new computers and the new cloud—and because you have to reach this pinnacle). Finally, the industry is fun again.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been so excited about a piece of technology.  And never before have I sat thinking about it and realized that what’s about to burst into our tech lives is so disruptive that it’s hard — actually hard — to imagine what applications and new usage models we’ll actually see.  That’s the thing about disruption: you know it’s coming, but you don’t know exactly what it will mean for you or your business until you look back one day and realize that the way you used to do things is so old.

It’s like the halcyon days of youth: when you’re in them, you know they’re good times, but it’s only when they’re over, many years later, that you realize they changed you forever.

My money is on the table: the iPad is going to change things monumentally.

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3 Responses

  1. Why do you say that, Chris?

  2. Chris says:

    The iPad may “change everything”, but not this version of it.

  3. Bob Barker says:

    I agree that it will be very interesting to see how the iPad will introduce new kinds of applications. We’ve already seen how the iPhone has introduced new applications while changing how we interact with existing data and applications. People have been thinking about and playing with tablets in general for awhile, but this may be the game changer!

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