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Trailblazer: The Power of Business as the Greatest Platform for Change

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  1,419 ratings  ·  138 reviews
The founder and co-CEO of Salesforce delivers an inspiring vision for the future of business—one in which anyone is empowered to change the world.

“The gold standard on how to use business as a platform for change at this urgent time.”—Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates and author of the New York Times bestseller Principles: Life and Work

What’s the secret to conti
Kindle Edition, 235 pages
Published October 15th 2019 by Currency
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 ·  1,419 ratings  ·  138 reviews

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Alok Kejriwal
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

One paragraph review - If you want to learn Business insights, pains & losses that Marc experienced while building Salesforce, you'll be disappointed. If you want to learn how a massively successful digital entrepreneur views the world & what he does to bring change, you will be delighted.

My highlights:
- Marc's spiritual leaning. He was blessed by Amma (hugging saint) before his success. He is a devout follower of Thich Nhat Hanh the super popular Vietnamese Spiritual leader. Marc makes a deep p
Michael Payne
Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Benioff refers often to this quote from Albert Einstein: “If I had an hour to solve a problem, I'd spend fifty-five minutes thinking about the problem and five minutes thinking about solutions.”

Think about that.

Read the book.

Drive change.


PS - Re: Salesforce Tower. Hey Marc, Go Anywhere! It works.
Think about that.
Dec 16, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: firstreads, biography
I won this book in a goodreads drawing.

A very egocentric biography about a tech CEO who finds success empty, goes to India, and becomes annoying.

He becomes almost a caricature of what a Bay Area CEo should be, according to Bay Area types. His lack of self awareness is sad and funny at the same time.
Susie Turk
As a Salesforce employee, I was familiar with a lot of the content in the various chapters because they were very consistent with the culture I've experienced over the last 7 years. I was really interested to learn about Marc's history and how his maternal grandfather( who was a pioneer of BART) and how his father (who was an entrepreneur selling mens' clothing) influenced him. His grandfather was a believer in social justice who would regularly hand homeless people $20. His father was greatly f ...more
The author, CEO of Salesforce, a Fortune 500 company, makes a case for why we people don't have to choose between values and Profit.

Marc falls short on this aspect. The book is full of anecdotes from Salesforce with the obstacles they faced and how they overcame with values.

But, while the argument makes sense for a rosy tech company like Salesforce with high margins, it doesn't provide a framework for harder questions that might arise when profits are lacking.
Rishabh Kumar
Mar 02, 2021 rated it liked it
While Marc does impress me with the way he puts values such as equality and trust on a pedestal in a business that seeps deep into the lives of customers, he can come across as slightly egoistic. Nevertheless, this book does shine light on how the approach of C-suite executives to define profit and success has changed over the last decade.
Dec 09, 2020 rated it did not like it
I am sure Marc Benioff’s a decent guy all around. Sadly this book comes off as hurriedly written, quickly edited, and so self-aggrandizing as to paint him as a pompous tool of people who provide him the validation that business success hasn’t.

Again, I’m sure he’s a decent guy. He goes to great lengths to make sure the reader is aware of that. From listing all of the perfectly reasoned and wise decisions he’s made to all the important people he knows, I’m sure he’s a great guy who isn’t blinded b
Sarah Amin
Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Over the past 7 years working in the Salesforce ecosystem, the community has had the largest impact. The Salesforce community or 'Ohana' - is the most welcoming and encouraging community I've ever been a part of, making this former Biochemist feel comfortable as an #accidentaladmin turned #awesomeadmin. Marc's book tells the story behind the culture and values of an organization consistently rated as one of the best places to work. It's clear that the culture and values of Salesforce as an organ ...more
I was very skeptical at first reading a book written by some tech CEO about business stuff. I am so glad I cracked it open and started reading it. I really appreciate Marc Benioff and his work as CEO. It was refreshing to see the ways in which he has made such a positive difference in our world and his perspective on the responsibilities of companies!
Mar 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
I loved learning more about Salesforce and CEO’s journey. Story of course told from a place of a lot of proved he, but he seems to be trying to call it out and be humble. But book itself is pretty bland.
Jun 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In case you're planning to learn about business insights, Marc's successes and failures leading Salesforce as a business, anything about building / shipping great products or even about providing top-notch customer experience, then you're gonna be deeply disappointed.

Befitting to the book's subtitle - "Power of business as the greatest platform for change", it talks about the social standings Marc has taken publicly, using his influence as the CEO of one of the largest companies on the planet an
W. Whalin
Apr 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting Storytelling and Business Lessons

From the opening pages, Marc Benioff’s storytelling captured my attention. TRAILBLAZER contains interesting information. Many years ago at a previous company, I used Salesforce so it was fascinating to hear these behind the scenes stories from the founder and CEO of this corporation. For their passionate users, they formed a group called Trailblazers (where they got the title for this book).

The business experience stories which fill this book are fa
Brad Revell
Oct 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My review is here:

Three key takeaways from the book:
1. What would your answer be if you asked what is the most important aspect of your organization? Your revenue, profits, shareholders, customers or employees? Benioff says it is values and that trust is the #1 value.
2. If you focus the majority of time on the problem (versus on the solution), the solution will become apparent.
3. Companies should be doing good versus doing well. A slight play of words, however,
Jan 02, 2021 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. Generically inspiring. Not bad, and not life-changing. Very fast read.
John Wimmer
Dec 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We recieved "Trailblazer" from a Good reads giveaway, and it's packed full of modern business wisdom. The author, Mark Benioff is a sucessful software developer. We read how he developed the love for computers at an early age, and went on to found Salesforce. Salesforce is a multiplayer billion dollar software corporation, located in San Francisco California. He explores the nature of Salesforce, and creates a viable future for business leaders. Always hopeful for a sucessful future, Mark Beniof ...more
David Skinner
Jan 25, 2020 rated it did not like it
“Companies do well when they learn to do good”

I hoped this was going to be a biographical outline of Salesforce and how it has started, but it turned into a story about how the founder and CEO believes that companies should be very actively engaged in the social issues of the day. I could not disagree more strongly, because he writes with a religious fervor when he just needs to trust Jesus and then be thoughtful of social implications. He’s very political, and this book makes me actually like
Apr 09, 2020 rated it it was ok
No book is ever a waste of time, but this one comes close. The ego of Marc is a match to that of Any dictator. There are few people in the world as good as he is. This is not a biography, this is ego tripping.
Dec 23, 2019 rated it it was ok
Partly a business memoir, partly a Salesforce promotion...not badly written and not a bad dude, but I think the main reason to read it is if you're a Salesforce superfan. ...more
Neeraj Sadarjoshi
Jun 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great and inspiring read!! So many wonderful anecdotes shared. I learnt a lot about Salesforce's philosophy and Marc's leadership style and thought process. ...more
Dec 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-books
Salesforce and its celebrated founder Marc Benioff is something I have always admired and when this book popped up on my feed by someone else I respect I immediately put it up on my reading list. Recently after reading the news of salesforce acquiring slack, my interest in the company and man was reignited and I immediately picked up the book.
The book is semi autobiographical, semi preaching of Marc’s life and his ideas on how business should be operating. In the very beginning of the book he cl
Anoop Dixith
Sep 14, 2020 rated it liked it
Honestly, to an outsider, the title of the book is misleading! By "Trailblazer", I was thinking the book was about the story, struggles and the success of Salesforce pioneering CRM, and how Benioff pulled it off. But the book is not about that. At all. But that doesn't mean the content of the book was bad. In fact, it's probably even more relevant than the story of Salesforce itself. This book is about how Salesforce developed its culture, and how it views the world and its burning problems from ...more
Walt Kruhoeffer
Jan 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
Overall, I felt this book to be an interesting exploration into Marc Benieff’s thought process on how he set out to create such a largely influential company. He argues that the growth of Salesforce is tied to how well a company creates and executes on its core values. He also argues that the business rules have changed where companies need to “go good” by serving the greater world and not just their customers and shareholders. Marc and Salesforce believe that companies today have a responsibili ...more
Jo * Smut-Dickted *
As someone who often interacts with Salesforce folks (I live in the Bay Area) I'd heard here and there that Benioff was a different kind of leader. This book really brought home just how different he is. I found a lot of striking sayings or quotes (not sure which honestly) that resonated with me. Perhaps due to the elements of meditation and awareness it was more than a little bit spiritual almost.

When he discussed priorities he states the obvious which is if everything is a priority, nothing i
David Birse
Apr 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Want to help change the one planet we live on, but don't know where to start? Read on.

This is an insightful read for anyone who wants change in their lives. It has a content you want to grab with both hands, yet still dissect for your own needs. The chapters on homelessness especially appealed to myself, as I've volunteered in this area personally. Be it business or personal, I'm going to reopen this book to remind myself why I have it five stars.

I felt akin to Marc Benioff when he talked about
Arun Krishnamoorthy
If I had to summarise the essence captured in this book, it would be one word - 'values'. And Value creates value!
Marc talks about how as a tech leader, and more importantly people today, ought to be change agents. The Fourth Industrial revolution era has, according to the author, seen its due date - but what lies ahead is a new era, potentially a Fifth Industrial revolution, where one can harness the progress made in the previous era for the common good.
Marc talks about his upbringing and him d
Igal Levy
Feb 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
If you’re familiar with Salesforce, or San Francisco politics, that’s reason enough to read this book. I enjoyed it because I recognize many of the people and events that Benioff writes about, and was able to learn some new facts.

The book focuses on Benioff (and therefore Salesforce’s) quest to do good, not just well, and on the resulting challenges and rewards. Business, and large corporations in particular, have not just a duty to their shareholders in our times, but to stakeholders, which inc
May 02, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hooter: A look at running the world from Marc Benioff's perspective and passions. Part Biography, part perspectives, part gyaan lot of Salesforce fanfare.

If you are intertwined with the Salesforce world like me, as someone who works there or is a client of their products or a partner, this book will be of more interest to you than any layman. It doesn't focus so much on the step by step journey of how Salesforce became a giant that it is today but focuses on how Marc stayed vocal to his belief
Antonio Hernandez
Nov 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
Full reflection found:

Part business memoir, part Salesforce advertisement, part leadership lesson, Trailblazer blends these three themes into one cohesive story. As a leadership lesson, he offers one key insight: great leaders and organizations are driven by their values.

The lessons that he communicates are valuable and Benioff shows a level of humility in his mistakes that I don’t often see in business and leadership books, but the impact of these insights clashes with
Ary Chest
Mar 22, 2020 rated it liked it
This was a massive improvement from Behind the Cloud. The whole thing had more consistency. The chapters had more substance, and each story had a better flow.

Benioff is the first to tell you him going to college sets him apart from the more stereotypical tech CEO's. I guarantee you, that's the one thing different about him, in terms of that archetype. Everything, from the way he talks, to the way he runs the company fits the well-worn mold of "woke" SF Bay Area business founder. And he does "wo
Daniel Ballinger
Oct 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was provided an advanced copy for review via the Salesforce MVP program.

With my day job being entwined with Salesforce for over the last decade I've lived through many of the events that are covered in the book. Albeit that was as someone outside the mothership. I found the book gave a different internal perspective on many of those same events.

It was interesting to read about how the core values that are so often highlighted as part of Salesforce's culture evolved and were refined over time a
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Marc Benioff is chairman, co-CEO, and founder of Salesforce and a pioneer of cloud computing. Benioff was named the Decade’s Top Innovator by Forbes, one of the World’s Greatest Leaders by Fortune, and one of the 10 Best-Performing CEOs by Harvard Business Review. He has won numerous awards for his leadership on equality.

A Fortune 500 company with more than 45,000 employees, Salesforce has been r

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Here’s some trivia for your next vacation get-together: The concept of the summer “beach read” book goes all the way back to the Victorian...
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“It’s about how to create a culture where doing well is synonymous with doing good in order to thrive in a world where a company is only as strong as the principles it adopts.” 1 likes
“Companies, and the people who lead them, can no longer afford to separate business objectives from the social issues surrounding them. They can no longer view their mission as a set of binary choices: growing vs. giving back, making a profit vs. promoting the public good, or innovating vs. making the world a better place.” 1 likes
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