Have a Look “Behind the Smokescreen” – SugarCRM Spoofs Salesforce CEO’s Book

So Marc Benioff had a few choice words to say about SugarCRM in his new book, Behind the Cloud. In the book, Marc relates an anecdote from 2006, back when Salesforce.com was starting to really become a huge marketing machine and a little CRM startup was at their first conference ruffling feathers. As Marc puts it:

We knew that we had truly emerged as the market leader in the eyes of the industry when we arrived at Dreamforce 2006 to find that a handful of employees from a small CRM company had set up a mock protest outside the convention center. I’m not really sure what they were protesting, and it was a small, low-budget, and poorly executed rip-off of the types of tactics we had invented, but that wasn’t the point. The point was that we knew not to get ruffled.

Marc went so far as to challenge us:

We did not want this company to get free PR on our coattails! Ignoring this escapade worked well. A blogger asked a Dreamforce attendee if she had seen what was going on outside when she arrived, and she replied that it must have been some kind of Salesforce.com stunt. (Note: if you are going to compete with someone at his or her own game, always remember to step up the innovation.)

Alright Marc…we gladly accept. So, today you might have noticed a few guys and gals dressed up as your newly pressed book – with a few slight differences.

Yeah – the marketing gang at Sugar had a little fun with the”Behind the Cloud” title and shifted a few things around – naming the book “Behind the Smokescreen.”  After all, what else would you call the masquerading of decade old technology as cutting edge?

The book is short and full of zingers highlighting some of the more ironic facets of the Salesforce experience, and some that are less funny as they are simply bad news for users, developers and the companies paying too much for out-dated technology. Call it an “anti-Salesforce.com Playbook” if you will, to continue the conceit.

For those of you that are unable to grab the book in person, check it out here.

SugarCRM is also offering FREE data migration to anyone looking to move from Salesforce to Sugar. So, if you know anyone who has data locked in Salesforce.com’s proprietary SaaS environment and wants to get their data out of jail free – send them our way.

We are also running a drawing for a free Motorola Droid phone – so check out the Behind the Smokescreen site and register to win.


We knew that we had truly emerged as the market leader in the eyes of the industry when we arrived at Dreamforce 2006 to find that a handful of employees from a small CRM company had set up a mock protest outside the convention center. I’m not really sure what they were protesting, and it was a small, low-budget, and poorly executed rip-off of the types of tactics we had invented, but that wasn’t the point. The point was that we knew not to get ruffled.

10 thoughts on “Have a Look “Behind the Smokescreen” – SugarCRM Spoofs Salesforce CEO’s Book

  1. I think you are right on Martin. I mean, you’re SugarCon is easily the CRM event of the year and way bigger than Dreamforce. Sugar is obviously know as the enterprise standard for CRM and should set the standards.

    BTW – chapter 1 has an image of a salesforce.com maintenance window stating downtime on January 6th.

    The last time we saw a Friday, Jan 6th was back in 2006! Surely you can find something a little more relevant, like maybe 2007 or 2008? Come on guys.

    Thank you for making our day. We all had a great laugh at your expense.

  2. Pingback: CRM Outsiders » Blog Archive » On the First Day of Dreamforce…SugarCRM Carolers a Huge Hit!

  3. Pingback: SugarCRM Corporate Blog » Blog Archive » SugarCRM Carolers at Dreamforce – A Huge Hit!

  4. Pingback: Sugar Takes on Salesforce at Dreamforce Convention | CRM & ERP software experts | BrainSell

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