May 21 by Laura Guenther
Last week, the city of San Francisco and Salesforce welcomed the ever-growing and influential group of Salesforce MVPs for the 2015 MVP Summit – 2 days to mingle, catch up and get face time with Salesforce Product Managers and executives. The Salesforce MVP program, spearheaded by Erica Kuhl, recognizes the top 1% of the contributors within the Salesforce ecosystem and is built upon the pillars of: Knowledge, Identity, Involvement, Trust, and Belonging.
I would be lying if I said it wasn’t a goal of mine to one day join the elite Salesforce MVP group. I first logged into Salesforce on May 25, 2011 and it has been a part (sometimes all) of my career ever since. I was lucky enough to spend a few hours with some of the MVPs the night before the MVP Summit commenced, and from my point of view, here is what it means to become a Salesforce MVP:
1. Amazing Community & Comradery
Despite having a wide range of job titles, work experience, and hailing from all corners of the world, they all have two common ties, a strong passion for the Salesforce Platform and the unique title MVP. It’s a bond like concrete. Standing near the bar at the Top of the Mark – a jillion stories above the San Francisco streets – I watched MVPs who haven’t seen each other in months or even years, others meeting in person for the first time, strike up conversation like second nature. It is a passionate community with open arms.
2. Knowledge for Days
To say these individuals have a strong understanding of the product would be the understatement of the year. They know their stuff, and they give their knowledge back to the community because they genuinely want to help. Salesforce can be…intimidating. Rest assured, though, that this group will be the first to point out that it doesn’t have to be! There are endless resources at the disposal of any user of the platform, most led by MVPs themselves.
And best of all, they are APPROACHABLE! A friendly, fun AND knowledgeable person? We’ve hit the jackpot!
3. Salesforce Celebrities
To each other, they are friends. To me and others around the ecosystem, most are celebrities. I’ve admired many of them in my past 5 years using and learning the tool. I’ve leaned on them when I first started as an admin, when I decided to get my Salesforce Administrator Certification, and when I began dabbling as a Consultant. Clinking glasses with these folks last week made my year, maybe even my decade:
- Shell Black Whiteboard helped me understand best practices for Lead Management and what being a Consultant is all about.
- I was star struck by Brent Downey from AdminHero.com.
- I finally got a chance to thank Deepa Patel for her guidance with formulas in her session at DF14 with SteveMo.
- I also recognized Michael Farrington from his super awesome pilot episode of Way Cloudy!
4. Some Awesome Perks
Being showered with gifts for your efforts doesn’t hurt, and there is no shortage of Salesforce schwag and perks for these MVPs. A free trip to San Francisco for the MVP Summit, exclusive invites to private events, and let’s not forget about that red messenger bag. From the outside, however, it appears that the non-tangible rewards are held with greater joy – exclusive access to gain more knowledge and opportunities to become more involved in the Salesforce community. Meeting Marc Benioff would be nice add-in, too.