Dreamforce. It’s the must-attend tech conference of the year for anyone who’s anyone in the Salesforce Ecosystem. Salesforce hosted the first Dreamforce in 2003 with an attendance of 1,300 people. Ten years later, in 2013, Dreamforce was home to over 130,000 attendees, and this year, there’s talk of the event selling out with attendance closing in on 200,000. That’s almost twice as many people as those who call Aruba home. That’s some phenomenal growth! Dreamforce has had some amazing speakers over the years too. People like Michael Dell, George Lucas, Sheryl Sanberg, Gary Vaynerchuk, General Colin Powell (two different years,) and the list goes on and on. At Apttus we might define “celebrity” a little differently, so we came up with a few questions to ask each of our celebrities, and two of the questions do not have anything to do with Salesforce or Dreamforce! So without further delay, allow us to introduce our next celebrity of Dreamforce 2016.
Celebrities of Dreamforce 2016: Introducing Zachary Jeans
Our latest Dreamforce Celebrity for 2016, is very well known in the Salesforce Community and through social media. If you haven’t had the opportunity to meet Zachary Jeans yet, he’s a must-meet at Dreamforce. He’s a former over-the-road truck driver who reinvented himself using his love of the Salesforce Community, his passion for helping others and a drive to make an impact and improve the world. We grabbed a virtual coffee with him and asked a few pointed questions about Dreamforce, what its like being a celebrity and life. Read on to get a taste of what it’s like being Zachary Jeans.
Oh the memories!
Apttus: How many years have you attended Dreamforce?
- 2016 will be my sixth time attending.
Apttus: In all those years, who has been your favorite Dreamforce Speaker?
- Will.I.Am – On creating a holistic solution for disadvantaged inner city youth.
Apttus: Which band was the most memorable?
- Green Day – The storm came and they refused to give up.
If I Could Only…
Apttus: If you could ask Marc Benioff one question, what would it be?
- What is a ‘blind spot’ that you’ve recently discovered affecting Salesforce in a negative way, and how have you attempted to resolve it?
Apttus: What is the number one thing on your bucket list?
- Number one thing on my bucket list is to get a Salesforce World Tour event on the schedule in India. India has the second most Salesforce developers in the world, and is an emerging market for the platform. There’s an incredible Salesforce community there that is responsible for the actual work that many of our favorite Salesforce customers, and partners produce. And perhaps it’s a small thing that means a lot to folks over there- but they would finally have a way to earn an Astro doll. Currently there’s no way for a community member to get an Astro in India.
Apttus: Has anyone ever asked you for your autograph?
Dreamforce – Past and Present
Apttus: What is your best Dreamforce memory, and if you are brave enough, your most embarrassing Dreamforce memory?
My best Dreamforce memory has to be getting a private tour of Twitter headquarters with Misty Jones, and Genise Christianson, as the Dreamforce 2014 keynote was occurring and having my name flash up on the big video screens as one of the most influential people at the conference via Twitter. It was a surreal moment to be drinking a cup of coffee at Twitter HQ and seeing all of my friends tweeting about it. It really is the combination of two of my favorite technology companies that made it special.
My most embarrassing moment at Dreamforce was at Rogue Brewery with a small group of friends on the last night of the conference. We had just sat down outside at a picnic table with our beers. I was enjoying a Chocolate Stout and talking with my new friend Cheryl Feldman, who I had just met that night. Someone said something funny, a flake of red pepper from a piece of pizza tickled the back of my throat, and a fountain of sticky black beer erupted from my mouth across the table, drenching Cheryl! She was stunned. She didn’t know what to do. She just sat there – frozen. Then everyone burst into laughter. I was horrified and felt terrible! She was so gracious and forgave me. We’ve gone on to be great friends and have a mutual mentoring relationship.
Apttus: What are you most excited about going into Dreamforce 2016?
- The thing I’m most excited about, going into Dreamforce 2016, is to be in the front row for U2, at the ‘Cloud Palace’ – I’ve been advocating for them to play the Gala since 2013.