The city of San Francisco is being overrun this week by an event that’s part corporate tech conference, part music festival and part spectacle.
It’s known as Dreamforce and it’s the annual customer conference event put on by the city’s largest tech employer, Salesforce.
Dreamforce is over-the-top in every possible way, the cruise-ship hotel to having none other than music legend Stevie Wonder introduce the company’s flamboyant billionaire CEO Marc Benioff, for his keynote talk, after performing a short music set, of course.
Benioff is a big guy in every way. He’s tall, with big opinions on everything from his competitors, to the stinginess of Silicon Valley’s charitable efforts, to gay rights. He’s also famous for his extremely long Dreamforce keynote speeches.
So if you are the company’s lesser-known, not-as-tall, not-as-wealthy cofounder, but you have an equally huge sense of humour, how do you upstage your CEO?
You dress up in a crazy costume and get on stage to banter with your CEO, talking about the company’s new products, new partnership with Microsoft and other such goings on.
And that’s how Salesforce Parker Harris become Lightning Man, representing new service for app developers called “Lightning.”
Lightning man even has his own lightning bolt:
— Brian Kwong (@Kwongerific) September 16, 2015
… and magic wand …
Salesforce’s developers seem to have a thing for one-piece costumes.
When we visited the company last year, after it had released a new product called Salesforce1, vice president Adam Seligman posted an April Fools’ YouTube video featuring adult onesies and he kept some around the office. (Salesforce1 = onesy, get it?) That’s Seligman and me, dressed up in them.
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