The Best Thing Salesforce Didn’t Do

As Salesforce customers we’re accustomed to hearing about new and upcoming features on the platform. Every release cycle is like a celebration – digging through the release notes to salesforce spring 14find new gifts that will make our work more productive, or simplify tasks, or even allow implementation of solutions that weren’t possible before.

But this year the biggest gift Salesforce has given us hasn’t been trumpeted or promoted. It’s been given quietly, with a bit of embarrassment. The biggest and most important feature of Spring 14 is that it has been delayed.

How can a delay be a gift? I’m sure they don’t see it that way inside of Salesforce. I expect there’s a lot of pressure and embarrassment and internal self-assessment over the fact that Spring has suffered not one, but two delays in release. Especially given that meeting ship dates has always been one of the highest priorities in the development team – something they’ve taken great pride in.

The reason this is a gift is this: the delay means that even with all of the internal pressure to ship the release, they still placed the customer first. They knew that as Salesforce users, it’s much more important for us that a release be done right, than be delivered on time.

I’ve had plenty of experience on other platforms where very large vendors shipped major upgrades with numerous known and serious bugs, simply because of development or marketing pressures to meet a schedule. This invariably resulted in pain on the part of users, and sometimes in rejection of the technology. Getting things right is far more important to users than getting them fast, and it’s far more important to the vendor as well – especially in the case of Salesforce where a platform release is deployed to everyone automatically.

I, for one, was thrilled with delays in the Spring release. Not because I don’t want the features (I do), but because it proved that when Salesforce talks about trust as a value, it’s not marketing hype – it’s driving their decision making – even when it’s painful and embarrassing.

Dan Appleman

About Dan Appleman

As Full Circle Insights’ CTO, Dan Appleman brings a broad technology experience to our customers. In addition to having supported over 30 Salesforce.com implementations with technology solutions, Dan is also the author of the book "Advanced Apex Programming for Salesforce.com and Force.com" and has been a speaker at Dreamforce since 2012. Previously, he was the founder of Desaware, Inc. a developer of add-on products for Microsoft Visual Studio, a co-founder of Apress publishing, and the author of numerous books and articles.