What you need to know
- Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff met with Steve Jobs in 2003 and the pair discussed cloud services.
- After that conversation, Benioff came up with an app store for Salesforce and registered the URL.
- When Apple announced App Store, Benioff gave the URL to Jobs.
You probably already know that appstore.com redirects to App Store or iTunes depending on the device you're using, but that wasn't always the case. After a meeting with Apple CEO Steve Jobs in 2003, it was Salesforce and CEO Marc Benioff who owned it.
But after his initial plans changed Benioff was left with a URL he didn't need. Until 2008 when Apple announced App Store.
In an interview last year around Salesforce's 20th anniversary, company CTO and co-founder Parker Harris told me that the idea for the app store came out of a meeting with Steve Jobs three years before AppExchange would launch. Benioff, Harris and fellow co-founder Dave Moellenhoff took a trip to Cupertino in 2003 to meet with Jobs. At that meeting, the legendary CEO gave the trio some sage advice: to really grow and develop as a company, Salesforce needed to develop a cloud software ecosystem. While that's something that's a given for enterprise SaaS companies today, it was new to Benioff and his team in 2003.
But it took a few years for Benioff to put all of the pieces together. And once he did, what he came up with was the kind of app store we are all so familiar with today.
One evening over dinner in San Francisco, I was struck by an irresistibly simple idea. What if any developer from anywhere in the world could create their own applications for the Salesforce platform? And what if we offered to store these apps in an online directory that allowed any Salesforce user to download them?
The idea was so good Benioff had his team register the URL so Salesforce could use it when it was ready to. But ultimately Salesforce ended up shipping with a different name after customers said they didn't like the AppStore name. AppExchange was born, leaving appstore.com unused. At least, until Benioff was invited to Apple's big 2008 announcement – App Store.
"At the climactic moment, [Jobs] said [five] words that nearly floored me: 'I give you App Store."
After the event, Benioff gave the URL to Jobs so it could be used with the new App Store product.
Benioff wrote that he and his executives actually gasped when they heard the name. Somehow, even after all that time had passed since that the original meeting, both companies had settled upon the same name. Except Salesforce had rejected it, leaving an opening for Benioff to give a gift to his mentor. He says that he went backstage after the keynote and signed over the domain to Jobs.
The rest, as they say, is history.
We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.
FAQ: TikTok & WeChat ban — why it’s happening and what it means for you
Are TikTok and WeChat really being banned? When does all of this take effect? Will I still be able to use these apps? All this and more answered in our FAQ regarding the latest U.S. orders.
Here's everything we know about the iPhone 12 so far
With the iPhone 12 reportedly just weeks away, here's everything we currently know about Apple's next flagship lineup!
Here's where to find all 120 Stars in Super Mario 64
There are hundreds of Stars hidden around and throughout Princess Peach's castle in Super Mario 64. Here's where you'll find them all.
All the Nintendo Switch accessories for Animal Crossing fans
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is finally out on Nintendo Switch. Go all out with your Animal Crossing love with these adorable-themed accessories.