The history of AppExchange and Steve Jobs’s role in it

February 16, 2022by Ananya Mohapatra

Salesforce is a leading name for CRM and cloud technology for businesses. The robust platform has been helping companies to improvise sales operations, product innovation, and customer satisfaction for decades now.

The platform boasts of a leading enterprise cloud marketplace that goes by the name – AppExchange. You may call it the go-to destination for Salesforce customers if they wish to explore myriad applications and solutions for their Salesforce extension and implementation needs, right from pre-configured solutions to highly personalized processes. 

With over 5,000 solutions and more than 10 million downloads, the Salesforce AppExchange has undoubtedly come a long way since its launch in 2005. But its origins and history are equally interesting, going way back to Apple Founder Steve Jobs.

How? Read on to find out! 

  • The World’s Leading Enterprise Cloud Solution Marketplace

The Salesforce partner ecosystem of AppExchange could reportedly generate $1.2 trillion in new business revenue, along with 4.2 million new jobs in 2024. Dubbed as the world’s largest business application marketplace, Salesforce AppExchange has managed to build a thriving community around its unique premise over the last 16 years of its existence. 

Therefore, tracing its origins is nothing less than delightful, especially considering that the exchange was conceptualized by one of the most renowned geniuses of our times. 

Salesforce was co-founded in 1999 by Marc Benioff, Parker Harris, Frank Dominguez, and Dave Moellenhoff, as you may already be aware. The now global giant started its operations inside a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco and immediately took off. The Salesforce team had set up its own office by 2000 and held its first Dreamforce conference in 2003.

  • The Origins of the Application Economy Concept 

However, it is not the venture’s enterprising founders but another visionary credited with the visualization of Salesforce’s AppExchange. Salesforce co-founder Marc Benioff approached Apple co-founder Steve Jobs in the early 2000s because he got stuck while working on his platform’s development. Then, Steve Jobs shared three game-changing recommendations to the enthusiast – work out a roadmap for 10x growth over the next two years, sign on a massive client, and build an application economy. 

  • The AppExchange is Born

On the lines of Jobs’ counsel, the Salesforce team built and introduced the now-famous AppExchange during Dreamforce 2005. AppExchange was created as a one-stop destination for Salesforce partners to list out their business applications for extending or augmenting Salesforce’s increasingly extensive functionality for the first time. 

Salesforce was also enabled to interoperate with other systems. Both the reforms were pathbreaking. 

As a gesture of gratitude for ideating the AppExchange that changed Salesforce forever, Marc Benioff gifted the trademark for “App Store” along with its domain to Steve Jobs. 

  • Onward Growth and Expansion 

The AppExchange ecosystem is one of the most vibrant marketplace ecosystems today, with 89% of Fortune 100 companies deploying its applications. The platform today boasts of much more than business applications and includes Lightning Components, Lightning Data, Bolt Solutions, Consulting Partners, and Developers. 

Offering enhanced security, faster implementation, and more excellent reliability, AppExchange applications truly transform business models and operations, as they have been for the last fifteen years. And yet, organizations require extensive technical knowledge and prior experience to fully leverage the vast benefits of these Salesforce solutions.

At Ceptes, we are helping our clients do exactly that by working with them as partners in the Salesforce ecosystem. As experts in Sales, Service, and Marketing Clouds, our team offers end-to-end Salesforce solutions tailored for niche industries along with opportunity evaluation for the entire lifecycle. 

Are you interested in extending your team with the best products from Salesforce AppExchange? Request a consultation today and explore the benefits of hiring us as your strategic partner in enterprise data management! Head for a detailed understanding of the platform with us first!