Last May, I finished college and promptly moved out to Palo Alto to join RelateIQ, a "but we're not a CRM" startup aimed at eventually toppling the giant that is Salesforce. It's worth noting that I didn't know what CRM was nor was I aware what exactly Salesforce's product was, but I was totally sold on the people and the team at RIQ. I felt confident that whatever we went on to do, it would be great.
Two months after I started, the CEO took all the engineers (probably 35 of us at the time) at announced that we had been acquired by Salesforce.com, our sworn adversary. I was shocked. When I had talked to Adam (our CTO) months before, they assured me that they were a startup through and through and no plans of selling out. They touted the advantages to being owned by a big company- we would have access to their marketing and customer base, which would help us achieve our goal of revolutionizing relationship intelligence years ahead of schedule. Even so, we felt defeated. It was a weird Friday, to say the least.
People always ask about how the acquisition changed the company and I'm always happy to tell them "not as much as I was worried it would". We've continued to have a startling amount of autonomy post acquisition. We still handle our own emails, recruiting/hiring, final product decisions/design, and office management. In fact, if you came to the office today and I told you we were still a startup, you probably wouldn't be able to tell otherwise. It certainly could have been worse.
Here we are, a year later and what a year it has been.
Today, RelateIQ has officially rebranded as SalesforceIQ. I'll be the first to admit that it's a drastic mentality shift and I'm still not totally sold on it, but that's how it is.
Luckily, the product is still built by the same world-class team and still has all the amazing features our users have come to love. We're still just as dedicated about powering the world's professional relationships with products people love, and that's not changing. We offer what is head and shoulders the best product on the market, and that's not changing either.
At the end of the day, I'm excited. This is just the next step towards the top of the mountain and I just can't wait to be king.