This is the first post in my new blog series in which I will feature people I know from the community: Salesforce employees, MVPs, User Group Leaders, Partners, and honestly, anyone who I’m connected with who is willing to share with me the answers to five simple questions. I hoping that this blog series will help everyone out in the community get better connected to others who are either like them, can help them, are nothing like them, can’t help them, or are simply people they haven’t met yet! After all, a stranger is simply a friend you don’t know yet.
For me, one of the greatest strengths of the Salesforce Ecosystem is its people and the connections that are shared.
So, if you are brave enough, even if you’ve never met me in person, fill out this form and I’ll feature you in an upcoming post. But beware, I might interject some of my own thoughts into your responses!
What’s your job title? CTO for Customer Connection, aka., CTO for the Internet of Things.
What does that mean you do? I evangelize IoT and then help customers incubate their projects. (EFD – I think all Charlie does is travel to customer sites, make presentations about Salesforce, where he almost always sneaks in pictures of his grandchildren, and takes selfies with customers, and anyone else who will pose with him!)
How long have you been involved with Salesforce.com (as a customer and/or an employee)? My first successful startup was in 1999 – we did “Customer Service in the Cloud.” Ever since then I’ve kept an eye open towards Salesforce and how customer service should be connected to sales force automation and customer relationship management to get a full 360 degree view. This was back in the early 2000’s, and as long as I can remember, I’ve built prototypes that connected Salesforce CRM to customer service. I carried that message with me to KANA and Genesys, and we also had integrations to Salesforce that I pushed.
Bacon or sausage? I usually do both, mixed with fried eggs over easy, but if I have to choose one, I go with bacon.
What’s more important: Who you know, or what you know? What you know is more important. When you build a solid base of knowledge and then continue to grow your base of knowledge, you will attract good people who will want to spend time with you. Not because you are well-connected, but because you can add value to the conversation and hopefully help others with what you know. (EFD – Charlie really excels at adding value to the conversation…or at least adding words to it! OK, that last part is supposed to be a joke. No offense intended, Charlie.)
How did our relationship start, and when? We interacted on Twitter before I joined Salesforce in early 2012, but I think our relationship really began after you invited to a meeting of the Southern Indiana User Group and you wouldn’t take “no” for an answer. I really liked your persistence. I believe our relationship solidified and went to the next level when you asked me to support the Dreamforce Newbie Reunion Breakfast (#DF14Bacon.) That was a no-brainer for me. Your contributions to the community were above and beyond, and then, of course taking the unused ticket money and donating it to charity was the icing on the cake. That’s when I knew you were the real deal. (EFD – Wait a sec…when we first “met” you weren’t even with Salesforce? Wow…I didn’t know that. Oh, and quit talking about me. This post is supposed to be all about you!)
And now the bonus question – What’s one fact about you that few people know, that will surprise me and my blog readers? I used to be an avid sailboat racer, and worked my way through high school and college summers by racing and delivering racing boats all over the world. I used to sail with the late, great, Roy Disney and raced to Hawaii with him on the Transpac. I was in the 1979 Fastnet Race on the US team where many people died from a fierce storm. We put together an “all family team” (with my brother and my Dad) to compete in the Olympic Yachting Trials in 1984 & 1988. We didn’t quite make it to the Olympics, but we had a great time! (EFD – Wow! Even at a young age, you were quite the traveler. I seem to recall hearing stories about that fierce storm and the deaths. I’m glad you survived and that we met and became great friends!)
You can find Charlie on Twitter.