I first heard the term “Social Enterprise” back in 2008 from Alex Blum, who was the CEO at a NYC-based startup I was working for called KickApps. We were while-label software that allowed any website to have an online community bolted onto it.
At the time the term “social media” was still young and companies didn’t really understand much about it. However even then we saw the enterprise’s desire to create more social network-like environments for their employees. We had a few major corporations use our platform to deploy these sites behind the firewall, but never really saw any meaningful usage.
I was absolutely skeptical of the enterprise collaboration/social enterprise space for a long time. I never saw us leaving Microsoft office, abandoning email, or posting to an activity feed at work; until I started using Google Apps. Google apps showed me the power of collaboration and operating in “the cloud”.
I see this as being the consumerization and socialization of the enterprise.
I’m not a ui/ux designer, interaction designer, or anything close to a real web designer — although I know my way around photoshop a bit – it’s safe to say I’m no expert in UI/UX design; I’m more of an entrepreneurial salesperson.
However, I have been working-in saas, web based, online systems 98% of my career and consider myself pretty capable of understanding the difference between crappy versus awesome UI/UX. There has been talk about the “consumerization of the enterprise” for a few years now. It seems like it started when 37 Signals and Less Everything were building app using ruby on rails that didn’t suck and cared about UI/UX. Later there were “social enterprise” solutions like Yammer, Salesforce Chatter, and now days you see companies like Slack, Respondly, and a bunch of other saas’y companies deploying very consumer-like applications for the enterprise.
In late 2011, we decided to host our first Sales4StartUps event at Crittercism’s office in SOMA, SF. To our surprise we had 80 + attendees and people seemed to really love what we were doing. As a result, we decided to formally launch Sales4StartUps as a way to help teach B2B tech startups how to sell. We do this through events, seminars, and online content. Although Sales4StartUps.org is still under development, we have successful conducted and scheduled 10 + events/seminars across the U.S and Mexico.
We’ve partnered with countless startups including Pipedrive, LaunchRock, and NimbleCRM and work with organizations like Wilson Sonsini Goodrich Rosati, 500 Startups’s Mexican.VC, Capital Factory, Microsoft Nerd Center, and more.
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