Fact Check: Dreamforce 2018 Keynote

This week is the first of a six-week stretch when we (and you) have to do without Ines and her thought-provoking musings. (Boo, hiss, how dare she get married, etc.) So that means that for the next six weeks, not only do you have to put up with Mike and me, but also that Mike and I have to actually find some things to write about and do some real work for a change. That ain’t easy, and we need all the help we can get.

And what do technologists do when they need help? Well they turn to technology, of course. So we’ve recently installed a beta version of a new blogging tool which might just make our lives that little bit easier: a fact checker. The theory is that it will speed up our blog-writing by letting us just type away without needing to bother checking any of the facts, and this little widget will insert helpful TRUE or FALSE snippets to separate the fact from the fiction in order to let the truth shine through. Neat, huh?

What better way to give our little fact check toy a test run than to discuss this week’s Dreamforce 2018 main keynote? Let’s see how it works…


Those of you who have seen more than zero Dreamforce keynotes won’t be surprised to learn that 2018’s edition featured will.i.am. What you might be more surprised to hear is that this year, it took a whole 0.07 seconds before he was featured, narrating the intro video.

FALSE – This is a gross exaggeration. It was actually 0.09 seconds before Mr i.am made his first appearance.

And what was the message in this video, to set the scene for the following two hours? Well, will.i.am was talking about revolutions, of course. He started by informing us that “revolutions bring change”…

TRUEThe dictionary definition of ‘revolution’ confirms this to be correct.

…and that revolutions “happen when a group of people see an empty space that needs filling”.

TRUEHistorical fact supports this assertion. For example, the French Revolution happened because a group of people saw empty spaces in the baskets beneath the guillotines of Paris, and decided that they needed filling with the heads of the aristocracy.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before the sage teachings of will.i.am gave way to the main event, which was of course Marc Benioff. And Marc left us in no doubt as to how excited he was about this week’s event, claiming that: “This is the biggest and the greatest Dreamforce ever – there is no question about it.”

TRUEEvery Dreamforce is the biggest and greatest ever and so, by definition, this one was too. That’s just an incontestable fact and if you doubt it – or if you can’t handle the intrinsic doublethink in this concept – then you’re obviously not a true member of the Ohana.

Once we got past the customary ‘thanks’ part, Marc was keen to tell us that “the fourth industrial revolution is all over us”.

PARTIALLY TRUETechnically this is actually the FIFTH industrial revolution. The fourth was brought to us courtesy of the MiniDisc in the late 1990s. However, whatever number revolution this is, it certainly feels like it’s all over us and there’s nothing we can do to escape being incessantly talked to about it.

Having set the scene about being in the midst of a revolution, Marc went on to discuss the human factor. After all, in his words, “technology is not good or bad – it’s what you do with it that matters”.

FALSE – Some technology is definitely bad. See the TV Hat

So what should we do with it, according to Uncle Marc? “Everyone has to come in to the fourth industrial revolution. It’s inclusive capitalism. Inclusive capitalism means we’re all going together into the future; we are leaving no-one behind.”

 FALSE – You can’t take everyone with you in capitalism, by definition. Capitalism is the pursuit and accumulation of capital, which is a finite resource, and therefore cannot be accumulated without being done so to the detriment of others. Workers of the world, unite and take arms against the bourgeoisie! You have nothing to lose but your chain stores and your customer success platforms!

Before handing over to some of his senior colleagues for the feature demos, Marc turned his attention briefly to the environment and the duty of businesses to do their bit for sustainability. As Marc put it: “We need those trees”.

TRUEI looked into this and, yes, it turns out we do need trees.

As for those feature demos, we were left gob-smacked with excitement by the standout announcements around Customer 360 and Einstein Voice.

PARTIALLY TRUE – These were the standout announcements, but fear not: no gobs were smacked during the watching of this keynote.

And what was it that inspired these fantastic new features? What was Salesforce’s divine inspiration, according to Marc when he returned to the stage? “We are trying our best to deeply listen to you.”

TRUEThis is accurate, and refreshingly honest. The primary reason that Einstein Voice was developed and made available to all orgs was so that Salesforce can maintain close audio surveillance of all customers. So they really are listening, whether you want them to or not.

Finally, Marc rounded off the keynote with a story about a child, a bird, and a monastic (which really sounds like an adjective but apparently has been noun-ed to within an inch of its life) – a monastic who could predict the future. As the keynote show ended, I could only wonder whether that story was true…

FALSEThe story must have been false as no-one can predict the future. And I predict they never, ever will be able to.


Disclaimer: This article – like more or less any other article I have ever written – is of course deeply, whole-heartedly and childishly satirical, and you are advised to take absolutely none of it seriously. If that’s not immediately obvious to you then you either have a very loose grip on reality, or you’re or a commercial lawyer. Or perhaps both. 


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