Salesforce’s everything store
Illustration: iStock/Getty Images Plus; Protocol

Salesforce’s everything store

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Good morning! Salesforce hopes that its new product, Genie, will help it compete with rivals like Microsoft. But partners in its third-party marketplace aren’t convinced.

The Salesforce store

Salesforce built its massive community of app developers over nearly two decades through its third-party marketplace AppExchange, which houses over 7,000 apps. But excitement about the marketplace has faded as Salesforce has grown. Now, Salesforce is pushing Genie, a real-time customer data platform that can pull information from its own services as well as external sources.

In order for Genie to be successful, Salesforce will need to convince developers that it still offers them economic opportunity and growth, despite the tradeoffs of operating at the whims of a big platform.

  • Gaining visibility within Salesforce as a third-party software company is difficult without adhering to a “pay-to-play” strategy, program partners told Protocol’s Joe Williams and Aisha Counts.
  • Independent software vendors need to agree to a 15% revenue share just to be listed. And that doesn’t include spending money on marketing.
  • Plus, vendors risk Salesforce “building your thing or buying a competitor,” CEO Chris Federspiel said.

But partners now have more options outside of Salesforce: Microsoft, AWS, Atlassian, SAP, Sisense, and Hubspot all run third-party software marketplaces.

  • “There’s more choice for the vendors and more acceptance and willingness to look around on the part of the buyer,” Gainsight chief product officer Karl Rumelhart told them. “Both of those things combined, [AppExchange] isn’t as unique of a thing as it once was.”
  • While companies like Salesforce and AWS can offer competing products, ISVs argue they can sell their own, more-capable applications for cheaper and with much faster deployments.

Despite the challenges, partners do see the marketplaces as beneficial; Salesforce is a massive platform, after all. As customers contemplate major shifts in IT amid the downturn, though, it’s likely they will approach purchases of heftier software like Genie with skepticism.

If this strategy does succeed, it could further cement Salesforce’s status in the small circle of elite IT vendors. The company just has to convince potential partners that it still has their best interests at heart.

Wall Street gives crypto a chance

Wall Street has historically been hesitant to embrace crypto, not least because it lacks a firm tech infrastructure for security and data. But that’s slowly starting to change.

EDX Markets is a new exchange for digital assets being developed by Citadel Securities, Fidelity Digital Assets, and other large institutional investors, my colleague Tomio Geron writes.

  • The exchange is potentially the crypto version of the New York Stock Exchange, which EDXM hopes will attract big banks and other large institutions.
  • The very existence of the exchange is a sign that large investors are starting to warm up to crypto, and it’s building the infrastructure that can help it flourish.
  • Take Citadel as an example. The company was wary of crypto in the past, but it’s since realized that it can’t ignore the space any longer.

There’s already intense competition to offer crypto trading, custody, security, and other tech for large institutions, with Coinbase’s exchange being one of the more well-known examples. EDXM sets itself apart by its backing from Fidelity and others.

  • “It's for more traditional finance needs,” Tomio told Sarah. “That may attract Wall Street or big banks who may be scared or maybe more cautious about crypto. They may recognize some of these names and feel more comfortable.”
  • Tomio added that in the past, institutions have warmed up to crypto on an individual level, but EDXM indicates that crypto is starting to attract institutions in groups.

It’s taken a while for Wall Street to reach this point. And regardless of whether this exchange is successful or not, it’s a sure sign that institutions want to be involved in digital currency.

Intel’s quantum leap?

After Intel admittedly failed to initially embrace a cutting-edge chipmaking technology called extreme ultraviolet lithography, CEO Pat Gelsinger has said the company has fully committed to deploying it as part of its effort to repair its reputation as a manufacturing powerhouse. And now it’s found another use for the EUV hardware it’s purchased, Protocol’s Max Cherney writes.

Intel is using EUV to make quantum computing chips. The company said Wednesday that it has used its EUV machines to fabricate qubits on silicon with a 95% yield rate across the wafer.

  • Developed at its Ronler Acres facility in Hillsboro, Oregon, where Intel conducts much of its advanced research, the company said it was able to isolate 12 quantum dots and four sensors.
  • It’s a big deal, according to Intel, because qubits made with silicon are typically made on “one device” — Intel demonstrated it across a typical 300-milimeter wafer used in high-volume chip manufacturing.

The milestone is interesting because it is another step along the way to enable high-volume quantum chip manufacturing.

  • If quantum computing becomes a reality in the way many experts hope, Intel’s ability to scale the number of qubits it prints on a test chip to thousands, or potentially millions, could be vital to making a commercially viable quantum machine.

A longer version of this story first appeared in our Enterprise newsletter. Subscribe here.


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Jumping on an opportunity

When the American Rescue Plan Act passed in March 2021, it provided a critical boost to tax benefits per child for low income families through the Child Tax Credit. But navigating bureaucracy to access those funds was about as easy as tap dancing on a tightrope.

Someone needed to build an app to help people, Code for America CEO Amanda Renteria told Protocol’s Hirsh Chitkara. But she wasn’t sure whether Code for America was the right organization to do it.

  • Not only is Code for America a small nonprofit with limited resources, but there were “no guarantees that anyone would believe us — trust not only our data, but our ability to do it.”
  • Still, no one else was jumping on the opportunity, and the private sector was focused elsewhere. So Renteria did something about it: The nonprofit created a proof of concept app that would help people claim the Child Tax Credit.

Building the app didn’t come without risks, she said. After all, they were just presenting a proof of concept to the White House. But “the tangibility of seeing the vision of what was possible was a key difference for them,” she told Hirsh, and Code for America went on to build and launch the app.

And so far, it’s paid off. Around 115,000 families used the GetCTC to successfully claim the tax benefit during the 2021 tax filing season.

People are talking

Unity's John Riccitiello said monetization and creation should go hand in hand in game production:

  • "I get that some developers think it's just about creation, but anyone that's been through the labyrinth of complexity that is publishing and operating a live game knows there's way more to it than that.”

Michael Mignano, a former Spotify exec and co-founder of Anchor, thinks video options with podcasts will be a major moneymaker for creators:

  • “Creators quickly learned, just as platforms did years ago, that video produced more engagement.”

Making moves

Spotify is acquiring Kinzen, a firm that will help it detect harmful content. Kinzen has been working with Spotify since 2020.

UiPath appointed Lee Hawksleyas senior VP and managing director of Asia Pacific and Japan. He joins the company from Twilio and will begin in November.

Ganesh Srinivasan joined Venrock as a partner on its tech team. He was most recently CPO at Confluent.

Danny Guillory is Glassdoor's new chief people people. He last worked at Dropbox as VP, chief diversity officer and interim chief people officer.

In other news

Elon Musk and Twitter are struggling to reach a dealthat would end litigation and allow for Musk to buy the company, sources told The Wall Street Journal. The judge overseeing their court battle is still preparing for a trial.

Do Kwon is about to lose his passport to South Korea. The Terraform Labs founder is under increasing pressure to return to the country and face charges over a massive crypto crash.

Tech companies shred millions of data-storage devicesevery year, The Financial Times reported. Companies do it to prevent data leaks, but industry insiders say those devices could still be reused.

Amazon is making its first investmentsin outside VC funds. The company plans to hand $150 million to firms backing underrepresented founders.

Joe Sullivan, former Uber security chief, was found guilty of obstructing justice for covering up a data breach at the company in 2016.

Meta is asking some users for feedback on its algorithm. People will soon see “show more” and “show less” buttons on posts that appear in their feeds.

Google will pay an $85 million settlementto the state of Arizona to resolve claims from 2020 that it illegally tracked location data of Android users.

SpaceX launched a four-person crewon a 29-hour NASA mission to the International Space Station, including the first Native American woman to go to space.

Amazon’s Freevee video service is doing quite well, after four years and two rebrands. The key to Freevee’s success has been its deep integration with Prime Video and Fire TV.

Battle of the text-to-video AI

Well, that didn’t take long. Google announced its own text-to-video AI tool, called Imagen Video, yesterday, a week after Meta announced a similar tool called Make-a-Video.

Like Meta, Google’s videos are strange and dream-like and kind of weird, but there’s no denying how impressive the technology is. And, also like Meta, Google is taking it slow with the rollout. The company says that much of the explicit and violent content can be filtered out, but “social biases and stereotypes” are still a challenge to detect. So it’s not releasing Imagen Video to the public until it can do something about that.


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