Hootsuite’s Ryan Holmes Dismisses New SalesForce Tool in Clever Fashion

He may appear to be a nice Canadian who dresses a bit like a hipster and a bit like a lumberjack, but don’t dismiss Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes as a pushover.

Yesterday Holmes issued a clever tweet in response to a new competing tool launched on the same day by SalesForce.

Responding to a VentureBeat article by Vancouver writer John Koetsier, who proclaimed in his title that Salesforce unleashed a new enterprise social “juggernaut” called SocialStudio, Holmes tweeted “Welcome to #Social @Salesforce” and “Reminds me of my favourite Kipling quote…”. 

Screen shot 2014-05-07 at 8.50.58 AM

That quote is this:

“They copied all they could follow
but they couldn’t copy my mind
so I left them sweating and stealing
a year and a half behind.”

Fellow tech writer Knowlton Thomas was also quick to jump on the story. For their part, VentureBeat also published again on the matter last night, with the title “HootSuite CEO to Salesforce: Social Studio is an out-of-date copycat“.

I thought Holmes’ tweet was pretty awesome. But to an outsider it’s probably all quite amusing, seeing the CEO of one startup who’s bank account is stuffed to the brim with millions of dollars in venture capital, call out another big company that raked in over $4 billion in revenue last year.

People are always going to copy others and whether one CEO tries to send clever tweets or not, the reality is that continued innovation trumps all. And that’s what the evidently well-versed Mr. Holmes was trying to point out in the Kipling quote. Needless to say, it’ll be an exciting time one year from today, after both companies have had time to back up their bark.

SalesForce’s new SocialStudio app was created by combining two of its previous companies, BuddyMedia, which SalesForce bought two years ago for nearly $700 million, and Radian6, which SalesForce bought last year for $326 million.

“We rebuilt the whole product — it’s enterprise-scale, but simple as Facebook,” CEO Mike Lazerow told Koetsier. “This is the only social platform for social listening and engagement and analytics and marketing.”

And as the VentureBeat writer pointed out, SocialStudio’s dashboard for enterprise clients does look eerily similar to Hootsuite’s.


Koetsier still asserted that not only is SalesForce aggressive in acquiring new customers, but SocialStudio will likely represent a legitimate threat to Hootsuite’s throne in social media management.

Hootsuite raised $165 million in August 2013 and recently announced it had hit over nine million users, having hired its 500th employee.

Go forth you fierce, well-dressed startup CEOs, and let the battle commence!

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