Away from the beanbag-seated crowds and cloud software kiosks at Dreamforce 2013, Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer and Salesforce CEO Mark Benioff sat down on a stage to praise on another. But the panegyric swap was rudely interrupted by labor protestors, calling out Mayer for her board position at Walmart. They responded in the most Silicon Valley way possible.
Business Insider cheerily reported "Wal-Mart Protesters Disrupt Marissa Mayer On Stage But Marc Benioff Has The Last Laugh." I don't want to live in a world where CEOs don't get the last laugh, and thank God, they prevailed:
The protest lasted about a minute before protesters were escorted out of the Moscone Center. They were heard arguing loudly with Salesforce staff outside of the conference hall shortly afterwards.
Benioff is famous for disruptive gorilla [sic] marketing at competitors' conferences during Salesforce.com's early days, and couldn't help himself but to comment:
"We don't want any more protests ... but if you want to protest, No. 1, you can do it outside. No. 2, it's better to split up when you start. Then when those people get arrested, then a second group stands up. Then a third ... I'm just saying."
The audience laughed and Mayer said, "That's a design problem right there."
America's problems will never be tech's problems, but at least Walmart's poverty line can provide the software elites with some fun design-oriented thought experiments.