Happy birthday, Marc Benioff. Your company did the right thing

Salesforce kept Dreamforce small, which made all kinds of sense

Saturday is Marc Benioff’s birthday, and if the San Francisco native and Salesforce founder didn’t get the Dreamforce of his dreams this year, he did get high praise for keeping it small.

“Marc Benioff is a responsible San Franciscan,” Dr. Larry Brilliant, the famous epidemiologist who advised the conference on handling COVID told me. “When the numbers of infections kept going up, it became clear that the prudent thing was not to have something that large.”

Dreamforce was in its familiar spot on Howard Street this week, but with a smidgeon of the hordes of past years. One person who was there was “Ted Lasso” star Jason Sudeikis, the SNL alum whose new show hauled in seven Emmys just days before. Sudeikis wore a hat and a hoodie — only to find it was blazingly hot. “Hey, it’s Northern California,” he said on the outdoor stage on Bryant Street. “You prepare for these things.” Sudeikis told the small crowd he and his “Ted Lasso” co-creators “Trojan Horsed them,” by sneaking in a show with a character as wholesome as Mister Rogers

Last bit on Marc: He told me via Twitter DM on Friday that Neil Young, the craggy Canadian-turned-Northern California rock legend, means a tremendous amount to him. “Neil has been a huge influence on my life,” he wrote. The two have connected in Hawaii and been known to cruise around The City and nearby environs in some of Young’s gorgeous vintage cars…

Well, here’s some good news: “Venture capital going toward startups seeking to address the LGBTQ community has notably increased,” the startups analysis film PitchBook writes in a new report on health care investing. Eleven companies focusing on gender-affirming treatments and LGBTQ mental health care and family-building services have raised $48.7 million, the report says. More on this soon…

Googlers are offering to help find the missing sign made famous in a prank this week by Danielle Baskin. “A few Google employees are going to help search for the sign, which was confiscated,” she pinged me. (Again, hit me on Twitter. Feel free, folks: @jeffelder) If you missed it, Baskin, a tech entrepreneur and legendary mischief-maker, hung a Spirit Halloween sign on the Google Embarcadero headquarters — as if the near-empty tech campus was being used as a seasonal decorations store. Security guards took the sign, which she’d like to re-use. Google hasn’t said anything about the incident, which blew up on Twitter. But Spirit Halloween’s verified account tweeted “First Google headquarters, next World Wide Web domination”…

The award for the geekiest clothing store in The City this week goes to Arc’teryx near Union Square, which festoons its futuristic outdoor gear (with sleek, patented water-proof zippers) with QR code tags to make it easy to buy on your phone and ship home…

A supermodel has sued Twitter for $10 million, saying the social network’s algorithm contributed to copyright infringement when users posted photos of her. Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Genevieve Morton’s lawyer asked for the case to be set in Southern California, noting that the company may have headquarters on Market Street, but it has offices in LA. And CEO Jack Dorsey did say everything at Twitter could be remote…

Vasco Pedro, left, the CEO of Unbabel, an S.F. startup, surfs with his employees in Portugal and Northern California. (Courtesy Unbabel)

Vasco Pedro, left, the CEO of Unbabel, an S.F. startup, surfs with his employees in Portugal and Northern California. (Courtesy Unbabel)

You have to admire the hybrid work model of Vasco Pedro, the CEO of Unbabel, an S.F. startup that pairs artificial intelligence with human translators to help companies go global fast. Pedro, a Spaniard by birth, lives in Lisbon and The City – and surfs in both places. “Surfing is part of our DNA,” he told me. “It helps us stay out of emotional debt.” Now that’s some San Francisco talk right there…

Editor’s note: Welcome to Screenshots, in which senior tech reporter Jeff Elder reports on the comings and goings of S.F.’s biggest industry. Stay tuned as we keep tabs on all things tech. Send items to jelder@sfexaminer.com

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