The Modern-Day AppExchange Entrepreneur

My Salesforce journey started 12 years ago while working for a major cable company. A small business unit had implemented Salesforce, and it soon became the corporate standard. I jumped at the chance to expand it to over 5.000 users across North America. Within two years, I had designed a custom CPQ and order management solution, integrated into 18 billing systems. An accomplishment still in place to this day.

From that point forward, I was hooked.

I ventured into consulting so I could broaden my experience across multiple verticals. While I loved designing solutions that were deemed “not possible” and pushing the limits of Salesforce, growing inside of me was a deep desire to share the knowledge and experience with companies that were just starting out. I wanted to build an app!

Years went by, and finally, I decided it was time to stop thinking and start acting. I quit my job, took everything I had, and bet on myself. I signed up to become an ISV partner and started building — each day getting more and more excited. I was finally taking action and doing something in life I wanted to do.

Then, the other day, I glanced at a new email that popped up on my phone: “Congrats! Your Application Passed Security Review.”

I broke down and cried. That message was the final approval required for a listing on AppExchange. Months and months of work came to an end with one simple email. Yet, the dream behind it was years in the making.

The journey to this point has been an amazing experience. I’m not certain what’s next, or how successful this or other apps will perform in the market. But as I look back at what it took to get this far, there are a couple of things I wish I knew and I want to share them with you:

  • There will be days and nights where self-doubt is going to creep in. Take a deep breath, relax, and step away for a moment. You can do it. You possess the knowledge and drive to make this happen. Believe in yourself. Your conviction of turning your vision into an app will carry you until the end.
  • Although you are working toward your dream, the feeling of loneliness will surface. Take a step back and remember why you started down this path. Friends and family will be there to support you, but you are the only one that will truly get the “what” and the “why”.
  • No magical immunity exists because this project belongs to you. Technology delays, personal issues, family, the list goes on. You can’t plan for it all. My original timeline was 90 days—it ended up being six months. The security review took three attempts to pass. Life will happen and you adjust along the way.
  • Plan for success. The onset of emotions was a complete surprise to me getting this far. My focus was so much on the development and security review, that when it was approved, I then realized that things just got real. Enjoy the moment. Take a little bit of time to recognize and reflect on your achievements. Trust the process.

In the end, it’s people like us. The dreamers, creators, and inventors that move the world forward one footstep at a time. Listen to your inner voice, that hunch, and let it blossom. Don’t compare your idea to others, or worry about a market niche to sell your idea. Let that passion flow and embrace the feeling of letting that inner voice be heard!

You never know if you have something real, and you are the person creating the next niche.




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Howard Stall

Howard Stall

CEO/Creator of Taveza- and Practice Director at CommerceCX. A passionate SF junkie with over 24k implementation hours and 17 Certs.

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