Winners of the Dreamforce 2019 Mega Demo Jam impress the crowd with a rap

The Dreamforce 2019 Mega Demo Jam winners from Mogli discuss the benefits of using music to educate others about your products and offer advice to developers who want to be part of a Demo Jam.

Winners of the Dreamforce 2019 Mega Demo Jam impress the crowd with a rap

The winners of the Dreamforce 2019 Mega Demo Jam are from Mogli Technologies: Rob Blatchley, Chief Operating Officer, and Malorie "Mal" Leogrande, Sr. Client Success Manager. TechRepublic's Bill Detwiler talks to Blatchley and Leogrande about how Mogli got started, Mogli SMS, Mal's incredible rap, and their advice to developers who want to participate in a Demo Jam. The following is an edited transcript of the interview.

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Bill Detwiler: So building an app is difficult. Demoing that app to potential customers, to executives, to product stakeholders can be even more difficult. But demoing that app to a salt-and-pepper rep in three minutes? That seems impossible to me, but it's not, because these two just pulled it off. I'm here with Rob and Mal from Mogli who just won the Dreamforce 2019 Mega Demo Jam. Mal's holding the trophy. Rob, tell me a little bit about the app that you demoed for the Demo Jam and how you created it.

Rob Blatchley: Yeah, so I didn't actually create it. The company has been around since 2011, and Mogli SMS was built in 2012. We were actually initially working with Kenyan farmers, so an organization that was a nonprofit trying to help fight extreme poverty around the world. So you can imagine these Kenyan farmers don't have running water or electricity, live in a mud hut, but they can get SMS. And since then it's moved into the US, primarily into the nonprofit education sector. We do one-on-one conversations, bulk sends, surveys, automated conversations, mobile payments--all native to Salesforce.

Bill Detwiler: And Mal, you wrote this amazing rap that we just saw, right?

Mal Leogrande: Yes.

Bill Detwiler: And you're not just an amazing rapper and performer here--you also happen to be a certified Salesforce admin. Is that right?

Mal Leogrande: Yes, sir.

Bill Detwiler: Okay. How long did it take you? I would find it impossible to come up with a product demo and put that to lyrics. How difficult was that? How crazy was that?

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Mal Leogrande: It was challenging, but I had seen Demo Jams in the past and I thought to myself, "Well, I know the benefits of learning through music. So I thought if we can teach others about our products through music, how fun and exciting would that be?" And if they can walk away kind of humming the song and thinking about our product and how fun and exciting we made it, then we would be doing our jobs. So I wanted to give that a shot. I know our product well, and we wrote about it, and we made it rhyme and had fun with it and made it work.

Bill Detwiler: How long did it take you to come up with the lyrics for that?

Mal Leogrande: It took us a few drafts, but it started on a Saturday afternoon with some coffee and some incense, and I just kind of got in my space.

Bill Detwiler: Wow. I figured it was like a three-month thing. That's fantastic.

Mal Leogrande: Thank you.

Bill Detwiler: What advice would either of you have for other developers who wanted to be part of a Demo Jam? Salesforce does these all over the country, all over the world... this happens to be sort of the biggest one here at Dreamforce. But if someone wanted to get started--I know Mogli has won other Demo Jams in the past--what advice would you give, Rob?

Rob Blatchley: Three minutes is a really short amount of time to be able to demo your whole product, so you really need to find those small features that are really going to hit home with the audience. And I think other than having it really fun, which I'll let Mal talk about, the actual feature part... just find something that's really going to hit home and don't worry about spreading it too thin.

Bill Detwiler: And Mal, what about the fun part of this and the creativity?

Mal Leogrande: I like to think about how do we like to have fun? What makes you laugh? What makes you have a good time? And bring that to the table because if you're out there having fun, if you're passionate about your product, I strongly believe your audience will be, too. And if you're evangelical about your product, your audience will be, too. And I know that's a major tenant of Salesforce.

Bill Detwiler: Well, you both looked like you were having a lot of fun out there, so thank you all for watching.

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Dreamforce 2019 Mega Demo Jam

Image: Derek Poore/TechRepublic

By Bill Detwiler

Bill Detwiler is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the ...