The Great Creative Collaboration

The Great Creative Collaboration & How I used our Dev Org to Make it a Reality

This is something we have been excited about for a while, but it wasn’t until we were recording the most recent episode of Nerdforce (Nerdforce #15 – Analogies, Formula1 and King Lear’s Fool) that we got reinvigorated.  Dale Ziegler was talking to us about how much he enjoyed the Garbage Pail Kids we used as Business Cards at Dreamforce15.  That wasn’t an uncommon sentiment.  It may be hard to believe, but I think Nana and I had more fun handing them out than you had receiving them.  We want to build off that excitement by leveraging the nerdy doctrine to vigorously consume the things that you love and create more of what you love to consume.  We thought it would be fantastic if we could make Salesforce-centric trading cards that illuminated the hilarious caricatures of the Users we come into contact day after day.  The goal is to have a good number of these “Nerd Trail Kids” (NTK) to hand out at DF16.  This would really chalk some #SaaL points!NTK example

So here’s the deal.  Nana and I are creative people.  We could make some hilarious cards, but we would not be leveraging the Greater Creative Collaboration of the #AwesomeAdmin Community.  This collaboration is something that has drawn us toward the community and helped everyone to thrive.  We have something interesting and unique inside each and every one of us. This is your opportunity to contribute to the creation of something fun and exciting. Join the fun and give us your silliest ideas for Nerd Trail Kids. Make your mark and create something.

You – “Hey, I have a great Idea for a NTK!  But wait, I have no way sending you my idea that could be swiftly logged into the Nerdforce Dev Org.  I guess I will have to sit on this amazing idea… forever.”

Nerdforce John – “Never Fear, my Nerdy Friend!  We have an amazing tool just for this specific scenario!”

You – “That’s Crazy!  What are the odds that you would have something for my specific use case?”

Nerdforce John – “Actually, that part is very easy.  You see, as the author of this Blog Post, I can actually make you say anything I want. For Example, What are your top three Time Travel Movies?”

You – “Well, I would have to say that the ‘Back to the Future’ trilogy must be listed as well as ‘Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure’ & ’12 Monkeys’, but I believe honorable mention should go to ‘Peggy Sue got Married’.”

Nerdforce John – “How about that?!! You didn’t realize you had such great taste in Time Travel Cinema, did you…”

Alright, enough goofing around.  What I built is a Web-to-Lead form that creates a Lead and converts that lead into an NTK Record in the Nerdforce Dev Org.  It also posts something to Chatter so Nana and I can see all the amazing ideas flow right into Nerdforce.  Directly below, you will find a form where you can enter your NTK idea.  Then below that, you can read about the steps we took to build this amazing tool.  Perhaps it will inspire you to build something amazing yourself.

Use this form to send us your great Nerd Trail Kid ideas.  If you don’t have one at this moment, no worries, this form will live on the Nerdforce Website.  You can find it on the right hand menu.  We would be honored to build something amazing with you.

Alright.  Now let’s get to the How.  If you already listened to Nerdforce #15, you heard us layout some of the basics to this plan.  Nana also did some leg work and found a Blog Post by Mr. Geoffrey Flynn called Web to Anything Form using Process Builder. Geoffrey has a great amount of little tricks to make your orgs do back flips on command, so make sure to visit his blog, Exploited Dev Orgs.

Once you see how simple this is, I’m sure you’ll come up with a number of ways to do it differently.  The basic components are a Custom Object, Process Builder to Create said Custom Object from a New Lead & Web-to-Lead.

First things First.  We built a Custom Object (Nerd Trail Kid) to track the different ideas.  This is a super basic custom object.  We are tracking the NTK Name, Description and Potential Twin.  We also track where the ideas originated so we can give credit where credit’s due.  This is really just a bunch of Text Fields.  If we wanted to get fancy, we could add in an image field so we could display the most recent image idea, but space is limited on these Dev orgs.  Looking at the picture below, I see now that I should enable Chatter for this object so we could hold a conversation around each submission.

NTK Record

Next thing I did was add a new picklist option to field: Lead Source (on the Lead object), called NerdTrailKid.  Then I built a Process that created a new NTK record when a new Lead was created with the Lead Source as NerdTrailKid.

I bet most of you see where I am going here.  I told you this was pretty straight forward.  There is something thrilling about accomplishing an objective that is brand new to your experiences; such as completely sanding and re-staining a swing set or fixing an NES controller by scraping out gummy milk curds or successfully implementing a Web-to-CustomObject form.

Sorry, I got ahead of myself.  Here are the basic components of my Process.

Object: Lead

Only when a record is created.


Conditions are met – LeadSource = Picklist, NerdTrailKid


Create New Record – Nerd Trail Kid

Map my 6 NTK fields to 6 corresponding Lead fields.  I had to create one new field on the Lead object, but used existing fields predominantly.

Post to Chatter:

You can post to a User, Chatter Group or the Triggering record.  I posted to a user (myself) to ensure I would see it.  Write whatever you want here but let me give you a little trick I learned from a Success Community phenome, Rakesh Gupta.  This link (Success Community Banter) will show you how to @Mention a related user in a chatter post. I should have asked this as a Question to give him proper credit, but I was mostly thinking out loud when I first posted it.  Either case, thanks Rakesh!

The Web-to-Lead form was a bit fishier.  I had done one before, but I set it up over three years ago and hadn’t returned to it since.  So what do you do when you need a refresher?  To the Inter-Webs!!!!  There a ton of blog posts and videos if you just google “Web-to-Lead”, but I stopped scrolling when I came across a page from Mr. Shell Black.  If you haven’t encountered him in your Salesforce Studies, it’s about time you did.  He is a cross between the Ken Jennings and Bill Nye of the Salesforce world; absolutely brilliant.

Let’s get back on topic, this was fishy only because I was attempting to add the Web-to-Lead form to my WordPress Site.  I couldn’t get the form to work.  Visually it looked great but the “Submit” button did nothing.  I found a WordPress plugin called WordPress-to-Lead for Salesforce CRM.   If you bloggers out there didn’t know about it already, it totally comes in handy.

So there you have it.  Not everyone has a good use case for a Web-to-CustomObject form.  But if you understand the possibilities that can be achieved through your Salesforce Org, then perhaps you will get that strike of creative lightning.  On the matter of creativity, I implore you to indulge on the things that you love.  Make your mark on this world by creating something.  Join the Great Creative Collaboration and submit your ideas on the Nerd Trail Kids.  As a matter of fact, if you have ANY creative idea and want to bounce them around, Nana and I are always down to play catch.  Whatever you do, make something bigger than yourself.

Thanks for reading!