Last year was my first SIGNAL event, and impressive as it was, this year’s was bigger and better. Twilio is on a roll for sure (transparency alert - I’m a happy shareholder - but that doesn’t color my take here), and being on home soil, this was a loud and proud gathering in San Francisco. It’s an understatement to say that things are just different here - for better or worse - and if you were going to build a successful business at scale from the bottom-up for today’s digital economy, it would look a lot like Twilio.
As I often do when these events wrap up and I’m about to fly home, I just have time now for some photo highlights while everything is still fresh. There’s lots more to talk about, and over the next few days, I’ll have a more reflective set of takeaways, so check back here soon.
If you believe bigger is better, this was the place to be. The event planning team clearly had a mandate to spend and make sure you couldn’t miss SIGNAL. But in this case, I think Twilio lived up to the buzz.
The seating area for analysts was off to the left, so not great for getting photos during the keynotes. Above, CEO Jeff Lawson bringing vision, energy and passion. This sure sounds like a guy you’d want to work for, esp if you get behind their mantra of “we can’t wait to see you build”. Jessica Popp updating us on Flex, and Christine Roberts talking about Verified by Twilio. I’ll have more to say on both of these soon.
“Papa Vic” - Jeff really nailed the importance of personal relationships talking about his grandfather, and connecting that to Twilio’s vision to create the same at scale with their technology. Erin Reilly, as she did last year, showcased Twilio’s commitment to social good, with great examples of how they bring communications to vulnerable people and make a big difference in their lives. Boost - Jeff giving yet another example of pervasive messaging has become, and clearly, Twilio is on to something here. Final picture - a really good panel session on email - and the risks around spoofing, spam, etc. The acquisition of SendGrid for email was very strategic, and it’s an important part of Twilio’s story.
Sensoneo demo - yet another layer to Twilio - IoT. This was a smart city application, mapping out all the waste bins across San Francisco, and thanks to sensors placed inside all the lids, the sanitation department gets a birds-eye view of which bins are full and need pickup. This helps optimize their routes, and they’ve 30% cost savings as a result - that’s a great use case. Later, a session on blocking robocalls - Twilio has a fix for that now. Then some fun onstage with rapper Macklemore, the performer for the big party last night. The hash #freemacklemore” quickly became a thing, but I think we’ve moved on now. Last shot - yes, it’s what you think. The party was held in a parking garage, retrofitted to an event space. Seemed strange at first, but very cool, and very Twilio. Can’t wait to see what they build for the next SIGNAL!