Can’t remember the last conference that hit the ground running with intensity, passion and creativity - and stayed there end to end. That’s been the vibe here, certainly for the general sessions on both days. It was enough just to keep up taking notes and posting some pix on social, and for now, I’ll be short, just like my Day 1 post. I need to digest and recover from two weeks of steady travel, but my considered thoughts will be coming soon. Until then, some Day 2 pix.
First, there is a really strong vibe here, not just for being socially conscious, but for social justice. For left-leaning liberals, Twilio is your kind of culture - Trump not spoken here. This was best exemplified by Erin Reilly, their VP of Social Impact and GM of Twilio.org. They’re not just talking about this stuff, but they’re doing a lot about it. Check our her “I am a Voter” t-shirt (worn by other Twilio speakers, including Jeff Lawson), and her social experiment with texting to see how many in the audience agree with her - love it. They’re also using their messaging platform to help people in need, especially the disadvantaged, like those subject to racial profiling or immigrants facing deportation. Pretty strong, but inspiring stuff.
On the fun side, SIGNAL did not lack for star power and cutting edge technology. First, Tony Hawk, who sure has inspired a few generations of skateboarders. He’s a legend, but not that recognizeable, so the running joke is that people think he looks like Tony Hawk - check out this tweet that shows what he’s talking about - hah! Then we had the creators of West World, Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan - cool. Even cooler, we were treated to an amazing “performance” by OK Go. I would need a whole post to break down all the things they did, but let’s just say, as developers, they mixed technology and music in a really creative manner that involved all of us, and all of our mobile devices. Tough act to follow!
Finally, magic was a big theme at SIGNAL, beginning with a cool demo from a magician who made the mobile phones of two strangers call each other simply by touching their index fingers together. Pretty impressive way to show the power of human connection, and there was more magic to follow. Now, check this out - CEO Jeff Lawson wearing the AR/VR goggles and doing a demo with Magic Leap. In the third photo, he’s doing a virtual chat with Magic Leap’s Rony Abovitz. The two avatars are chatting and interacting in real time, while Jeff and Rony are speaking from different physical locations. Jeff says this is the first time an avatar chat has EVER been done in real time in front of an audience. Aren’t we special, and isn’t that some kind of magic?