TwilioCon 2013: Jeff Pulver and Mae Jemison Talk The Future of (Interstellar) Communications

Today’s TwilioCon Keynotes covered everything from launching new Twilio products, to the founding the first VoIP network, and interstellar communications. After Jeff Lawson’s keynote, VoIP pioneer Jeff Pulver and astronaut Mae Jemison took the stage.

Jeff Pulver: Unlocking New Avenues of Communication

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Jeff Pulver didn’t mean to found the first VoIP network, “it just happened accidentally,” he says. Jeff recalled teaching himself to use a HAM radio at age 9, and being hooked. “That first experience with the power of communication changed the track of my life.” Jeff then founded the first VoIP provider Free World DialUp in February of 1995 to bring that power and personal experience to everyone. This led him to found VoIP giant, Vonage, and now his newest venture Zula.

“I see the opportunity to disrupt is amazing, these are not just words, this is a reality.” Jeff concluded his keynote crediting his happy accident, founding Free World DialUp and for his success and saying “voice is an application that makes the world flat and completely programmable.”

Mae Jemison: Bringing Interstellar Communications Home

maejemisonMae Jemison grew up with a different mindset than most kids; she was dead certain she would make it to space. She was right.

Mae recalled a powerful thought she had while in interstellar orbit in NASA’s Space Shuttle Endeavour, “I belong anywhere in the universe I want to be,” she said. She was right again. After leaving NASA, Mae Jemison founded the Jemison Group and 100 Year Starship to pursue how interstellar communication can change the way we communicate on earth. “In 1960’s some people called drums the fastest form of communications. Going from drums to telephony is the similar gap between the internet and interstellar communications.”

We’ve got more talks and keynotes tomorrow. Stay tuned to our blog and check out the full schedule here.