You may know what it’s like to use the Twilio API. You may even know a Twilio employee or three. But what’s it really like to BE a Twilion?
For me, it’s been an intense couple of months. I relocated my family from Texas to California for this new role at Twilio, so this wasn’t a decision to make lightly. I had to believe in the company’s people and the company’s product. While I’m still learning about both, I continue to find them equally intriguing and downright impressive. In fact, it’s one of the most tightly knit groups of people I’ve ever seen.
And I also learned that because of the massive growth and hiring, no one’s Twilio experience is quite the same as anyone else’s. From engineering to sales, marketing and operations, each team has its own culture. We all have the same perks and many of the same …
Last weekend we teamed up with the Syracuse Student Sandbox, a student accelerator program, for a weekend-long hackathon. The hacks and teams were of unprecedented caliber, including the team behind the app BeerText.Us. Doug Crescenzi, Ross Lazerowitz and Carter Yagemann built this app for brew lovers and in 72 hours they grew to thousands of users with national news headlines among other tech blog stardom.
After hit with the initial traffic boom the team had to take community feedback and quickly iterate to scale. The following is the story of how BeerText.Us came to be, written by the team who built it.
BeerText.Us: 10 hours of hacking with Twilio, thousands of users to follow
Getting ready to fire up your barby this 4th of July? Good, because we’d like to take this opportunity to tell you about what gets Twilio NYC fired up–mentoring the next generation of great hackers with the Mozilla Summer Code Party.
The party kicked off with intros by Rebecca from CoderDojoNYC. After some explanation on how the web works, and some HTML demos, worksheets were handed out and everyone was taught to use Mozilla Thimble to create their websites, …
Datalot pioneers the real-time auction and distribution of phone leads using the Twilio API
A veteran of Internet advertising, Josh Reznick became intimately familiar with all manner of digital measurement when he founded his first online marketing company a decade ago. After selling that company, Reznick realized that in spite of all the innovation that had occurred with search and display advertising, there was still an enormous amount of friction in the process of transforming a person who clicked on an ad into a paying customer, especially when the product or service required some human interaction or a longer sales cycle.
In 2009, Reznick decided to found Datalot to remove that friction. He had a vision of combining the online marketing channel with the phone channel so that the information that was gathered about people while they were online wouldn’t be lost when they picked up the phone. Reznick’s goal …
National brands get tools they need to show up in local searches and close deals for local franchises and affiliates
For more than a decade, national advertisers have approached the web as if location didn’t matter. They invested in a URL, built the best-looking and most useful websites they could, signed up for search advertising and mastered the art of search engine optimization.
This approach worked for years. But then people began switching from PCs to mobile devices. Increasingly, they made mobile search and social networking part of their shopping habits. And they grew savvier about paid search. According to a recent study by comScore, 60 percent of local business searchers don’t believe paid results are trustworthy or believable.
For national advertisers, these shifts in consumer behavior meant trouble. While big brands continued to reach shoppers when they were at the beginning of the buying process, they weren’t connecting when …
Election season is upon us! As we inch ever closer to the voting booth this November we’ve already begun to see a large number of civic-focused apps, to help inform, educate and empower citizens. Just a couple of days ago, at the Personal Democracy Forum in NYC, members of the Sunlight Foundation took the stage to announce two new, very exciting, Twilio powered apps to the public and I was lucky enough to have a front row seat for the unveiling.
The Sunlight Foundation is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization that uses the power of the Internet to catalyze greater government openness and transparency, and provides new tools and resources for media and citizens, alike. Two new tools they’ve debuted at PDF are Scout and Call on Congress. Scout makes it easy to stay on top of what’s happening in government. The app provides a search and alert service to …
How a successful startup satisfied its hunger for more mobile app installs
Belly, a Chicago-based startup that offers a unique customer-loyalty program, was doing well. In just eight months, it had signed up more than 200,000 users and expanded coast to coast, thanks to a quirky set of rewards and an engaging mobile app. The company had also attracted more than $12 million in venture backing from Lightbank, Silicon Valley Bank and Andreessen Horowitz.
But the management team wasn’t satisfied.
“We wanted to make the most of the traffic that was coming to the Belly website,” said Craig Ulliott, the chief technology officer. If a customer signed up for Belly’s program but didn’t install the mobile app, he or she would have a hard time finding Belly merchants and participating in the program. That represented a potentially lost opportunity in a highly competitive market.
Matthew Brown, the founder of ThatsUs.com, became an early believer in cloud communications after helping hundreds of firms set up local telephone exchanges. The experience helped him appreciate the efficiencies that could be gained from accessing telephone networks through a web API rather than with physical hardware and on-premises software.
But Brown’s initial experience with apps that promised communications as a service was disappointing. He wanted to add a full communications solution to LotVantage, an app that made it easy for auto dealers to create a single listing and post it to multiple sites, like Backpage.com, Craigslist, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other classified and social marketing sites. But the services Brown tried weren’t reliable and lacked the functionality he needed to ultimately offer a full communications product to both the end user and consumer interested in these advertised goods.
One of Brown’s board …
Jonathan Ozeran spent several years helping the Fortune 1000 and other organizations with the design and development of mobile app solutions before joining RECSOLU as vice president of product and mobile. Last September he spoke about Twilio and Enterprise Mobility at the inaugural TwilioCon, which you can watch now on Vimeo.
Jonathan sat down with Twilio to talk about some of the challenges those companies face joining the mobile revolution, read the in-depth interview below.
What was the thing that surprised you most about working with Fortune 1000 companies?
In talking, consulting and partnering with enterprise organizations on mobile technologies, I was most surprised by the hesitation and lack of clear vision about how and even whether to make use of mobile devices to achieve business objectives. In some cases, I observed IT blockades where product and business leaders struggled to initiate a development project simply …
When Eric Rockenbach sat down this spring to add an interactive voice response system to an automated trading platform, he was in for a pleasant surprise.
His goal was to use the Twilio API to send out alerts, for example, if a trading position reached a certain size or there was an unexpected drawdown in capital. He also wanted to create a second set of alerts to monitor any changes in the trading engine.
Rockenbach, the founder of logixTrade who has also authored technical books, estimated it
would take him about two weeks to create the robust, fail-proof alerts he needed, without adding the dimension of user input. Instead, it took him just two days. “Using Twilio is absolutely amazingly easy,” he said.
The new Interactive Voice Response System (IVR) lets a user respond to the alerts. …