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Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson explains why Uber scaled back its use of the platform

Scott Carey | Sept. 26, 2017
The recently public company has had to contend with losing 8 percent of its total revenue from its biggest customer Uber, but CEO Jeff Lawson is planning for the long term.

Lawson was adamant that he doesn't let Wall Street get him down though: "In any short period of time there is a lot of noise and puts and takes to your stock price, both about Twilio and not about Twilio in the macroeconomic sense, so you just have to ignore those in the short term.

"In the long term we get value based on the performance of the company and that comes down to the core of the business: customers, product and team. Those three things dictate if we build a great business that gets more valuable over time.

"Ultimately we are building the business for the long term around customers that make up our base revenue not just the one."

 

Twilio Studio

Lawson was in London to announce its latest product, a code-free platform called Studio which promises to save developers time by allowing non-technical staff to build and tweak communications solutions like interactive voice response (IVR) systems, chatbots or a notification system.

Speaking about Studio, Lawson said: "We are always asking ourselves how to give customers the flexibility of Twilio but faster than they did yesterday. One of the ways we thought about it was that a lot of the code you write is probably boilerplate, so the basic stuff should be easy so let the developer focus on the unique stuff that matters like custom integrations or the special sauce of that particular company.

"Why should you have to cut a JIRA ticket every time a marketer wants to change it? Or changing basic flows to A/B test? That's where the vision for Studio was born."

 

Ask your developer

The traditionally developer-centric company is sticking to its guns in terms of its approach to the enterprise, with Lawson's current go-to line being "ask your developer" when it comes to solving customer communication issues within an organisation.

"In companies of all sizes this notion of 'ask your developer' is working," he said. "We just want the developer to get how Twilio works, because one day at work you're going to see a business problem, and eventually every business needs to talk to their customers, and when that happens, the developer will be able to say 'I know how to solve that, it's Twilio'."

 

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