“Even ahead of COVID, the market for companies who are undergoing digital transformation and who need to use digital technologies to compete and win in the modern economy was enormous,” says Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson. “COVID has been a tailwind to Twilio business but really is an acceleration of the trends that have gone on for the last 10 to 20 years as a result of digital transformation in nearly every kind of company.”
COVID Accelerated Digital Transformation
Even ahead of COVID, the market for companies who are undergoing digital transformation and who need to use digital technologies to compete and win in the modern economy was enormous. What COVID did is it accelerated many of the initiatives, many of the use cases, the things that companies needed to build to be competitive in this digital era were accelerated.
They were accelerated because of COVID, because of social distancing, work from home, and migrating a lot of these business processes to software and into the cloud and modernizing all of this. COVID has been a tailwind to Twilio business but really is an acceleration of the trends that have gone on for the last 10 to 20 years as a result of digital transformation in nearly every kind of company.
I’m Not Very Concerned About Microsoft
I’m not very concerned (about new competitors like Microsoft). It’s the same reason that (I wasn’t concerned) when Amazon started building products in the communication space or Facebook or Google or even Blackberry once announced that they were going to compete with Twilio. First of all, we’re no stranger to competition. This is a huge market. It’s no surprise that a wide variety of companies have products in the communications domain.
We compete by focusing on our customers, listening to what they need, and building differentiated APIs, a differentiated platform, and a differentiated super network. We’ve got a 12-year head start on anybody entering the space. The last thing I’ll add is that we are not a company that is very focused on competition. We’re focused on our customers. That focus has driven us for the last 12 years and has served us very well. We will continue to focus on the things our customers need in this enormous market and be able to take a lot of market share.
Digital-Native Companies Want APIs That Work
Strangely, I don’t think Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella wakes up every day thinking about Twilio. But we are also no stranger to pricing competition. In fact, that is how most companies have tried to compete with us through our 12-year history. They come in with an inferior product and they say we’re going to be cheaper. But it turns out that the biggest enterprises on the planet or digital-native companies, what they want are APIs that work, mature, scalable, and that work everywhere around the world.
We’ve invested a tremendous amount of time and money to build the leading platform out there and what we found is that customers value that. So we’re no stranger to people trying to undercut us on price. What we think and what we hear from our customers is that they want quality, they want reliability, and they want HIPAA compliance. They want all sorts of capabilities that let them power their business and that’s what we offer.
Low-Code, No-Code, and Yo-Code
Low-code is a really exciting area. There are three buckets. There’s low-code, no-code, and then yo-code for the people who love to write code, developers. We’ve got products really for that whole spectrum. The typical way a developer might build on top of Twilio is to write code and host it themselves. We have a Twilio Functions product that allows us to host the software for our customers. Then we have Twilio Studio which is a drag and drop designer for the non-developer to be able to build out sophisticated workflows like interactive voice response systems on top of Twilio.
We have embraced really all three of those categories of builders. We do believe that at every enterprise there is a large number of builders with different skill sets who are building the future of how those companies engage with their customers. We want to enable all those people to succeed on Twilio.