Twilio: Jeff Lawson

When Jeff Lawson co-founded Twilio in 2008, he had already been through a series of start-ups. Some succeeded, others fizzled out—but each provided insights that led him to build one of the most extensive communication platforms in business. Fueled by his frustration juggling customer calls while trying to run a surf and skate store in LA, Lawson realized he could use his coding skills and knowledge of cloud computing to help companies connect with customers. Twilio’s early communications technology quickly gained traction with developers at other start-ups like Uber, which used it to text riders that their car had arrived. Despite early skepticism from investors, Twilio eventually grew into a $4 billion business, with customers like Nike, Toyota, OpenAI, and Airbnb. 

This episode was produced by Kira Wakeam, with music by Ramtin Arablouei

Edited by Neva Grant, with research help from Sam Paulson.

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