In what will be one of the first tech IPOs of the year, the cloud software company filed paperwork with the SEC yesterday, expressing its goal of raising as much as $100 million. It will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) with the ticker TWLO. In a letter included in the filing, Twilio CEO and cofounder Jeff Lawson turned to Star Trek to show how software will transform the way we communicate:
Think about it: in the fictional future, Star Trek communicators are perfectly useful—Captain Picard is never interrupted during a Red Alert by a tele-marketer. The dry cleaner never interrupts a Holodeck session to let him know his Starfleet uniform is ready to be picked up; yet when the Borg are approaching at warp speed, you better believe that contextually meaningful and relevant communication gets through with urgency. You’ll receive every communication that’s relevant to an important task at the right time, with context embedded within the communication. That’s because communication will be a function of that task, app or workflow—not a standalone activity. Picking up a phone to dial 10 digits and “make a call” will become as antiquated as “going online.” There is no going online anymore—the Internet just is. So is receiving your notification from a ride sharing service that your car is arriving—you don’t think of it as communication because it’s so seamless and obvious.