Is Twilio Making a Good Mistake?

Twilio C.E.O. dismisses BlackBerry’s new offering.

This week BlackBerry C.O.O. Marty Beard took to Inside BlackBerry to announce the new BBM Enterprise SDK which will allow enterprise to add the unparalleled BlackBerry messaging platform to their own apps. In this announcement, Beard compared BlackBerry’s new offering to the offerings of Twilio. While Twilio offers a similar service in terms of enterprise being able to plug their messaging offering in to their enterprise apps, BlackBerry’s offering provides ease of use and proven security which Twilio can’t match.

As Twilio was approaching their fourth quarter earnings call, Venture Beat reporter Ken Yeung took to Twitter asking if analysts would question Twilio about BlackBerry’s entrance into their domain. Marty Beard, showing the ‘feisty’ side which BlackBerry fans have come to love, replied with a simple, “They should”. And they did.

William Blair analyst Bhavan Suri asked “Have you seen any change in the competitive environment out here?” to which Twilio C.E.O. Jeff Lawson responded in a rather dismissive fashion “Really the answer is, no. We feel pretty good about our leadership position. We feel we’ve got to develop our mind share. We’ve got great products across many different product categories. And so, we are not seeing a change in the competitive environment out there, nothing we haven’t seen before.”

I think Jeff Lawson is making a mistake. I think he’s making a “Good Mistake”. I think it’s all too easy to dismiss BlackBerry due to their much publicized troubles in the mobile phone arena. However, those that took BlackBerry down that dark path of near failure are no longer with the company. BlackBerry is a whole new company under the charge of fierce leaders like C.E.O. John Chen and the aforementioned Marty Beard. This is not the BlackBerry of old. No, this BlackBerry has achieved a pivot no one would have thought possible, taking a hardware company which everyone thought was dead, and transforming it in to a software company which is now industry leading in it’s various endeavors.

Personally, I think Mr. Jeff Lawson needs to look at those other areas of BlackBerry business. Perhaps the Mobile Device Management segment of BlackBerry. There was another company that was quite dismissive of BlackBerry’s offerings. That company was Good Technology. Good Technology made a mistake in dismissing BlackBerry. We can now say that BlackBerry owned Good Technology, both literally and figuratively. While BlackBerry was still struggling and in the midst of the turnaround, and while Good Technology really should have been owning the MDM space, BlackBerry quite simply, beat Good, and acquired them.

If I was a shareholder in Twilio, I might be a little concerned at how easily the C.E.O. of the company dismissed BlackBerry’s arrival into their space. On the other hand, as a fan of BlackBerry, I’m happy to see Twilio making this “Good Mistake”.



BlackBerry Elite
Founder & Owner of UTB Blogs and UTB Geek.
When I’m not talking or writing about BlackBerry, you’ll find me using my BlackBerry.