Jeff Lawson, developer turned CEO of Twilio (one of Bloomberg Businessweek's Top 50 Companies to Watch in 2021), creates a new playbook for unleashing the full potential of software developers in any organization, showing how to help management utilize this coveted and valuable workforce to enable growth, solve a wide range of business problems, and drive digital transformation.
From banking and retail to insurance and finance, every industry is turning digital, and every company needs the best software to win the hearts and minds of customers. The landscape has shifted from the classic build vs. buy question, to one of build vs. die. Companies have to get this right to survive. But how do they make this transition?
Software developers are sought after, highly paid, and desperately needed to compete in the modern, digital economy. Yet most companies treat them like digital factory workers without really understanding how to unleash their full potential. Lawson argues that developers are the creative workforce who can solve major business problems and create hit products for customers—not just grind through rote tasks. From Google and Amazon, to one-person online software companies—companies that bring software developers in as partners are winning. Lawson shows how leaders who build industry changing software products consistently do three things well. First, they understand why software developers matter more than ever. Second, they understand developers and know how to motivate them. And third, they invest in their developers' success.
As a software developer and public company CEO, Lawson uses his unique position to bridge the language and tools executives use with the unique culture of high performing, creative software developers. Ask Your Developer is a toolkit to help business leaders, product managers, technical leaders, software developers, and executives achieve their common goal—building great digital products and experiences.
How to compete in the digital economy? In short: Ask Your Developer.
About the Author
Jeff Lawson is a co-founder and CEO at Twilio. He is a serial inventor with over 15 years of entrepreneurial and product experience. Prior to co-founding Twilio, Jeff was Founder & CTO of NineStar, Founding CTO of Stubhub.com and Founder, CEO & CTO of Versity. He was also one of the original product managers for Amazon Web Services.
At every business, Jeff identified the fundamental need for a platform for developers and companies to easily build communications-based business solutions.
Jeff grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, started his first company in middle school, and earned his BS in Computer Science & Film/Video from University of Michigan.
"Jeff Lawson’s Ask Your Developer is the ultimate guide for creating a software developer culture that unlocks the passion, creativity, and empathy needed to build amazing products and succeed in the digital economy."
— Marc Benioff, chair and CEO of Salesforce
“Jeff shows business leaders at every level how to unlock growth and innovation while empowering their talent. Crisp and easy to read.”
— Padmasree Warrior, founder, CEO, and president of Fable Group Inc. and former CTO of Cisco
“Thank you, Jeff, for teaching both developers and business leaders how to speak the same language—this is going to smash so many misconceptions that get in the way of innovation.”
— Anil Dash, CEO of Glitch, entrepreneur, and writer
“Engineering is one of the most creative jobs in the world. Jeff’s Ask Your Developer philosophy is spot on—unleashing the creativity of developers is the key to innovation, no matter what industry you are in.”
— Werner Vogels, CTO of Amazon
“I’ve been studying culture in companies for a long time, and I’ve talked to hundreds of CEOs. What Jeff and the team have done is one of the most complete and thoughtful approaches to culture I’ve come across yet. Ask Your Developer is a must-read for any leader who is looking for a playbook from one of the most intentional CEOs I’ve interviewed.”
— Adam Bryant, coauthor of The CEO Test