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At Startup Weekend, my team prototyped a project,called Wi-Fi Crowd, that involved SMS messaging.Years ago, we would have had to order specializedhardware and then learn how to code against thatplatform. Just taking delivery of the hardware wouldhave been difﬁcult in a 54-hour window. Then wewould have had to start testing at a small scale, and praythat our solution would scale up.Instead, our tech team tested Twilio (a cloud-basedprovider of telecom services, to handle all SMS trafﬁc)for free, found that it worked, and then bought anaccount for a more feature-rich service. By the time theevent was over, we had a working product to demo forthe panel of judges. Pretty sweet.