One little-known fact about Silicon Valley darlings Uber and Airbnb (and many others) for lay folks is how little of the underlying tech platform they directly control, and how much is really hacked together cleverly using public APIs (application programme interface).

Uber uses Google Maps, Twilio (SMS notifications), SendGrid (e-mails), and Braintree (payments) to make the magic happen. Airbnb, too, uses SendGrid, Twilio, and Braintree.

Hacking (or cobbling) together the …

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