20VC: Why Being First Does Not Matter, Why Defensibility on Day 1 Does Not Exist, Three Core Elements To Move into Enterprise Effectively and What Makes Truly Great Product Marketing Today with Des Traynor, Co-Founder @ Intercom
Posted on 18th July 2022 by Harry
Des Traynor is a Co-founder and the Chief Strategy Officer of Intercom, the modern customer communications platform that unifies every aspect of the customer journey. To date, Intercom has raised over $238M from some of the best including Index, ICONIQ, Kleiner, GV, and Bessemer. As for Des, before co-founding Intercom, he was a UX consultant, a university lecturer in computer science, and also a Ph.D. researcher. Des is also a prolific angel investor with a portfolio including the likes of Stripe, Algolia, Notion, Miro, and many more.
In Today’s Episode We Discuss:
1.) Origins of Intercom:
How did Des make his way into the world of startups and come to co-found Intercom?
When did they realize they really had something with Intercom and had to focus on it?
What does Des know now that he wishes he had known at the start of Intercom?
2. Two of the Biggest Myths in Startups: Being First and Defensibility
Why does Des believe that being the first does not matter? Why is it not an advantage?
Why does Des believe that no company has defensibility on day 1? How does Des believe defensibility is built?
What does Des mean when he says, when investing in companies he looks for a “long road to the starting line”?
3.) Product 101: A Masterclass on Product:
How does Des answer the question of when to release a second product?
How should the second product be resourced? MVP and lean or full budget and committed?
What are the biggest mistakes people make when releasing a second product? What mistakes have Des and Intercom made when releasing new products?
How does Des advise founders on when to stop working on a product? How do you know when it is not working?
How does Des determine between a feature and a product both when building and when investing?
4.) Moving to Enterprise:
What does Des believe are the three core things all companies need to scale into the enterprise effectively? Which should they do first? Which is most challenging?
How does Des advise founders on when is the right time to move into the enterprise?
How does the product need to change to meet enterprise needs and requirements?
5.) The Makings of Great Product Marketing:
What does Des believe makes truly great product marketing? Who does it well today?
How does your product marketing need to change as you scale from SMB to enterprise?
If product marketing to both an end user and a separate buyer, which persona should one prioritise their messaging towards?
How does Des advise founders on product marketing when they have a horizontal product with a very broad customer base?
6.) Angel Investing 101: From Stripe to Miro to Notion:
Why does Des believe it is beneficial for operators to also be investing?
What are the biggest lessons Des has learned from angel investing?
How does Des approach both market sizing and outcome scenario planning today?
How price sensitive is Des today? How has that changed over time?
Item’s Mentioned in Today’s Episode with Des Traynor: