Des Traynor is the co-founder and chief strategy officer of Intercom, a company on a mission to make internet business personal. He launched Intercom in 2011 as the first to bring messaging for sales, marketing, and customer service to one platform – helping companies of all sizes grow faster by building personal relationships with customers. As the business grew, however, he encountered many problems associated with growth – namely, the bigger a company scales up, the farther away it moves from the skill set that made it successful initially. So, how did he do it?
5 Lessons Learned from Scaling a Company
Listen to Des’s story detailing his experience with startups and scaling up successfully. These are lessons that can be applied to any stage of a business’s lifecycle.
- During the founding stage, the wrong co-founders can cause your company to fail. Make sure to find people you’re aligned with and establish who does what early on.
- Your early hires will strongly influence the success of your company. As much as your co-founders, your early hires need to buy into what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and how you’re doing it.
- As your company grows beyond your co-founders and early hires, you’ll need to scale your teams. Beware of the epidemic of collaboration, common management mistakes, and dysfunctional teams.
- Managing performance is one of the hardest things to do. Ultimately, in a company, every individual is evaluated on their behavior and their impact. And all behavior scales.
- Great companies are composed of three ingredients: the people, the product and the profit. If you can get the people right, you’ll get the product; if you can get the product, you’ll get the profit.
The bottom line? If you analyze any problem for long enough, it ends up sounding like a people problem. That’s what Des has learned when scaling up Intercom. Plan your people strategy from the start (otherwise, any problem will end up being your problem).
Interested to hear Des Traynor talk at NBFSweden 2019? We’re sold out but you can access the broadcast live and on-demand with one of our Live Stream Passes.