Building The Right Product & Pricing with Des Traynor, Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer @ — Escape Velocity Show #32

Being a venture funded SaaS founder is like walking into a casino to bet all of your employees’ salaries… every single day.

Your decision to make one choice over another — bet on red or black — can cost your company millions.

A few wrong bets can dry up your finances and run your company into the ground.

But a few consecutive right bets can leave your competition for dead and give you the lion’s share of the market.

I’m not a gambling man.

I never bet on chance. I bet on proven strategies. Only.

If you could make repeated strategic bets without losing, you could turn a small business into a massive company in barely a few years.

But how do you do that? How do you evaluate priorities and make the right decisions… Every. Single. Time?

Let’s ask Des Traynor.

Des is the co-founder of, a customer chat, and support application.

Hailing from Dublin Ireland (a city not exactly known for its tech industry), Intercom has supported multi-million-dollar businesses in Silicon Valley from the other side of the planet.

Des puts the success of his company down to their ability to choose the right things to say “No” to. He knows how to bet big and win.

I sat down to interview Des on the latest episode of the Escape Velocity Podcast, and… just wait until you hear this guy’s incredible strategic mind.

If you want to know how to win big with your company then you HAVE to tune in.

Once Des got up to speed, that Irish accent just took off and we got talking about:

  • How to divide and conquer (the 70 / 30 split)
  • How Intercom’s key product wasn’t intended to be sold
  • Why you shouldn’t fear your competition
  • Relationships between PMs, Design, and Engineering
  • RICE scores: Intercom’s framework to win big repeatedly
  • The Cocktail Recipe for Innovation
  • Drawing a line and nailing your niche
  • Why it pays to stop caring what people think of you

I’m an angel investor in Intercom.

I met Eoghan (pronounced ‘Owen’), the other Irish co-founder of Intercom at a conference years ago.

Eoghan showed me an early prototype of Intercom. I can tell you… I immediately got it.

I’ve worked the support tickets at my own companies for years and built lots of customer-management tech in the past.

When I first saw what they wanted to do with Intercom, I knew it was a winner and I invested.

It looks like I made a good bet…

In 2018, Intercom was valued at $1.275 BILLION.

Companies don’t soar that high without great leadership from a team that knows when to make the right bets.

You’re going to learn a TON from this interview with Des. Don’t miss this one. Get your headphones in and fire it up right here, right now.

P.S. Prefer audio? Subscribe to Escape Velocity directly on Apple Podcasts or Spotify and make sure to leave a rating and review if you find the show helpful.

Dan Martell has advised more startups than his hometown has people and teaches startup founders like you how to scale. (Get access to all my latest business hacks.) He previously created, raised venture funding for and successfully exited three tech companies: Spheric, Flowtown and You should follow him on twitter @danmartell for tweets that are actually awesome.

Originally published at on July 16, 2020.




I coach ambitious software founders | Award-winning angel investor / 5x founder with 3x exits | Speaker | Proud Father.

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Dan Martell

Dan Martell

I coach ambitious software founders | Award-winning angel investor / 5x founder with 3x exits | Speaker | Proud Father.

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