Eoghan McCabe

Eoghan McCabe

CEO and Co-Founder at Intercom

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON March 27, 2018

Discussion

Eoghan McCabe
Eoghan McCabe@eoghanmccabe · CEO at Intercom
👋 I'm Eoghan. CEO and co-founder of Intercom, the first customer platform for internet businesses. Ask me almost anything!!! Update! We're done! Thank you so very much for all your great questions. ❤️
Ryan Hoover@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
Congrats on today's funding announcement, @eoghanmccabe. 👏🏼 What's more impressive is how you and the team have scaled over the past ~7 years. Most founders break once they reach a few hundred teammates. What have you done to grow as a leader? E.g. have you been seeing a CEO coach?
Eoghan McCabe
Eoghan McCabe@eoghanmccabe · CEO at Intercom
@rrhoover Thank you Ryan! ❤️ I'm afraid I have indeed broken a couple times… 😅 But have fortunately been able to learn and grow from these things. I do have an incredible coach who I've been seeing for 3 years. Having someone help me get to better know myself and gain an ever broader perspective has no less than changed my life.
Abadesi@abadesi · 👩🏽‍💻 Product Hunt | Hustle Crew | NTT
I'd love to hear more about how you approach recruitment and culture at Intercom. In past interviews you've mentioned how keeping a high hiring bar is hard when you grow, and earlier this year it was announced you're hiring for 350 more roles this year. What are the things you look for in candidates, what is Intercom's culture and how do you maintain it as you scale?
Eoghan McCabe
Eoghan McCabe@eoghanmccabe · CEO at Intercom
@abadesi Thank you for your question! 🙏 I think a genuine, authentic, passion for people has been one of the keys to our success here. We realized that people were not a means to our end, but honestly an aspect of the business we wanted to get right in and of itself. We used no tricks, tactics, and had no recruiting team less than 18 months ago!!! Which is insane to think of now. They are at least 20 people today and we'd be lost without them. Before then we hired by brute force, leveraging everyone in the company to use our values and their intuition to find the very best humans we could.
Eoghan McCabe
Eoghan McCabe@eoghanmccabe · CEO at Intercom
@abadesi In terms of what we look for… Put simply and broadly, we look for a mix of humility and kindness and wonder and passion and ambition and smarts and an ability to work hard and focus. Easy. 😉
Jason Crabtree
Jason Crabtree@jason_crabtree_ · Designer
@abadesi @eoghanmccabe appropriate emoji usage - how do you focus on those traits based on CVs and recruiting barriers like “x years in industry”? Is it still heavily network based or broader now?
Steven Wang
Steven Wang@swangswang · Realism co-founder
Hey Eoghan, how did you acquire your first 100 users?
Camilo Oliveira
Camilo Oliveira@camilo87 · UI Designer
@swangswang Hi Steven. @destraynor once published a post on Intercom's blog about this. It's a great post https://blog.intercom.com/how-in...
Khodl
Khodl@nathanaelkhodl · Bots + Dev + Travel + No Bullshit
Hi Eoghan! What's your roadmap with chatbots? How do you see the bots scene in the next 2-5 years?
Eoghan McCabe
Eoghan McCabe@eoghanmccabe · CEO at Intercom
@nathanaelkhodl 👋 Thanks for your question. We've got two big projects in the works now I'm suuuuuuper excited about. Our approach has always been to build modular technologies than can work together and can be mixed and matched in ways to uniquely suit our customers' business. One of these projects is highly programable, and designed to work with our new messenger, which is coming soon. The other is the opposite of programable, it leverages machine learning for its smarts. I hate being vague like this, but it'll be worth the wait.
Eoghan McCabe
Eoghan McCabe@eoghanmccabe · CEO at Intercom
@nathanaelkhodl With respect to the scene over the next 5 years. Bots which actually get used will go in two directions, I think. 1. Bots that are clearly bots that do highly repeatable, simple tasks for consumers. Like taking orders, sending updates on delivery statuses, etc. 2. Bots that are clearly bots that augment human interaction and sit in between their conversations. Most importantly, in both tracks, neither will pretend to be human, which of course will eventually come, just not in that timescale.
Sam Frampton
Sam Frampton@sam_frampton · Growth, 11FS
Do you have a growth team? If so, what department do they operate in, and what are there objectives/metric they pursue?
Avery Schrader
Avery Schrader@avery_schrader · CEO Makery.eu
Thanks for being here Eoghan! I'd love answers to these bad boys: - Whats your opinion on Influencer marketing? - In the beginning, what was intercoms strategy for B2B marketing? - Where do you hope Intercom will do in the next 10 years? Much love!
Sven van der Zee
Sven van der Zee@svenvdz · Founder AcceptCrypto
Hi Eoghan! Congrats on raising $125M, what's next?
Dimitar Toshkov
Dimitar Toshkov@dimitar_t · PMK Specialist
What is your number one advice for scaling marketing efforts on an international/global level, where there are many languages, preferences and players?
Shreya Bisht
Shreya Bisht@shreyabisht · Co-founder, DesignBids
Great news for intercom. We have been using intercom since 2 years (I think I once saw in on a website and immediately wanted it) Question - What growth hacks has intercom used that really helped you guys grow so rapidly?
Eoghan McCabe
Eoghan McCabe@eoghanmccabe · CEO at Intercom
@shreyabisht Thank you!!! 🙏 This answer sucks, but here goes… Sadly there are zero shortcuts or hacks for growth. We obsessed about the problems we solved for our customers, and fostered crazy passion in the company for building awesome product, and here we are, pretty much. I will say that if there is one thing we do that I don't see enough people doing is that we invest a TON of time and energy and money into sharing the things we learn with the world in the interest of building trust and genuinely helping make our customers more successful. If even in small ways. This has bred a lot of loyalty over the years, which goes a long, long way. Especially on the days we mess up. 😬
Shreya Bisht
Shreya Bisht@shreyabisht · Co-founder, DesignBids
@eoghanmccabe You are absolutely right on that. There were days (still are) where I felt quite stuck and so I would just start reading/listening to Intercom blog for hours and those podcasts motivated me a LOT - To this day I haven't found a startup that felt more authentic. and no, your answer didnt suck. I guess we should stop calling it growth HACKING and call it growth HAULING.
Abadesi@abadesi · 👩🏽‍💻 Product Hunt | Hustle Crew | NTT
Congrats on the funding news today 🎉 @eoghanmccabe, what about being a designer-founder gives you an advantage / edge over the competition?
Eoghan McCabe
Eoghan McCabe@eoghanmccabe · CEO at Intercom
@abadesi 👋Tnx! There are many types of CEOs. This type is great at giving annoying, nitpicky feedback to the other designers in the company. Kidding. Kind of. Certainly our space requires a ton of design innovation, so it helped orient us that way from the get go.
Landon Bennett
Landon Bennett@landonb32 · Co-founder, Ad Reform & Userfeed.io
Hi Eoghan! We're happy customers at Ad Reform, and we're currently building a seperate product built on top of Intercom's great APIs. How do you plan to use the funding to grow the dev platform side of the business, and what are the future plans for growing that community?
Eoghan McCabe
Eoghan McCabe@eoghanmccabe · CEO at Intercom
@landonb32 👋 Thank you for your question. THAT IS AWESOME!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you for investing in our eco system. I'm smiling! ☺️ Our platform strategy is key to our growth and we have something really cool we've been working on for a little while coming soon. When that comes out, you'll also start to see some efforts—which will be small and simple at first—to more directly invest in the community.
Landon Bennett
Landon Bennett@landonb32 · Co-founder, Ad Reform & Userfeed.io
@eoghanmccabe 🤩 Awesome! Sounds like a fund...
Dino Maric
Dino Maric@dixpac · ...
Hey Eoghan! Kudos for the Intercom, great platform. I'm curious why are you raising this much investment money? Are you afraid that company could go of-the-rails by introducing this many string attachments to the investors?
Eoghan McCabe
Eoghan McCabe@eoghanmccabe · CEO at Intercom
@dixpac 👋 Thanks for your question! We come from the bootstrap world, so we've always been super thoughtful about who we choose to take money from. And we've been insanely fortunate with the pool of folks who've been in the picture when it's come to raising more cash. Case in point, Mary Meeker with this round! To answer your question… Big companies with big costs burn big money. Especially when they are growing fast. But beyond that, we are still investing for the future. We're the opposite of some late stage company trying to ride out their early momentum and e.g. go public. We are still in our earliest of days, working hard to build great, new, market-first tech for our customers. We're in the process of doubling our research and development teams worldwide to do that. Great people are expensive, and rightly so!
Phil Wolff
Phil Wolff@evanwolf · product person
What about Intercom keeps you up at night?
Eoghan McCabe
Eoghan McCabe@eoghanmccabe · CEO at Intercom
@evanwolf 👋 Thanks for your question. Fortunately, I sleep like a baby. 👼 But, an actual answer to your actual question… We're playing in a very exciting and rapidly evolving space. We'll only deserve to continue to enjoy this kind of success if we can stay ahead of the game and be the best solutions to our customers' problems. So we need to continue to accelerate the pace at which we develop and ship cool new tech. It's exhilarating, but hard too.
Phil Wolff
Phil Wolff@evanwolf · product person
How might Brexit affect Intercom and its customers in the short term?
Phil Wolff
Phil Wolff@evanwolf · product person
Intercom handles oceans of sensitive information about your customers and for their customers. How have you been positioning for GDPR and the shift to personal control of personal data?
Phil Wolff
Phil Wolff@evanwolf · product person
How are you prioritizing the problems to apply NLP, ML, and other AI methods? Where are the sweet spots?
macarthy
macarthy@macarthy
Congrats Eoghan, I remember you as a high energy kid back in 2006 or so at the dublin ruby Meetups. Great to see another irish success !
Eoghan McCabe
Eoghan McCabe@eoghanmccabe · CEO at Intercom
@macarthy I R STILL A HIGH ENERGY KID. ❤️❤️❤️ Thanks for the good vibes. Hope you're well.
Jason Crabtree
Jason Crabtree@jason_crabtree_ · Designer
Intercoms products do a great job of covering lead capture, relationship management and customer support. (Hopefully that doesn’t drastically miss out too much!). What other parts of the customer lifecycle excite you? E.g things like billing, loyalty, customer success
Eoghan McCabe
Eoghan McCabe@eoghanmccabe · CEO at Intercom
@jason_crabtree_ 👋 Thank you! We could use different words to describe it, but that pretty much covers the full range of the lifecycle we cover and care about, from acquisition, to engagement, to retention. We've still only scratched the surface here, so we're just going to go ever deeper to solve problems here ever better. But I will say we're particularly excited about helping sales and marketing teams use messengers to better capture leads. We have a bunch of great, market-first stuff coming in this area soon.
Kris J. Barnes
Kris J. Barnes@kris_j_barnes · Head of Marketing, Nutrifix.co
What does that value the company at Eoghan?