Want to learn the best business insights from remarkable speakers at Slush 2023, but don’t have the time to watch the full speeches on YouTube?
You’ve come to the right place. Below is a summary of a speech by Des Traynor, co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Intercom.
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<p class="h1-rich">🤏 TL;DR</p>
The tech industry experienced growth and success in 2021, but is facing challenges in 2022 and 2023. Startups are advised to analyze their revenue, eliminate unnecessary complexity, optimize healthy revenue, and consider the potential of AI. Action items include identifying healthy revenue, simplifying the business, analyzing customer behavior, and exploring AI opportunities.
<p class="h1-rich">✨ Summary</p>
Reigniting Growth in the Tech Industry
- The speaker discusses the growth and success of the tech industry in 2021, with increased VC investments, more unicorns, and mega rounds.
- However, the speaker highlights the challenges faced by the industry in 2022 and 2023, including disappearing deals, fading unicorns, and vanishing IPOs.
- The speaker emphasizes the need for tech companies to confront the brutal reality and work towards reigniting growth.
Working Out What Part of the Company is Working
- The speaker advises startups to analyze their revenue and identify what part of their business is healthy and what part is not.
- Startups are encouraged to focus on their best customers who can be sustainably acquired, deeply use the product, and get differentiated value.
- Important questions to ask include analyzing the cost of acquisition, depth of the channel, usage of the product, and differentiation from competitors.
Cutting Complexity Out of Businesses
- The speaker highlights the negative impact of complexity on a healthy business and advises startups to eliminate unnecessary complexity.
- Complexity can arise from adding too many features, creating complex landing pages, pitches, sign-up flows, UI, org charts, and processes.
- Startups are encouraged to simplify their businesses and focus on the main thing that keeps the main thing the main thing.
Optimizing a Healthy Business
- Once a healthy business is identified, startups should optimize it by understanding their customers' verticals, teams, usage patterns, and preferences.
- Important considerations include building a complete platform, perfecting the product for the target customers, and aligning metrics and dashboards with the successful parts of the business.
- Startups should prioritize the most important tasks and eliminate activities that don't support the strategy.
Strategies for Growing the Business
- The speaker presents four choices for growing a current healthy business: selling to larger companies, selling more products to current buyers, selling to different buyers within the same company, and tailoring the business for a new vertical.
- Each choice comes with its own benefits and challenges, such as building new features, adapting to different markets, and managing multiple product lines.
- Startups are advised to consider their roadmap and the competition in order to make strategic decisions for growth.
The Impact of AI on the Software Industry
- The speaker emphasizes that AI is a game changer that will affect every aspect of the software industry.
- AI has the potential to replace many existing tools and absorb them into a central intelligence, simplifying user interactions and workflows.
- Examples of AI applications include designing email newsletters, automating customer support, and generating ad visuals.
Adapting to the AI Era
- The speaker encourages businesses to adapt to the AI era by considering how AI can make their products quicker, faster, easier, or more accessible.
- Businesses should evaluate the relevance of chat UI and explore new features and workflows that AI can enable.
- Adoption and timing are important factors to consider, as being too early or too late can impact success in the AI arms race.