A Successful Journey: Intercom Shares Lessons and Advice

Last Updated:Saturday, February 10, 2024

Recently valued at over $1 billion, customer messaging firm Intercom is one of Silicon Valley's fastest-growing businesses. Last year, its founders released their book Intercom on Starting Up to share lessons from their startup journey and give advice to early stage entrepreneurs.

intercom on starting up bookImage credit:Inside Intercom

Founded in 2011 by Irish engineers and designers David Barrett, Ciaran Lee, Eoghan McCabe, and Des Traynor, Intercom currently has more than 25,000 paying users in 117 countries.

The company offers messaging products for marketing, sales and customer service on one platform to help businesses build more personal connections with consumers. This tool currently powers about 500 million conversations per month and has historically seen the number of supported conversations double from one year to the next.

The four co-founders describe Intercom on Starting Up as a collection of lessons they have learned while building the company. The book is composed of highlights from over 600 articles they published between 2011 and 2017.

The authors hope this opinionated take on their experience will guide and inspire new startup founders. Over the course of nine chapters, they address questions they believe every company will have to answer as it grows, such as “What will you build? ”, “How will you build it?”, “Who should you hire?” or “How will you find your first customers?”.

Nine colorful images express the main idea of each chapter.


intercom on starting up book review
Image credit: Inside Intercom

The book focuses on examples of what has worked for Intercom and suggests how other companies can adapt these ideas to their own business model.  

Back in 2011, messaging applications and live chats with customers were not standard practice. In their efforts to make businesses more accessible to consumers, Intercom founders created the trend.

The messaging platform significantly changed the way people expected to communicate with brands. It didn't take long for similar products to appear on the market, however, Intercom is very much an industry leader.