DiscoverInvest Like the Best with Patrick O'ShaughnessyDes Traynor - Real Talk about AI and Software - [Invest Like the Best, EP.340]
Des Traynor - Real Talk about AI and Software - [Invest Like the Best, EP.340]

Des Traynor - Real Talk about AI and Software - [Invest Like the Best, EP.340]

Update: 2023-08-081


My guest today is Des Traynor. Des is the co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Intercom - a customer service solution that helps businesses answer product questions, offer instant support, and automate sales. The business was founded in 2011 and its products operate within 25,000 businesses, including the likes of Amazon, Lyft and Atlassian. Our conversation is roughly split in half. First, we talk about AI and how it’s actually changing businesses like Intercom through products such as their OpenAI powered bot called Fin. We then talk about Des’s views as an investor, which includes an answer about software that I’ll remember for a long time. Please enjoy my conversation with Des Traynor.

Listen to Founders Podcast

Founders Episode 311: James Cameron

For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.


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Past guests include Tobi Lutke, Kevin Systrom, Mike Krieger, John Collison, Kat Cole, Marc Andreessen, Matthew Ball, Bill Gurley, Anu Hariharan, Ben Thompson, and many more.

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Show Notes

(00:03:42 ) - (First question) - Des's high level thoughts on Open AI and new technology

(00:07:07 ) - Advanced AI tech for existing businesses versus start-ups ventures 

(00:11:14 ) - Where Intercom falls on the spectrum of existing and new AI technology 

(00:13:16 ) - Training AI to be tailored to specific fields of work

(00:18:25 ) - The natural end point is for Intercom incorporating AI  

(00:22:25 ) - Des's product philosophy behind this technology

(00:24:03 ) - Choosing an AI provider that best suited his customer service industry needs

(00:26:55 ) - The value comparison between using AI-led customer service versus human

(00:29:18 ) - Why outsourcing automated data is not for everyone

(00:31:15 ) - Des's advice for other companies beginning to integrate AI into their operations  

(00:36:33 ) - What he is excited for as an investor in this area

(00:37:50 ) - The most common discussions he’s having about this technology

(00:41:21 ) - The inherent risks of using AI models that are not 100% accurate 

(00:45:10 ) - Des's evolution as an investor

(00:48:25 ) - How Intercom solved it’s AI execution problems

(00:50:46 ) - Combating other companies that are trying to overtake the field 

(00:53:44 ) - Counter arguments for using AI technology  

(00:57:22 ) - His view on the best software out there

(01:03:00 ) - The kindest thing anyone has ever done for him 

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Des Traynor - Real Talk about AI and Software - [Invest Like the Best, EP.340]

Des Traynor - Real Talk about AI and Software - [Invest Like the Best, EP.340]

Colossus | Investing & Business Podcasts