Lenny's Newsletter
Lenny's Podcast: Product | Growth | Career
What AI means for your product strategy | Paul Adams (CPO of Intercom)
What AI means for your product strategy | Paul Adams (CPO of Intercom)

Brought to you by Eppo—Run reliable, impactful experiments | Hex—Helping teams ask and answer data questions by working together | HelpBar by Chameleon—The free in-app universal search solution built for SaaS

Paul Adams is the longtime chief product officer at Intercom, where he leads the product management, product design, data science, and research teams. Before Intercom, Paul was the global head of brand design at Facebook, a senior user researcher at Google, and a product designer at Dyson. He’s also a best-selling author, a podcast host, and a public speaker. In today’s episode, we discuss:
• Practical advice on integrating AI into your organization
• Tips and tools for learning AI as a PM
• Hilarious stories from Google and Facebook
• How to build conviction with skeptical coworkers
• Lessons learned from pricing at Intercom
• How Intercom implemented JTBD

Listen now on Apple, Spotify, Overcast, and YouTube.

Find the full transcript at: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/what-ai-means-for-your-product-strategy-paul-adams-cpo-of-intercom/

Where to find Paul Adams:

• X: https://twitter.com/Padday

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/pauladams/

Where to find Lenny:

• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

• X: https://twitter.com/lennysan

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

In this episode, we cover:

(00:00) Paul’s background

(04:09) Freezing onstage in front of 8,000 people

(07:28) Insights from Google+ days

(12:31) Learning from failure

(13:56) Intercom’s “ship fast, ship early, ship often” principle

(15:17) Integrating AI into product strategy

(17:31) Making time for AI learning

(19:37) AI in new-product development

(21:16) Questions to ask about your product

(23:33) How Intercom pivoted after the release of ChatGPT

(25:13) Intercom’s AI chatbot, Fin 

(26:45) The early impact of AI adoption at Intercom

(28:53) Capabilities of AI

(34:27) How to structure teams around AI products

(37:57) Why all teams should be involved in AI

(39:04) Staying up to date on emerging technology

(42:44) Hurdles implementing AI at Intercom

(45:52) Building conviction around AI

(49:52) Why you shouldn’t fear AI

(50:56) Paul’s “before-after” framework

(51:54) Pricing lessons from Intercom

(54:54) Paul’s “differentiation vs. table stakes” framework

(59:22) What “swinging the pendulum” means and examples from Intercom

(1:05:21) Paul’s “product market story fit” framework

(1:08:23) His take on JTBD

(1:11:01) How Intercom uses the “four forces” framework

(1:12:54) Lightning round


• Intercom: https://www.intercom.com/

• The New ChatGPT Can “See” and “Talk.” Here’s What It’s Like: https://www.nytimes.com/2023/09/27/technology/new-chatgpt-can-see-hear.html

• Fergal Reid on X: https://twitter.com/fergal_reid

• Intercom’s AI chatbot, Fin: https://www.intercom.com/drlp/fin

• Mark Zuckerberg: First Interview in the Metaverse | Lex Fridman Podcast #398: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVYrJJNdrEg

Black Mirror “Joan Is Awful” episode: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt20247352/

Mission: Impossible on Prime Video: https://www.amazon.com/Mission-Impossible-Tom-Cruise/dp/B000X4IRE4

• Anthropic: https://www.anthropic.com/

• Claude: https://claude.ai/

• Matt Rickard’s newsletter: https://substack.com/@mattrickard

• OpenAI’s blog: https://openai.com/blog

• The Rundown AI newsletter: https://www.therundown.ai/

• Exponential View newsletter: https://www.exponentialview.co/

• Google Bard: https://bard.google.com/

• Rewind: https://www.rewind.ai/

• The Three Horizons Framework: https://medium.com/fact-of-the-day-1/the-three-horizons-framework-9d7ac0fbea21

• Sam Altman on X: https://twitter.com/sama

• Tableau: https://www.tableau.com/

• Kano model: https://www.productplan.com/glossary/kano-model/

• The ultimate guide to JTBD | Bob Moesta (co-creator of the framework): https://www.lennyspodcast.com/the-ultimate-guide-to-jtbd-bob-moesta-co-creator-of-the-framework/

• Hot takes and techno-optimism from tech’s top power couple | Sriram and Aarthi: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/hot-takes-and-techno-optimism-from-techs-top-power-couple-sriram-and-aarthi/

• Outcome-Driven Innovation: JTBD Theory in Practice: https://jobs-to-be-done.com/outcome-driven-innovation-odi-is-jobs-to-be-done-theory-in-practice-2944c6ebc40e

• The Four Forces Framework: https://thefourforces.com/four-forces-framework/

It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be: https://www.amazon.com/Its-Not-How-Good-Want/dp/0714843377/

Principles: Life and Work: https://www.amazon.com/Principles-Life-Work-Ray-Dalio/dp/1501124021

The Bear on Hulu: https://www.hulu.com/series/the-bear-05eb6a8e-90ed-4947-8c0b-e6536cbddd5f

• “Terry (Olivia Colman) and Richie peel mushrooms” scene from The Bear: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7D8THR_osU

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change: https://www.amazon.com/Habits-Highly-Effective-People-Powerful/dp/0743269519

• Guinness: https://www.guinness.com/

Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.

Lenny may be an investor in the companies discussed.

Lenny's Newsletter

Lenny's Podcast: Product | Growth | Career

Interviews with world-class product leaders and growth experts to uncover concrete, actionable, and tactical advice to help you build, launch, and grow your own product.