In this episode of SaaS Connect by Cloud Software Association, Jeff Gardner, head of platform partnerships at Intercom at the time of the recording, and now VP of product and partnerships at, shares Intercom’s journey making the transition from a product-first company to a platform-first company.

The following points are shared:

  • The problem with products, and the problem with platform-first companies.
  • Lessons learned from transitioning from a product-first to platform-first business:
    • Know your audience and serve them in the right order.
    • You can offer great apps but if your audience either doesn’t know about them or doesn’t know what value they offer, they will flop. Make improvements based on user feedback (once they educated their users, they experienced an upsurge in usage of about double).
    • It takes a lot of product thinking to get a platform right. You must understand the value it provides from a user’s point of view.
    • It’s not product or platform, it’s both. The competitive edge comes from the entire structure and how each thing connects with the other, and it is that which becomes difficult for any competitor to duplicate, unlike products alone.
  • Lessons for those wanting to improve their careers:
    • Know your audience. Focus on providing value to others first, before yourself.
    • Understand your goals and where you want to head to and then focus, instead of jumping around from one thing to another.
    • Build relationships.


This presentation is from a 2019 SaaS Conference.


Resources Mentioned:



Thank you to our amazing podcast team at Content Allies. Want to launch your own B2B revenue-generating podcasts? Contact them at