Business in Focus: Hubspot

A closer look at companies executing leadership excellence

Brian Halligan was vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard in 2006, weighing the pros and cons of launching Hubspot.  “One day,” according to Halligan, “I’m looking at a book of cartoons from The New Yorker, and the first cartoon I open to shows this dog who’s just sitting at a computer on the Internet. A second dog is looking over his shoulder, like, what the heck are you doing on the Internet? And the dog on the Internet looks at the other guy and says, ‘You know, the great thing about the Internet is nobody knows you’re a dog.’”

Today, the company provides one-stop-shop tools for customer relationship management, social media marketing, content management, lead generation, web analytics, search engine optimization, live chat, and customer support. Hubspot’s nearly 4,000 employees support over 73,000 customers with annual revenue of over $674 million.

This remarkable growth has been achieved by being culture forward.  Several years ago, Hubspot published a public beta of the HubSpot Culture Code slide deck. This deck started out as an internal document, and as a company who values transparency, they decided to share it with the world. Like HubSpot, the Culture Code is a perpetual “work in progress.”  To date, it’s been updated more than 25 times with more than 5 million views.

Here are the highlights:

  • Culture is to recruiting as product is to marketing.
  • Whether you like it or not, you’re going to have a culture. Why not make it one you love?
  • Solve For The Customer — not just their happiness, but also their success.
  • Power is now gained by sharing knowledge, not hoarding it.
  • “Sunlight is the best disinfectant.” -Louis Brandeis
  • HubSpot has a no-door policy, where everyone has access to anyone in the company.
  • You shouldn’t penalize the many for the mistakes of the few.
  • Results should matter more than when or where they are produced.
  • Influence should be independent of hierarchy.
  • Great people want direction on where they’re going — not directions on how to get there.
  • “Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.”
  • We’d rather be failing frequently than never trying.

Kudos to Hubspot for putting culture first.  You can download Hubspot’s free Company Culture Cookbook here.



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