We share freely and widely; we need strong reasons not to share. “Everything is out there on the Wiki.” “Sunshine is the best disinfectant.”We are open and approachable, and we exercise a “no politics” approach to interacting.“There are ‘no moats in the castle.’ We don’t have an open-door policy, we have a NO door policy.”“There are few questions we won’t answer; whether it is right, wrong or different, it is.”We share financials and encourage awareness of key business drivers.We are honest, realistic and own up to mistakes; we have hard conversations with ourselves and others including customers.We believe remarkable solutions to difficult problems can come from anywhere. We encourage everyone to make contributions.While the Wiki is the most often cited example of transparency at HubSpot, several cautioned: It is becoming big and unwieldy – difficult to navigate and search Newcomers rarely participate – the same folks are on it and those folks are “higher level” Sales doesn’t use it – Caution against that being the primary vehicle of communicationThe level of unfilteredness is refreshing and powerful.”
Experimentation:We question conventional wisdom, and we seek innovative ways to disrupt the status quo. “If the world goes one way, we go another.”We embrace change and thrive on change. We get uncomfortable when things don’t change.We believe change is constant and offers opportunity for innovation, creativity and experimentation.We experiment constantly because “the next brilliant thing is something untried.”We share a sense at HubSpot that we will never be done – we are in an ongoing process of continuous learning, experimentation and evolving.“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect.” Mark TwainThis one is tricky – should it be named Change, Innovation, Experimentation, Creativity, Entrepreneurial? Different wording used to express similar sentimentsConcerns – “could be better at having salespeople gin up some experiments”Similar in feel to Netflix’s Innovation – You re-conceptualize issues to discover practical solutions to hard problems You challenge prevailing assumptions when warranted, and suggest better approaches You create new ideas that prove useful You keep us nimble by minimizing complexity and finding time to simplify
We believe that if you are in love with the final product you have taken too long – we release before we are ready and then focus on learning and improving.Perfection is the enemy of the good.We get in trouble when people fall in love with their experiments
The HubSpot Way A Living Guidebook For Potential & Current Employees Version: Beta Feb 28, 2010 Brian Halligan @bhalligan
The HubSpot Way Our Mission People HubSpotter Grader (i.e. Our Values) Hiring Pay and promotion Location New ways of working Extreme experimentation Agile Scrum No door policy Wiki HubSpot TV Trust HubSpot Fellows Program 2
Our Mission Our mission isn’t just happy talk. We are building a company that will…. 3
Transform How The World Does Marketing Our Mission
The HubSpot Way Our Mission People HubSpotter Grader (i.e. Our Values) Hiring Pay and promotion Location New ways of working Extreme experimentation Agile Scrum No door policy Wiki HubSpot TV Trust HubSpot Fellows Program 5
People When surveyed, our employees told us their favorite thing about HubSpot is other HubSpotters! To ensure we hire the right people and develop the right things, we set out to define our values, hire for them, and review based on them. 6
We are “digital citizens.” We live and breathe inbound marketing. We try to be on the “bleeding edge” of ideas and trends in internet + marketing. We believe that the way people learn/shop has changed and that the marketing industry needs to transform to catch-up. 8 Inbound Marketer HubSpotter Grader
We live by Edwards Deming’s quote: “In God we trust, all others bring data.” We behave more like a B2C company (i.e. Amazon, eBay) than a B2B company (i.e. Oracle, IBM) We yearn for counter-intuitive insights derived from analyzing data. 9 Awesomely Analytical HubSpotter Grader
We believe “sunshine is the best disinfectant.” We don’t wear “rose colored glasses.” We strive to be open and approachable. We exercise a “no politics” approach to interacting with colleagues and customers. We share freely and widely. We voice opinions and share relevant information. 10 Totally Transparent HubSpotter Grader
We embrace and thrive on change. We seek opportunities to learn and do so rapidly. We challenge conventional wisdom and seek innovative ways to disrupt the status quo when warranted. We champion, design and execute value-enhancing experiments. We agree with Mark Twain, “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, its time to pause and reflect.” 11 HubSpotter Grader Constantly Changing
We strive to be modest, unpretentious and ego-free. We believe “hubris kills companies.” We foster mutual respect and trust. We try to exhibit confidence without arrogance. We acknowledge shortcomings and seek to correct them. 12 HubSpotter Grader Respectfully Humble
We “get s#!t done.” We deliver lots of high quality work output and high ratios of results to effort. We “make the numbers.” We are accountable. We publicly share and honor our commitments. We exercise sound judgment and take prudent risks to accomplish objectives. 13 EffingEffective HubSpotter Grader
We are fiercely committed to building a big, remarkable, successful company that “transforms how the world does marketing.” We strive to minimize complexity and achieve simplicity. We tend to decide and take actions that support a long-term ability to scale rather than short-term accomplishment of objectives. Decisions are made through the lens of “will this increase Enterprise Value.” 14 Thinks Scale HubSpotter Grader
To recap the HubSpotterGrader… At HubSpot, we value MATCHES with our culture: Inbound Marketer Awesomely Analytical Totally Transparent Constantly Changing Respectfully Humble EffingEffective Thinks Scale 15
Hiring 16 We value capability over experience. We are open to superheroes who have not necessarily demonstrated their superpowers in this area before.
Promotion and Pay 17 We offer opportunities to rotate around the company and to move quickly. We vastly prefer promoting from within. We hire at market rates and offer increases for exceptional performance.
Location 18 Our HQ is in Cambridge, MA and will always be in Cambridge, MA. We think being in Cambridge gives us unfair access to exceptional thinking and talent.
The HubSpot Way Mission People HubSpotter Grader (aka our values) Hiring Pay and promotion Location New ways of working Extreme experimentation Agile Scrum No door policy Wiki HubSpot TV Trust HubSpot Fellows Program 19
New ways of working 20 The TV show MadMen pokes fun at corporate culture 50 years ago. We are trying to build a culture that is in step with the future, not the past. We are not afraid to ignore conventional wisdom in that cause.
Extreme experimentation 21 Consistent with our value of constantly changing, experimentation is happening at all levels within HubSpot. We experiment a lot and are not afraid to take risks or to “fail fast.” Experiments come from all corners of the organization.
Extreme experimentation An implicit process for experimentation has emerged at HubSpot: Alpha Project/experiment is done in addition to the day job duties of the employee during nights and weekends. Beta The alpha project/experiment goes well and is promoted to beta. The experiment champion is given the project full-time as her new day job. Version 1 The beta project/experiment goes well and is promoted to version 1. The experiment champion typically will get more resources, including heads, core development or scrum time, etc. 22
Agile Scrum 23 We use agile scrum methodologies not only in R&D, but also in Marketing, Sales and Service. Each month scrum teams decide what they will work on for the next month from a project backlog list. Teams decide for themselves what they will get accomplished and who will do what. This self-organizing, de-centralized approach to our work fosters autonomy and empowers HubSpotters to be accountable to one another.
Agile Scrum 24 Rather than formal presentations of scrum team results, we have monthly “Science Fairs.” Each scrum team has a table where HubSpotters can visit and learn about their latest sprint work. This more informal approach to sharing results enables HubSpotters to get to know one another better and to interact in a deeper, more meaningful way.
No door policy We take the “open door policy” up a notch. We have a “no door policy.” Everybody changes desks every three months. The CEO and the leadership team sit out in the open with desks situated throughout the company. We sit in cross-functional “pods,” small groups of 5-6 that include HubSpotters from Development, Marketing, Sales and Service. 25
Wiki 26 We keep no secrets. Everything is out there on the Wiki. We post board meeting minutes, VC funding meeting minutes, key business metrics and financials (e.g. cash balance in the bank). Our CEO posts 1-2 articles a week to share thoughts and ideas, ask questions and seek feedback. HubSpotters from across the company openly and actively comment and engage in the dialogue.
HubSpot TV 27 We broadcast a live TV show every Friday afternoon. This is a forum for the entire company to come together to share, learn and have fun. HubSpot TV is open to the public and is distributed as a highly-followed podcast.
Trust 28 “We trust you,” and our actions reinforce that. We no longer track vacation time – we trust that HubSpotters are using common sense and being responsible about how they spend their time. We don’t have a dress code. Employees blog and Tweet their hearts out. All employees are encouraged to contribute to our award-winning blog.
HubSpot Fellows Program 29 We are experimenting with a HubSpot Fellows Program for our employees. The Dean of the Program is Andrew McAfee, a Professor at MIT’s Sloan School, best-selling author of Enterprise 2.0, Harvard Berkman Fellow, blogger, Twitterer, and great guy. The program begins in May with 4 mini-courses that are four 75 minutes sessions each taught after work: Strategy HubSpot Style Quantitative Reasoning Communication Skillz Negotiation Skillz
Learn More 30 You can learn more about our company at www.hubspot.com/blog You can learn more about how to transform marketing at http://blog.hubspot.com