Board Perspectives, What I Learned from HubSpot

The impact of culture on building a lasting brand

Today marks the end of my role on the HubSpot board. At some point, all good things come to an end. I will always be proud to have been HubSpot board member and investor. The first role of the VC is to provide capital to the company to grow fast. The second role is to provide some useful advice along the way. Then the ideal outcome is to help a company go through their journey from no revenue to over $100M in revenue. The hope is to have a liquidity event like HubSpot and go public. HubSpot hit the IPO milestone in October 2014 and continues to grow as an enduring company today.

When ScaleVP invested in 2009, Hubspot provided simple marketing solutions to business owners. They built their brand around a movement called Inbound Marketing and geared their efforts to understand the customer first. Since then, the company has expanded to provide a sales and marketing platform for any business and today they are one of the leading marketing and sales software companies on the market with over 18,000 customers in over 90 countries. They have offices around the world, including Ireland, Australia, Singapore and soon-to-be Japan and the inbound movement is growing. Last year, HubSpot’s annual event, INBOUND, attracted over 14,000 people to Boston – a clear sign that they’ve hit on something that resonates with customers and fans alike.

This leads me to one of the things that we believe set HubSpot apart from the beginning -- their thoughtful focus on culture. I felt this as a customer, board member and an investor. And, I feel it every time I speak with a HubSpot employee. Every HubSpot employee I interacted with was helpful and always willing to go the extra mile. HubSpot’s Culture Code outlines five key tenants that define the company and its employees: humility, effectiveness, adaptability, remarkability, and transparency. They call it having HEART and I couldn’t agree more. HubSpot employees ask questions to learn more, and use the answers they receive to better themselves and the company they work for. It’s that sense of drive and enthusiasm made them the successful company they are today. I enjoyed my experience at Hubspot and want to wish them the best.

Originally published April 28, 2016.