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April 21, 2013


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Dan Schawbel

David, I love what Hubspot has done here. Based on my relationships with their employees and visiting their office, it seems like these values match up perfectly. It's a great case study in employer branding and I'm using it in a presentation I'm giving in later this month. More companies need to document their "corporate culture" because it will attract the right employees and repel the wrong ones, thus benefiting everyone.

Susan Strayer LaMotte

I'm glad to see companies are finally realizing the bottom line connection between culture, brand and talent. It's so much more than perks, cool office space or hiring "a rockstar developer." I agree with Dan--it really fits them.

But it is so much more than just an employer brand. This kind of clarity helps people self-select out that don't fit in the culture and also can drive business decisions. Culture guides companies in behavior.

I will say, I think this deck is a little overblown--it feels a bit redundant. But it's all about strategy and that's what matters. I actually founded a consultancy to help organizations figure out what differentiates them and how to use that proposition to tie culture to brand and talent. It's hard and most companies don't think it's worth it. But HubSpot is showing that it is.

Susan LaMotte

Dharmesh Shah

David: Thanks for sharing HubSpot's Culture Code deck with your readership. Appreciate your continued support. You've been helping us since we were a small group of ambitious folks that had much to learn. Now, we're a much larger group of ambitious folks that still have a much to learn.

Susan: Agree that the deck isn't quite right yet. It's still in beta, so we're continuing to update it (about once a week).

David Meerman Scott

Dharmesh - Thank you for jumping in here. You have created a remarkable company and the transparency contained within the deck that you've shared with the world is remarkable evidence of that. I am honored to have been a (small) part of HubSpot for 6 years and am looking forward to many more years of learning from you.

Dan - Coming from you as an expert in millennium work, careers, and personal branding that is high praise indeed. So many company cultures are not aligned with today's younger employees' values. HubSpot clearly cracked that code because they are aligned.

Susan - I like how Dharmesh commented back to you. The document isn't perfect, but they are working it real-time. How cool is that?

Keith Spiro

David, as a company that has learned from both you and HubSpot, we are grateful for the open sharing and transparency that you, Dharmesh and Brian exemplify.

While true that organizational culture drives marketing and results, we found our greatest success from these two comments you and Dharmesh shared:

1. Solve For The Customer -- not just their happiness, but also their success.
2. Power is now gained by sharing knowledge, not hoarding it.

To us, this is the core message of Inbound Marketing. Add the energy and enthusiasm that abounds at HubSpot and you truly have a simple formula for success.

Thank you HubSpot for continuously sharing your collective knowledge and skills. Your excitement is contagious. Your growth is well deserved and great to witness.

Melanie Egerton

What a great culture code for any business to have, no wonder the staff are so happy to work there.

I particularly liked "Great people want direction on where they're going -- not directions on how to get there."

The world would be a happier place if more companies had similar culture codes.


This is really amazing and extremely refreshing to read how management really "got it" when putting their values together. Hats off to the Hubspot team.

David Meerman Scott

Keith - I particularly love "Power is now gained by sharing knowledge, not hoarding it." It is amazing how open HubSpot is!

Melanie - It seems so easy, doesn't it? Yet most companies are still operating in the hierarchical approach of the 1950s.

Scott - Interestingly, employees did as much to put together values as management. Maybe more.

Melanie Mathos

Thanks for posting, David - I especially liked this: 3) Solve For The Customer -- not just their happiness, but also their success. And, OF COURSE you are on their advisory board. :) Their culture shines through in their social presence too.

J.D. Meier

One of the big eye openers for me on culture long ago was The First 90 Days.

Michael Watkins pointed out that culture is really the values, and the values aren't what you "say", they're what you "do." The values are established by what you ultimately penalize or reward.

Whenever I've been in a great culture, the thing I notice first and foremost is that, there is a value for continuous learning. This learning culture means it's OK to take risks, and people go out on limbs, and this is how they stretch in the business beyond where they are today.

Values really are the backbone of great culture, and I have very quicky how the right values can shape a culture for greatness.

It's surprising how powerful a book can be, but I've seen leadership teams that buy into the strategies of Good to Great, actually do just that.

David Meerman Scott

Melanie - Yes, the HubSpot culture does shine through their social presence. That shows it is authentic.

J.D. - Absolutely! Values aren't what you say, they're what you do.

Colin Warwick

Thanks, David. I first heard of HubSpot (and you!) from Mike Volpe's talk at Boston Product Management Association in April 2008 and it was a turning point in my career.

If HubSpot becomes a public company at some point, do you think it will shift their focus among the "big five" stakeholders that every company has (customers, employees, investors, suppliers, community)? The reason I ask is that, if you are a public company, you have no choice but to put investors first. It's a fiduciary responsibility that the SEC places on the BoD.

Will HubSpot be able to continue to put customers first after its IPO?

Dale Rogerson

Wow! Where do I apply? ;-)

Seriously, this is exactly the atmosphere I am looking for to work - especially in the last couple of years as it's become all closed doors and silos.

Would that more companies changed to this style. Absolutely wonderful!

David Meerman Scott

Colin - I'm glad you met Mike so that I could meet you! I think they will be able to make the transition because of an important reason. They have investors now! About $100 million in VC money has been raised to date and those investors have been part of HubSpot's success. So I see that approach continuing.

Dale - THe best way to get into HubSpot is to create a blog and use that instead of a resume. That's what Lindsay did


Everyone's much more stoked to work for a fun, laid back modern company. Glad to see more and more companies like this. The world needs the happiness!

Dharmesh Shah

Colin: Wanted to respond to your question regarding HubSpot's ability to put customers first after an IPO (should we some day go public):

1. HubSpot has had outside investors for much of its history (we've raised over $100 million in capital). The notion of having a board of directors is familiar to us.

2. We believe that our "Solve For The Customer" approach is actually in the shareholder's long-term interest. The way to increase shareholder value is to focus on creating customer value.

David Meerman Scott

Dharmesh, thanks for that explanation of the HubSpot "Solve For The Customer" approach. I would think that should HubSpot go public, that idea would be fundamental to the IPO deal and would be included in the offer documents and roadshow deck so that potential investors know what they are buying.

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