HubSpot - From Startup to a Successful Public Company
By now, we feature businesses of all sizes on this podcast and talk about the one thing that they all have in common. How technology is transforming their industry, but I'm also conscious. You don't always get to see what goes on behind the curtain in here. I mean, you might hear me say Email me or tweet me at the end of every episode what happens to some of those conversations because away from the microphone. I try to be the connector guys ever star found a context may with a problem. They're feeling low all interested in need of a little inspiration on the guard that will say, hey, you need to speak with an important in right direction because helping people is one of my favorite aspects of recording. This daily tech podcast. And like I said I'm conscious that something you don't get to see. So if you are a tech startup founder any stage of your journey. I always try and inspire. You. Every day. And that's why today I've invited the guys from hoop spa onto the show. We all know about hope spa. Right. You know, they're a huge company, but they weren't always like that. And they have been on their own textile took journey, and that's what I wanted to show today. So book elope and hold on tight. So I can be meal is all the way to Duplin in island. So we can speak with Karen Flanagan VP of marketing at hope spot. So massive warm. Welcome to the show Kitale delays. There's a lie about who you are. And what you do. Yeah. My name is accurate Flanagan. I am VP of marketing for a company called hub spot and the real kind of ten second introduction to how spot is we have a full suite of growth tools for growing company, so marketing sales customer success in and serum. And what I do. It helps ball. I really don't three core rules during my time. How spot I joined in the first group of twelve employees way back when to grow at our international business. We will group pretty fast. I did that to half years, then I joined the 'nother small group of people who have been initiatives to grow at a different go to market and kind of disrupt our current gonna market and through freedom, and I did that for another two and a half years. And then over the previous twelve months, I've really done is taken on the entire top part of hubs spots funnel or what we call a flywheel. And it's basically. All of the demand, we generate as a business, and the interesting thing about hub spot is what most people find interesting about is like we're in this group of fastest growing SAS companies and all of our revenue comes from demand created from by the marketing team. So we don't do, you know, coal call at bond sales, sending any of that set type thing, but suspect that most people listening all over the world. We'll know all about your full stock of products for marketing style service, CRM famously powerful alone of way, but when used together an also I think too many people listening particularly startled founders is a huge company. But it's not always been this way. I'm quite conscious that we often own Gioja individual or company bought a success that we say ROY now, but we don't shed ten year overnight success story that contain blood sweat tears sacrifices along the way. So with that in mind, can I take you guys back in time? And maybe ask you to offer. Overview of the story behind hope spoke of the challenges that you had to overcome as a stall to get ROY way you will today. Yeah. I even it's interesting because even when I joined which is when hubs felt were they had product market fit. They were seeing some success in the company was maybe three hundred people, and I really wanted to join a start up, and I was like, oh, why this company maybe it's too big. I where he know a many multiples of that. And I think over the past twelve years we've been lucky in that we've managed to figure out some things that have really helped our growth, and so one of those things was going international. That's that's been a big success of ours of for us internationally continues to grow at a really rapid pace. Like, one of the interesting things about startups in particularly hub spot that this well as I think it's always good to have a mission and a clear enemy or something that you are kind of fighting against. And so in hopes initially launched the story that is interested in that. They had this kind of mission to disrupt then marketing and to help marketers do betta market in the time. We can I a lot on that talked about doing lovable marketing. And what that does is it creates a lot of fans, right? It creates people who have empty towards that want to see themselves being about a marketer. And then nor our job is to supply the tools to help do that. And I would say initially when we first launched our tools, probably didn't fulfil the promise of our mission in overtime or tools have grown into that mission. And that obviously helps a lot generates a word of mice helps with churn, and then we've also managed to continue take risks and disrupt our own go to market. So we were a very fast growing SAS company that had the traditional type of funnel we generate leads, and you turn those leads into opportunities for sales team in sales team qualified them in seldom. And then the start star two thousand six we started to we launched a whole new suite of products sales products, and we went to market. In a very different way. We went through a free model because we believe that customers in the future in that's happening today want to extract value from your softer before they pay you money. And that's been another decision. That's worth with you. While for us. I'm curious as well as someone in your position you've had a lot of expansion these failed as well. And IOT founders listening is that anything that you think star took should be focusing on sooner than they actually usually do. Yeah. That's a great question. Actually, one of the things that is interesting about startups is thinking about the decisions you make today thinking about those decisions through the lands of what will we would we have made the same decision three? You're in three years time like the company that we want to become would we have made that decision because you try to get the balance right between Macon startups, always need to go. They're always under pressure to get growth like most companies, but it's kind of more cute when you're a startup, and so you sometimes make decisions that. Are great in the short term. But maybe have long-term we precautions that you haven't thought about. And so what do I mean by that? Well, a good example of that is when I'm in a start up one of the things I really want to do is hire talented people. And maybe it's a little more difficult for me because I'm not on the salvage company so one of the bargaining chips. I have is titles. And so what I can do is I can offer people who may be a manager or something when in one company like VP rules, or I can give away these titles a lot easier than more salvage companies can and that kind of good in the short term because you get these you get these talented people in, but as the company grows in you need more yet need to add more season than experienced people to advance in your senior leadership team you start to create a kind of problems for yourself. You have weird mismatch show of the people who are like that VP level or whatever level. It is. You can get yourself into a situation where you might actually have to demote people or you or you get yourself in the situation where you can't hire the people you want because when they look at the other people who the same title ISM. They don't think that's the company for them. So I think that goes across like many things in terms of how you build your infrastructure like when you're a startup. We've definitely done this time you cobble together. Tech in the decisions you make when you build that infrastructure a very difficult to untangle when you become a bigger company.