Why do we obsess over culture?
Culture doesn't just help attract amazing people, it amplifies their abilities and helps them do their best work.
HubSpot's Culture Code is the operating system that powers the company.
|Need||Good Boss||Great Colleagues|
|Hours||9 to 5||Whenever|
We love small and medium-sized businesses. Especially those that want to do better.
Our mission is to help these organizations grow. We want to transform how they attract, engage and delight their customers.
We're working to help the world go inbound. To take a more empathetic, human-friendly approach to marketing and sales. (Turns out, it's also more effective.)
- Tim O'Reilly
Note: The O'Reilly conference room at HubSpot is named after Tim!
We don't want to satisfy them, we want to delight them. Our goal is to help them succeed. For every decision, we should ask ourselves: "Selves, what's in it for the customer?"
Wait. Does "Solve for the customer" mean just giving more away for free? Wouldn't that delight customers? No. To delight customers in the long-term, we have to survive in the short-term.
HubSpot has a professional sales team.
How do we ensure we SFTC?
How do we know if we're doing it right?
We're on the right path as long as we sell to customers that we expect to delight.
We share (almost) everything. We make uncommon levels of information available to everyone in the company (all 1500+ of us, and counting).
Financials (cash balance, burn-rate, P&L, etc.)
Board meeting deck
Management meeting deck
HubSpot Lore & Mythology (the funniest page on the wiki) *Unverified claim
It is legally required.
Example: Information covered under a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA)
It is not completely ours to share.
Example: Individual compensation data.
Wait. Isn't HubSpot publicly traded?
Yes. We had our IPO in Oct 2014 [NYSE:HUBS].
Usually, publicly traded companies can only share detailed information with a select group of "insiders"
This didn't fit well with our culture. So ...
Power is gained by sharing knowledge, not hoarding it.
Everyone has open access to anyone in the company.
It's not an open door policy.
It's a no door policy.
Not because we work in circular buildings, but because nobody has an office.
Transparency ≠ Democracy
Transparency is about being open, not making decisions by consensus.
We each have a voice, but not always a vote.
All this transparency doesn't matter unless we do something with it.
Just because someone made a mistake years ago doesn't mean we need a policy or rule.
We don't penalize the many for the mistakes of the few.
We only protect against big stuff.
We don't have pages of policies and procedures.
Instead, we have a 3-word policy on just about everything:
Social media policy.
Sick day policy.
Buy a round of drinks at an event policy.
Work from home during a blizzard policy.
Our policy on all of these (and most other) things:
Use good judgment.
Here's the cheat sheet on good judgment:
Team > individual
Don't solve your personal interests to the detriment of the team.
We loathe selfishness and love teamishness.
Customer > company
When in doubt, favor solving for the customers' interest over our own. Solving for customers' interest is in our long-term interest too.
Results matter more than the number of hours we work.
Results matter more than where we produce them.
Results matter more than how much vacation we take.
(we have unlimited vacation)
Our best results come when our decisions are insight-driven and data-powered.
Debates should be won with better data not bigger job titles.
We disfavor pulling rank. It happens sometimes, but we don't like it.
smart, self-motivated people + clear, compelling vision = sustainable, scalable growth
To support transparency and trust, we have to be thoughtful about who we hire. It's also important because ...
Disclosure: HubSpot is not a utopian workplace.
We are not a perfect fit for everyone. And not every amazing person is a great fit for us.
Self-aware and respectful.
Wait. Doesn't being humble mean lacking confidence?
No. The very best people are self-aware and self-critical - not arrogant.
"Humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less." - C.S. Lewis.
When things go well, humble people tend to share the credit.
When things go poorly, they tend to shoulder the responsibility.
Goes beyond understanding another person's perspective.
Acts with compassion and respect for customers, partners, and colleagues.
Worthy of being remarked upon*
Stands out by being:
*h/t to Seth Godin
Effective people: are predisposed to action.
They just do things.
Have a sense of ownership.
Are resourceful and always looking for leverage.
Yes, "heart" is a bit cheesy. We're a bit cheesy sometimes.
We don't just believe in these values, we bet on them.
We recruit, reward and release people based on these values.
(J.E.D.I. stands for "Just Effing Does It")
It's reasonable to want to hire for skills and experience when the need is painfully acute.
It's reasonable. But, it's also wrong.
The interest rate on culture debt is crushingly high.
+1 We couldn't have said it better ourselves, so we didn't.
(Truth: We try hard not to hire them. But, they temporarily sneak in sometimes.)
It's tempting to bring people in that you can push off work you don't have time for.
Bring people in that can teach us something.
Continually seek to raise our average.
Our best people don't just fit our culture, they further it.
Our core values stay constant, but we constantly iterate the code.
We want to be as proud of the people we grow as we are of the company we grow.
We believe in investing to increase individual mastery and market value.
How do you achieve mastery?
To achieve mastery you must dive deep.
Talent is not enough.
Master requires intense commitment.
These are private talks given at HubSpot.
|Clay Christensen||Eric Ries||Patty McCord||Deval Patrick|
"The Lean Startup"
Former Chief People Officer, Netflix
Former Governor, Massachusetts
Request a book - it magically shows up in your Amazon Kindle account.
No muss, no fuss.
No expense sheets.
Amazing people don't like average goals.
Why do we care so much about being different?
Many companies start out being exceptional.
As they grow, there is a dark, powerful force that pulls them towards the average.
We encourage experimentation.
Better to try and sometimes fail than to sit tight and ... fail for sure.
We don't mind making mistakes, we do mind repeating them.
Each mistake carries a lesson, we try to make sure we learn it.
To think different we need to be different.
We cannot be all the same.
We want a diversity of backgrounds and beliefs.
Confession: We want diversity, but do not yet have it. Still work to do. One of the most important ways we try to be different:
Conventional wisdom suggests more is better. More bells, more whistles.
We believe simplicity is a competitive advantage.
Things usually start simple ...
Why does complexity creep in?
It is often the quick, seductive answer to short-time issues.
Fighting for simplicity and looking to the long-term takes courage and commitment.
You cannot add simplicity in.
You must take complexity out.
Organizations should be frequently refactored.
Refactoring means to improve internal structure without changing external behavior.
Stop generating unused reports.
Cancel unproductive meetings.
Remove unnecessary rules.
Automate manual processes.
Prune extraneous process.
(A handy acronym to remember these: SCRAP)
We want HubSpot to be:
Easy to buy.
Easy to use.
Easy to love.
Life is short. So it should be fulfilling and fun.
Work is a big part of life.
So work should also be fulfilling and fun.
Healthy @ HubSpot initiative:
But remember, life is short.
Always be kind and compassionate.
Life is short. And full of tough choices.
Always take the high road.
The view is better and it's much less crowded.
So, to recap ...
The HubSpot Culture Code
1. Mission and metrics
2. Solve for the customer
3. Be transparent
4. Take ownership
5. People > Perks
6. Dare to be different
7. Life is short, make it matter
Whether you were delighted or displeased, all feedback is appreciated:
@dharmesh (one of our founders) reads every email.
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