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Mar 20, 2013
An inside peek at how we work and what we believe at HubSpot.
This is part culture manifesto, part employee handbook and part diary of dreams.
Visit us at www.hubspot.com/jobs
a company we love.
1 CULTURE CODE THE Creating
shared beliefs, values and practices.
WHAT’S CULTURE? A set of
operating system that powers the company.
HubSpot’s CULTURE CODE is the
OBSESS OVER CULTURE?
WHY DO WE CARE ABOUT
amazing people, it amplifies their abilities and helps them do their best work.
Culture doesn’t just help attract
product is to marketing. Click to tweet this quote. Customers are more easily attracted with a great product. Talented people are more easily attracted with a great culture.
Culture is to recruiting as
not, all companies have a culture. So why not create a culture we love?
CULTURE HAPPENS. Whether planned or
LIVE AND WORK.
PEOPLE HAVE DRAMATICALLY CHANGED HOWTHEY
NEED Good Boss Great Colleagues HOURS 9-5 Whenever WORKPLACE Office Wherever TENURE Whole Career Whatever
THEN NOW FOCUS Pension Purpose
But although people have dramatically
if they’re frozen in time.
Too many organizations operate as
We are HubSpot.
We dare to be different.
and part employee handbook. It’s part who we are and part who we aspire to be.
This document is part manifesto
(not yet true) we try to call that out. This document is part manifesto and part employee handbook. It’s part who we are and part who we aspire to be.
When something is still aspirational
commit maniacally to both our mission and metrics. 2. We look to the long-term and Solve For The Customer. 3. We share openly and are remarkably transparent. 4. We favor autonomy and take ownership. 5. We believe our best perk is amazing people. 6. We dare to be different and question the status quo. 7. We recognize that life is short.
THE CULTURE CODE 1. We
to both our mission and our metrics.
18 1 We commit maniacally
businesses. Especially those that
want to do better.
We love small and medium-sized
these organizations GROW. We want to transform how they attract, engage and delight their customers.
OUR MISSION is to help
world GO INBOUND. To take a more empathetic, human-friendly approach to marketing and sales. (Turns out, it’s also more effective.)
We’re working to help the
even if you fail, the world is better off with you having tried.” TIM O’REILLY. Note: The O’Reilly conference room at HubSpot is named after Tim.
“Pursue something so important that
those who believed in you look brilliant.
We believe: Success is making
will help us earn the love of many. Our commitment to our metrics will help us earn the resources to further our mission. We are passionate about both.
Our commitment to our mission
& metrics is uncommon. It’s partly what makes us DIFFERENT. And also kind of quirky, in mostly good ways.
This dual personality of mission
the long-term and Solve For The Customer.
26 2 We look to
don’t want to satisfy them, we want to delight them. Our goal is to help them succeed.
SFTC.Solve for the customer We
ASK OURSELVES: “Selves, what’s in it
for the customer?”
FOR EVERY DECISION WE SHOULD
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. Because…
WAIT. Does “Solve For The
Bankrupt companies don’t delight their
team. How do we ensure we SFTC? How do we know we’re doing it right?
HubSpot has a professional sales
as long as we sell to customers that we expect to delight.
We’re on the right path
as long as we sell to customers that we expect to delight. This is the key. Don’t sell to customers we’re not justifiably confident we can delight.
We’re on the right path
and are remarkably transparent.
34 3 We share openly
make uncommon levels of information available to everyone in the company (all 1500+ of us, and counting)
WE SHARE (ALMOST) EVERYTHING. We
WIKI ON THE PLANET.* Examples of things we share and discuss: • Financials (cash balance, burn-rate, P&L, etc.) • Board meeting deck • Management meeting deck • “Strategic” topics • HubSpot Lore & Mythology (the funniest page on the wiki) *Unverified claim
WE HAVE THE MOST ACTIVE
It is legally required. Example: Information covered under a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) It is not completely ours to share. Example: Individual compensation data
We protect information only when:
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…
WAIT. ISN’T HUBSPOT PUBLICLY TRADED?
at HubSpot a designated insider.
We officially made every employee
knowledge, not hoarding it.
Power is gained by sharing
“Sunlight is the best disinfectant.”
anyone in the company. It’s not an open door policy. It’s a no door policy.
Everyone has open access to
Not because we work in circular buildings, but because nobody has an office.
NOBODY HAS A CORNER OFFICE.
An important note on transparency…
not making decisions by consensus. We each have a voice, but not always a vote. TRANSPARENCY ≠ DEMOCRACY
Transparency is about being open,
unless we do something with it. So…
All this transparency doesn’t matter
and take ownership.
47 4 We favor autonomy
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.
Just because someone made a
policies and procedures.
We don’t have pages of
have a 3-word policy on just about everything:
USE GOOD JUDGMENT. Instead we
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.
Social media policy. Travel policy.
Here’s the cheat sheet on good judgment:
customer > team > individual
for your personal interests to the detriment of the team. We loathe selfishness and love teamishness.
team > individual Don’t solve
doubt, favor solving for the customers’ interest over our own. Solving for customers’ interest is in our long-term interest too.
customer > company When in
RESULTS (i.e. are we making a positive impact?)
The thing that matters most:
number of hours we work.
Results matter more than the
we produce them.
Results matter more than where
much vacation we take. (we have unlimited vacation)
Results matter more than how
our decisions are insight-driven and data-powered. WE LOVE DATA.
Our best results come when
better data not bigger job titles. We disfavor pulling rank. It happens sometimes, but we don’t like it.
Debates should be won with
they are going… micro-directions on how to get there. h/t Simon Sinek NOT
People want direction on where
vision + = Shared understanding around mission and goals. The discretion to do what best moves us forward. sustainable, scalable growth
smart, self-motivated people clear, compelling
we have to be thoughtful about who we hire. It’s also important because…
To support transparency and trust,
best perk is amazing people.
64 5 We believe our
utopian workplace. We are not a perfect fit for everyone. And not every amazing person is a great fit for us.
DISCLOSURE: HubSpot is not a
fit for HubSpot? What makes this the place they belong? What does it mean to be
What makes someone a great
we value in people.
There are 5 attributes that
Self-aware and respectful.
lacking confidence? No. The very best people are self-aware and self-critical – not arrogant.
Wait. Doesn’t being humble mean
less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less. C.S. LEWIS.
“ Humility is not thinking
people tend to share the credit. When things go poorly, they tend to shoulder the responsibility.
When things go well, humble
perspective. Acts with compassion and respect for customers, partners and colleagues. EMPATHETIC.
Goes beyond understanding another person’s
Life-long learner. ADAPTABLE.
Innately curious and constantly changing.
helpful. Remarkably resourceful. Remarkably effective. *h/t to Seth Godin worthy of being remarked upon* REMARK∙ABLE.
STANDS OUT BY BEING: Remarkably
action. They just do things. Have a sense of ownership. Are resourceful and always looking for leverage.
EFFECTIVE PEOPLE: Are predisposed to
and with themselves. TRANSPARENT.
Open and honest with others
private? This is not about sharing personal information. (What happened in Vegas should stay in Vegas) This is about sharing knowledge generously.
WAIT. Aren’t some people just
We like people with heart.
HUMBLE EMPATHETIC ADAPTABLE REMARKABLE TRANSPARENT
cheesy. We’re a bit cheesy sometimes. HUMBLE EMPATHETIC ADAPTABLE REMARKABLE TRANSPARENT We like people with heart.
Yes, “heart” is a bit
these values, WE BET ON THEM. We recruit, reward and release people based on these values.
We don’t just believe in
to those that just quietly and selflessly do the right thing and move us forward. (J.E.D.I. stands for “Just Effing Does It”)
EXAMPLE: THE J.E.D.I. AWARD Awarded
mortgaging the future. 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.
Compromising on culture fit is
family. We hire, develop and cut smartly so we have stars in every position. +1 We couldn’t have said it better ourselves, so we didn’t.
We’re a team, not a
RULE. (Truth: We try hard not to hire them. But, they temporarily sneak in sometimes.)
WE HAVE A NO ASSES
It’s tempting to bring people in that you can push off work you don’t have time for. Hire to elevate. Bring people in that can teach us something. Continually seek to raise our average.
Don’t just hire to delegate.
fit our culture, they further it.
Our best people don’t just
but we constantly iterate the code.
Our core values stay constant,
With great people comes great
proud of the people we grow as we are of the company we grow.
We want to be as
increase individual mastery and market value.
We believe in investing to
PROGRESS AT HUBSPOT. 1. Gain mastery as an individual contributor and make magic. 2. Provide spectacular support to
those who are doing #1. Confession: We have a lot of first-time managers at HubSpot. We’re working hard to develop them.
THERE ARE TWO WAYS TO
How do you achieve mastery?
must dive deep. Talent is not enough. Mastery requires intense commitment.
94 To achieve mastery you
to help you learn…
We’re doing a few things
Christensen “Innovator’s Dilemma” Eric Ries “The Lean Startup” Patty McCord Former Chief People Officer, Netflix Deval Patrick Former Governor, Massachusetts These are private talks given at HubSpot.
HubTalks: Learning From Leaders Clay
a book – it magically shows up in your Amazon Kindle account. No muss, no fuss. No expense sheets.
Unlimited Free Books Program. Request
someone smart out for a meal. Learn something. Expense it. No approval needed. Use good judgment.
Unlimited Free Meals Program. Take
is to provide big challenges.
But the most important thing
Amazing people don’t like average
different and question the status quo.
6 We dare to be
much about being different?
Why do we care so
exceptional. As they grow, there is a dark, powerful force that pulls them towards the average.If we regress to the mean, we fail. It’s that simple.
Many companies start out being
product of modest risk.
Remarkable outcomes are rarely the
to try and sometimes fail than to sit tight and… fail for sure.
#inbound12 We encourage experimentation. Better
we do mind repeating them. Each mistake carries a lesson, we try to make sure we learn it.
We don’t mind making mistakes,
Speaking of being different…
to be different. We cannot all be the same. We want a diversity of backgrounds and beliefs. Confession: We want diversity, but do not yet have it. Still work to do.
To think different we need
ways we try to be different: THINK SIMPLE.
One of the most important
is better. More bells, more whistles. We believe simplicity is a competitive advantage.
110 Conventional wisdom suggests more
Things usually start simple…
TOLL LIES BELOW THE SURFACE.
COMPLEXITY QUIETLY CREEPS IN. ITS
It is often the quick, seductive answer to short-term issues. Fighting for simplicity and looking to the long-term takes courage and commitment.
WHY DOES COMPLEXITY CREEP IN?
You must take complexity out.
You cannot add simplicity in.
be Refactoring means to improve internal structure without changing external behavior. frequently
1 Like software… Organizations should
reports. • Cancel unproductive meetings. • Remove unnecessary rules. • Automate manual processes. • Prune extraneous process. A handy acronym to remember these: SCRAP
REFACTOR. • Stop generating unused
HubSpot to be: EASY TO BUY. EASY TO USE. EASY TO LOVE.
Fight for simplicity. We want
One more thing…(super-important)
7 We recognize that life
and fun. Work is a big part of life. So work should also be fulfilling and fun. LIFE IS SHORT.
So it should be fulfilling
of yourself. Healthy @ HubSpot initiative: • standing desks • healthy snacks • fitness room • spontaneous laughter LIFE IS SHORT.
It’s important to take care
LIFE IS SHORT. We encourage candor and criticism. It helps us grow. But remember,
Always be kind and compassionate.
Always take the high road. LIFE IS SHORT. The view is better and it’s much less crowded.
And full of tough choices.
So, to recap…
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.
THE HUBSPOT CULTURE CODE 1.
Onward and upward…
displeased, all feedback is appreciated: @dharmesh (one of our founders) reads every email.
Whether you were delighted or
it this far. Visit CultureCode.com to ask questions or join the open discussion. Yes, we’re hiring. Click the logo.
THANK YOU. Congrats for making
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