CEO of Hubspot, Brian Halligan – From Startup to Scaleup – Boston StartupWeek, 19th September

Brian started his talk with this outrageous infographic on the Marketing Technology Landscape (“Martech 5000”), his point being that it is competitive out there. Never have there been more companies.Image result for Marketing Technology Landscape (“Martech 5000”)

Starting is easier than ever – but scaling is harder than ever. Very few make it past the startup stage – something like on 10 out of 100, of which only 1 truly grows to become a titan.

Brain Halligan at StartupWeek Boston

What is the problem with scaling? Brian used the example of his friend who had set up a high quality potty business – the “Pottypreneur”. There are 75000 other search results for potties out there.

Brian and hubspot were stuck in Phase 2 of growth for 6 years. How did they make the hop? No silver bullet. Needed “3 muscle groups” to make the jump:

1. Scaling and managing

a. No > Yes

Brian found that he had a tendency to be a yes man, approving too many new projects. His board member gave him the advice:

Startups are more likely to die of over-eating than starvation.

So he had to start saying no…

b. Mission

He proceeded to show us his mission statement, and where omissions (or “nos”) fit on that sheet:20170919_192221.jpg

c. Need to manage the company vs team relationship.

Brian noticed that when teams make decisions, they optimise for the team over the company. So now they have created a framework for making decisions with the following priority: Customer > Company > Team > Me.

2. Scaling and hiring

a. Need a great culture

Brian got advice from some other entrepreneurs, and on surveying his team, discovered that culture was extremely important to employees. This lead to the development of the hubspot Culture Code, as demonstrated in the slideshow below:

b. Need someone in your company who is passionate about being the voice of the employee

Brian employed a chief people officer who naturally gravitated towards that role.

c. Mission matters a lot in 2017…

Need to build an inbound company – a magnet for talent. Not relying on recruiters/linkedin…

3. Scaling and customer experience

a. Startup vs scaleup

There is a lot written about the phase between startups to scaleups. The startup terminology holds you back from scaling up…

Startup vs Scaleup

b. Amazing experience is the real disrupter…

Netflix vs Blockbuster – experience of walking to store disrupted blockbuster.

Apple vs Music industry – experience of having to go out to buy a cd disrupted music industry

Uber vs Taxis – experience of waiting for a taxi disrupted taxis.

c. How you sell > what you sell

Experience is king in this day and age…

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