6 Years Later: Why am I still at HubSpot?
This week I celebrate 6 years since I joined HubSpot. It’s been a heck of a ride, no doubt!
But why am I still at HubSpot?
Is it still that great or have I just settled for something mediocre?
Looking back, I can’t help but think about how lucky I was with the bet I made 6 years ago when I joined a Boston startup that had just gone public. No doubt, the growth has been incredible, both for HubSpot but also for myself:
- We grew from ~500 employees to more than 5,500
- The stock went from $40 to over $650
- HubSpot’s ARR went from $170M to more than $1Bn
- I grew from a Senior Engineer to an Engineering Lead running 6 teams
It’s pretty incredible, isn’t it?
And when you start piling all of the awards that HubSpot has received for being a great company (sometimes even the best company) to work for, it becomes pretty easy to convince yourself that you’ve made some good decisions.
But honestly, none of these are good enough reasons to join or stay at a company if you ask me.
Many companies grow rapidly.
Many companies get awards.
No. It’s not about any of that shine on the surface. The reasons are much deeper. There is so much more substance beyond this surface glow.
It’s about people, transparency, strong leadership. It’s about opportunities to learn and grow. It’s about a singular goal that aligns the entire company and makes politics irrelevant: Solving for the Customer
Awesome People 🙌
The people at HubSpot are awesome! Humble, empathetic, smart, and extremely generous with their time. They have HEART.
slide from HubSpot’s culture code deck
Sure, at times it feels like we are drinking the Kool-Aid but at the end of the day, all I care about is being in an inclusive and collaborative environment where people want to make a difference.
Aside from being really nice people, HubSpotters are also very good at what they do.
The bar is high, especially in engineering, and the people that thrive are both intelligent but also pragmatic. I’ve learned so much throughout the years and continue learning from everyone, from our co-ops all the way to the VPs and execs.
Learning Opportunities 💫
Speaking of learning opportunities, I can’t recall the last time I’ve had a dull day. There’s always something new to learn, a new challenge, a new problem to solve.
On the technical side, because everything we build needs to handle a massive scale, constant challenges are fertile ground for learning.
On the leadership side, as HubSpot continues growing there are always new projects and people challenges to tackle.
How do you scale your operations? How do you find problems to solve that people care about? All things I have to think about constantly.
And just when you think you’ve seen it all, new challenges are waiting right around the corner.
Career Growth 📈
I feel like this has been one of the strongest and most important reasons I’m still at HubSpot.
The company has had such a meteoric growth that also creates a ripple effect for all employees.
For example, since I joined 6 years ago, the company has had a 10x growth in employees, from about 500 to 5500+. Over that same period, my direct reports also grew 10x.
Think about it. As the company hires more people and helps them grow, who do you think are going the be the future leaders?
Strong Leadership 🦸🏻♀️
The leaders at HubSpot have been nothing short of stellar.
Our founders, Dharmesh and Brian are both the company leaders but also our spiritual leaders. The people who inspire us, help us stay focused and aligned, and can help us “see the future.”
Just recently, we also announced that Yamini is taking the reigns as CEO which I’m SO pumped about. Yamini is an incredible leader that guided HubSpot through the pandemic and helped the company not just survive but thrive.
In addition to having awesome execs, having technically strong engineering is a breath of fresh air.
All the way from our Chief Architect to our VPs and Directors, they can all hold very strong technical conversations while also being humble, empathetic, and understanding.
Maybe that’s part of the reason why there’s so low attrition rate. Who would have thought that we, engineers, want to be lead by people who speak their language and aren’t “just managers.”
A Very Strong Stock 🐂
5 years ago we all went crazy when the stock hit $70. I thought we’d never see that valuation again and I’d better sell some stock.
This year, we went crazy when $HUBS hit $500.
Now, $HUBS is firmly over $650 with a median target at $680.
Is this all a fluke? I don’t think so. The earnings calls paint a very strong picture.
Do I know what’s going to happen? Well no, no one does. And I’m no financial expert. But the team has gotten even stronger. We got much better at building and selling software. Heck, we help people create careers.
Do I think it can 10x? I actually do. Again, I may be optimistic, but I really think we have an even brighter future ahead of us.
(This is not financial advice. Please conduct your own research.)
No Politics; Just SFTC ✅
Last, and probably most importantly, HubSpot has very little politics.
No matter which team you are on, everyone has a singular goal: SFTC (Solve For The Customer.)
This means that everyone tries to figure out what’s more important for our customers when two projects are conflicting.
It means that when you want to work towards a promotion you focus on delivering value, not pretending like you are.
And of course, it allows you not to worry about how each decision you make is going to affect your career because you know that if you SFTC, that will work itself out.
Trust me, I’ve seen how well this works many, many times.
I once had to ask my manager to take over 2 of my teams so I could focus on building 2 new ones. In any other company, I’d be paranoid about making my boss do more work. But when I shared this with my VP I was blown away when I heard “headcount won’t get you a promotion, delivering value will.”
I mean… of course!
And yet, this isn’t how things work at most places. Not at least from what I hear. So if you are in a company that operates this way, cherish it. That place is special!
OK, so everything is perfect!
Well, no. Of course, not!
And if anyone claims that their company is perfect they are either lying or they don’t need you. HubSpot is no exception.
There are always hard problems ahead of us and things that can be improved.
What’s awesome about HubSpot is that we talk about them out loud, prioritize them, and try to solve them. We don’t just hide them under the rug and pretend they are not there.
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