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How to Build a Company Like HubSpot

By John McTigueJan 10, 2011

If you don't know about HubSpot, you're probably not reading this blog post. Started in 2006 by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, Cambridge, Massachusetts based company HubSpot is at the center of the inbound marketing universe. With infusions of private equity in 2007, 2008 and 2009, HubSpot has grown rapidly, both in staff and customers, recently topping the 3500 customer milestone. HubSpot grows by eating its own "dogfood", i.e. using inbound marketing to capture sales leads, the very technique they sell via their SAAS platform. But what makes HubSpot so successful, and how can you build a similar success story in your industry?

  1. Strong Leadership - the powerful combination of Halligan and Shaw at the helm, one with a strong marketing background, the other strong in technology. They're both savvy in business, and they know what they sell, marketing technology. They even wrote a best selling book together on inbound marketing.
  2. Vision - HubSpot didn't start out to compete with other marketing software companies. They started out to own the space, inbound marketing. Their idea was to help other companies improve their sales and marketing results, nothing less.
  3. Talent - you can't build a company on brick and mortar. You have to find and hire smart people. I've never met someone at HubSpot, in person or electronically, that I wouldn't want to hire myself.
  4. Philosophy - if I had to come up with one word for the atmosphere at HubSpot, it would be "fun". It's a great place to work. In fact last year the Boston Business Journal ranked HubSpot one of the best places to work in the region. This is one of the best ways to attract talent.
  5. Marketing - you don't grow this quickly without great marketing. Using their own tools and by publishing great blogs, videos, webinars and whitepapers every day, HubSpot has become a household world in the marketing and sales community. Try Googling "inbound marketing" and see what you come up with.
  6. Innovation - these guys are smart enough to know that if you aren't driving the innovation buggy, you're being left behind. HubSpot continues to listen to its own customers and potential customers and strives to improve its software. They've won a lot of awards to back up their reputation for smart software.

What amazes me is that there aren't 20 HubSpot clones out there nipping at their heels. Why? Well it's a bit like trying to catch a rocket ship at this stage of the game. The HubSpot founders found a great niche, claimed it, developed it and now own it. Johnny-come-latelies are forced to duplicate the steps that HubSpot climbed years ago, and then what? That's right, it's too late, they already developed something even better.

We're proud to be Certified HubSpot Partners and look forward to helping their growing customer base become marketing rockstars like HubSpot.

Chair Dance Video - courtesy of HubSpot on YouTube

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The Author

John McTigue

With over 30 years of business and marketing experience, John loves to blog about ideas and trends that challenge inbound marketers and sales and marketing executives. John has a unique way of blending truth with sarcasm and passion with wit. You can connect with John via LinkedIn, Twitter and Google Plus.
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