Brian Halligan, Dharmesh Shah, and Kim Walsh
After spending Sunday night sleeping on a cot at the office, I headed down to the AWS Pop-up Loft on Market Street yesterday for a HubSpot meetup.
The meetup’s topic: A Conversation with HubSpot and AWS: How to Build a Successful Startup
As a secretbonus, there were a couple of new announcement’s last night:
Selfie with Dharmesh Shah
Shortly after arriving, I introduced myself to HubSpot CTO and co-founder Dharmesh Shah. I succinctly gave him the Paubox elevator pitch and he politely listened as I rattled off our KPIs.
As we positioned ourselves for a selfie (not always easy to do with co-founders of public companies), Dharmesh saw that I lassoed my lanyard around my neck to get the Paubox logo correctly in the shot. He then deftly unzipped his sweater to reveal his HubSpot t-shirt. Paubox + HubSpot selfie. I gotta say, Dharmesh is a chill guy.
Selfie with Brian Halligan
Shortly before the program began, I introduced myself to Brian Halligan, CEO and co-founder of HubSpot. I mentioned I’d read his book Inbound Marketing and even did a synopsis on it. He asked me to tweet or email the link to him, which of course I will do shortly after publishing this post.
Brian also asked if I’d read his other book, Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead, which I had not heard of. I ordered it from my iPhone several minutes later.
A Conversation with HubSpot and AWS: How to Build a Successful Startup
Here are my takeaways from last night’s meetup:
- Listen to your customers and think about how your business model may change around their needs
- Co-founder conflict is the #2 reason for startup failure
- For first 7 years of HubSpot, there was no self-service option. You had to talk to a human to buy something
- HubSpot is obsessed with quantitative and qualitative feedback
- HubSpot does NPS everywhere. Even HubSpot CEO Brian Halligan has an NPS score
- Brian Halligan likes scotch, Casper beds and the Grateful Dead
- According to Brian, the arbitrage opportunity in SaaS is creating remarkable customer experiences
- “It’s never been easier to start a company… but it’s never been harder to scale.” Brian Halligan
- There’s a lot of leverage in pricing and packaging
- “The only thing worse than a sub-optimal price is no price.” Dharmesh Shah
- Brian doesn’t like Outbound Marketing: “Figure out how to scale your Inbound.. SEO scales like crazy.”
- Inbound marketing still works
- “I’m a goto market geek.” Brian Halligan
- Sequoia was very helpful to HubSpot
- “You have to differentiate yourself, there’s so much noise in the market now.” Dharmesh Shah
- HubSpot has roughly a 16 month payback period
- It’s possible to charge up to 25% of the first year’s revenue in setup fees or professional services