I am a terrible HR person. I hate clichés like “earning a seat at the table” or “getting executive buy-in.” To me, those terms typically indicate a lack of business sense -- I’m a strong advocate for tackling business challenges, not overthinking them. I believe in doing things differently, and in creating companies that hire, reward, and promote exceptional individuals and remarkable ideas.
Simply put, I joined Netflix because Reed Hastings was passionate about creating a company people would be proud to be from. We wrote down all the mistakes we had made in our previous startup lives, committed to never making them again, and went about inventing a culture and a workplace centered upon invention and high performance.
People ask if what we created at Netflix was magic, luck, or an incredible HR coup. It was none of those things. Like any other startup, it was tireless work, a relentless commitment to reinvention, fanaticism around culture, and collaboration with some of the smartest people I’ve ever met, which brings me to present day -- now over a decade since I first joined the Netflix team.
My first priority in the next stage of my career is devoted to one goal: giving back to the entrepreneurial community that has given me so much. I haven’t sorted out the exact mix of what that includes, but if it’s anything like the rest of my career, it won’t follow a recipe. Instead, I’m focused on finding projects, companies, and entrepreneurs who are disrupting traditional industries with innovative ideas and cultures. One of those companies is HubSpot, and I’m excited to announce that I’m joining HubSpot’s Advisory Board this month.
Why I'm Joining HubSpot's Advisory Board
Why HubSpot? First things first, their company mission is compelling to all of us who detest junk mail and robo-calls: HubSpot’s mission is to replace loud, interruptive, and annoying advertising with marketing people love.
But equally important to me is that there are very few entrepreneurs that take company culture as seriously as Reed and I did when creating the vision for Netflix culture, and HubSpot’s co-founder and CTO Dharmesh Shah is one of them. He and Brian Halligan are hell bent on building a company their employees, customers, investors, and partners love, and have invested time, money, energy, and a significant amount of sweat into inventing, refining, and revolutionizing a company culture that’s truly differentiated and unique.
HubSpot’s culture is centered upon radical transparency and autonomy. They have a three word policy for almost everything -- “Use Good Judgment” -- and have made a concerted effort to resist superfluous rules and regulations as they nurture the culture that has helped defined their brand. Given their impressive growth (they grew 82% last year alone), this is no small feat.
Dharmesh recently published the Culture Code, which outlined the parameters for HubSpot’s commitment to creating a company people love, including candid commentary about where the company currently falls short and where they need to invest the most time and effort to improve. That type of candor and honesty has been the foundation of my career to date, so I went to HubSpot for a presentation to employees and decided that HubSpot was exactly the type of place I’d like to spend more time over the next few years.
Specifically, I’ll be helping HubSpot figure out how to continue its spectacular growth while maintaining a company culture that has fueled the organization’s success. Creating and cultivating a high performance culture isn’t for the faint of heart, but luckily HubSpot’s leadership shares my passion for getting s&*t done instead of talking about it, and have made hiring, elevating, and rewarding top talent a priority since they launched the business in 2006. I look forward to working with them on a company people truly love.