I lived and worked through the beginning of the online marketing era in Silicon Valley. It was awkward, complicated, messy, clunky, and confusing. The only people and businesses who knew how to do it well were individuals who were incredibly tech-savvy or companies that could pay large sums of money for consulting from other tech-savvy individuals. Yet consumers at that time knew what few marketers would admit: the entire buying experience needed to change, and marketers needed to adapt or face extinction.

While I was at eBay, we leveraged this fundamental shift to connect buyers to sellers globally with a marketplace that made it easier than ever for consumers to find items they treasured and for small business owners and entrepreneurs to launch businesses that scaled massively without overhead. We disrupted traditional shopping by building solutions that delighted small business owners and buyers alike.

Today, I’m proud to join HubSpot’s board because I believe it is uniquely positioned to lead a similar paradigm shift in the world of marketing. This shift benefits small businesses and consumers by delivering a more efficient, integrated, and measurable buying experience that mirrors the way people shop and buy in the 21st century. Here’s what excites me about HubSpot:

We share a passion for the SMB space.

Although most of my career has been spent at large companies like GE and Intuit, I have a deep passion for small and medium sized businesses, ranging from one to one thousand employees, that constitute HubSpot’s primary customer base. I believe SMBs are the lifeblood of the American economy, an often overlooked catalyst for economic growth, and a highly underserved market in the SaaS world.

Brian and Dharmesh launched HubSpot with the belief that inbound marketing is about the size of your brain over the size of your wallet, and they’ve now built a team and a platform that truly allows entrepreneurs and SMBs globally to grow and transform their business. Five years ago, this type of offering wasn’t even available to enterprise companies. Today it’s available to any organization with the time and will to invest in inbound.

HubSpot is an end-to-end solution.

Every business I’ve ever worked with has experienced vastly different stages of growth, and their needs change accordingly. When you’re first starting out, your business needs leads and revenue; as your business grows, you seek ways to be more effective with the resources you deploy in the marketing space.

To that end, I believe marketers are well-served by utilizing an end-to-end solution that can deliver on the needs for each of those lifecycle stages. HubSpot combines SEO, social media publishing and monitoring, content optimization, blogging, email marketing, landing pages, and analytics in one platform, so businesses don’t outgrow the software. Moreover, as Brian is fond of saying, HubSpot is designed for “mere mortals” to use, so instead of teaching your marketing team how to code, format, and design, companies can focus on creating, promoting, and measuring remarkable content to drive business results.

HubSpot understands the long game.

HubSpot’s vision for playing the long game really appeals to me. Instead of focusing on just short-term successes, the HubSpot team set out to build a “once in a generation” company and a community of inbound marketers that goes well beyond the world of HubSpot. The fact that INBOUND attracted 5,500 agencies, marketers, and entrepreneurs alike is a reflection of HubSpot’s commitment to a global community of people who believe in, and advocate for, more lovable marketing. Equally as important is the company’s commitment to scaling its widely lauded culture as leaders hire and retain truly remarkable talent. The company’s executive team is remarkably consistent and united in their vision: they care about making the world of marketing and sales less interruptive and annoying and much more aligned with how modern consumers shop, live, and buy. As a result, it’s not about a one-time transaction, an exit strategy, or foregoing long-term relationships for a short-term sale. It's about helping businesses understand there’s a better way to attract, convert, close, and delight prospects, customers, and leads.

While there has been lots of consolidation and movement in the Valley over the last year or two, one Boston-based company has been accumulating nearly 10,000 customers globally and building a universe of marketers and consumers alike who believe marketing can and should better reflect the modern buying experience. Today, I’m very proud to join HubSpot’s board of directors and formally join the Inbound movement. I believe strongly that this team, company, and product are poised for great things ahead, and I’m honored to be a part of it.

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Originally published Sep 25, 2013 1:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017