We don’t use Hubspot. #Inbound17 was great, anyway!

By WorkBook6

Full disclosure: at WorkBook6 (where we specialize in strategic partnership development), we’re not a @Hubspot user, but we loved #INBOUND17

We’ve tried hard to convince ourselves otherwise, but the truth is Hubspot doesn’t fit WorkBook6’s business model. That’s cool with us – we celebrate that our strategic partnership development focus isn’t like many others. For the record, nothing else works, either; Salesforce, Zoho and others have also failed to meet our needs.

We’ve built our own platform, instead (more on this another time, though). But, let’s be clear: while we don’t use Hubspot, I’m flat-out impressed by the company, and as we learned this past week while attending INBOUND 2017, their value stretches far beyond the utility of their products.

I walked away touched by their ability to build a thriving community and inspired by the platform’s enablement of great, thoughtful marketing.

This leadership team gets it – and they share it

But I did attend the opening talk by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah – Hubspot’s co-founders and leaders. Few firms grow as so impressively without experiencing significant turnover at the top. Through several rounds of capital and, then, an IPO, Brian and Dharmesh have remained at the helm.

I’ve seen too much of the opposite: having experienced plenty of top-level turmoil, I wanted to see these leaders in action. While one can’t catch the whole story in an hour, I did notice a few common attributes which I suspect have played a role in this success and longevity: they’re humble, they value their team, and they’re fun.

Brian joked about his family. He shared stories about his son. He acknowledged his leadership team – particularly Katie Burke, the Chief People Officer. He was open about the few times in their past when growth and progress was slow. And he talked about having to learn to say ‘no.’ Dharmesh called himself ‘indoorsy.’

He talked about stressing over an invitation from Sequoia Partners to join 100 top tech entrepreneurs – including Elon Musk – because he was afraid of being around so many people. This was artful. In front of something like 4,000 people, he admitted being an introvert. In a time when we see so many examples of bombast from men in leadership positions, he connected with his audience through precisely the inverse: he was vulnerable and humble. To me, that’s confidence.

They’ve inspired millennials through strategic partnership development

To anyone out there who thinks millennials don’t work hard, please visit INBOUND next year. From a strategic partnership development perspective, the place was absolutely jumping with young professionals and entrepreneurs from across the planet. They were hustling. And selling. And, yes, they were also drinking craft coffee. Here’s a thought, though: could it just be that many of the aspersions thrown their (our) way are merely rooted in misunderstanding. Ponder it. Maybe over a pumpkin-flavored micro-brew.

I could write more. But Rob Stevenson told me y’all wouldn’t read more than 300 words and not to use too many commas. And, I’ve nearly doubled that, so, you know, while I hate to do it, and it hurts so bad, I really, really, really gotta go, now. Thanks Hubspot – INBOUND was a blast!

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