question mark manOne of the many unique features of HubSpot's culture is its emphasis on transparency -- transparency that manifests itself internally within the organization and externally to its customers and community.

When it comes to internal transparency, HubSpot employees particularly value the accessibility of its management team. In fact, HubSpot ranked number 6 on the Boston Globe Top Places to Work Awards 'Management' Top Ten List based on employees' belief that senior managers at HubSpot understand what is going on within the organization.

The HubSpot company wiki is a perfect example of HubSpot's internal transparency, offering a platform for cross-departmental collaboration and encouraging communication between any employee and upper management.

Recently, HubSpot Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer Dharmesh Shah published an experimental article on the wiki entitled "Ask Dharmesh Anything." A self-proclaimed introvert, Dharmesh recognizes that despite how open and accessible he thinks he is, he understands the reality that, to many HubSpotters, he likely doesn't seem very approachable at all. Therefore, his wiki page encourages HubSpotters to ask him anything. The question can be about technology, strategy, product, marketing, startups, funding, or whatever -- Dharmesh will do his best to answer it so long as it doesn't potentially harm someone else.

So far, it seems the experiment is proving successful, with 57 questions and comments between HubSpotters and Dharmesh and the introduction of some very interesting discussion topics and conversation among members of the HubSpot team.

Wondering what HubSpotters are actually asking Dharmesh? It's quite a mix of serious and lighthearted topics, but here are a couple of examples:

Question: What are you naming the baby? [Dharmesh and his wife are expecting ... soon!]

Dharmesh: It's going to be a boy, but we have not yet kicked off the branding project.

Question: Why the name HubSpot?

Dharmesh: I was looking for a simple name that conveyed the "be at the center of your world" concept. I looked at a bunch of different variations. It turned out that the domain was still freely available (nobody had registered it). Since I was still in my first year at MIT, and not quite sure where the business was going to head, it was nice to not have to pay thousands of dollars for a domain. The name HubSpot is by no means perfect (we had a couple of serious conversations in the early days about changing it). But, we (I think wisely) decided to stick with it -- because we already had some brand equity, and none of the other options we looked at were better enough to warrant the change.

In what ways does your company encourage transparency and internal communication and collaboration?

Want to connect with Dharmesh? Send him a tweet @dharmesh.

Photo by Marco Bellucci

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Originally published Jan 6, 2011 10:15:00 AM, updated January 17 2023


HubSpot Culture