learn about the story of HubSpot co-founder and legend of Inbound Marketing – WAU

Dharmesh Shah was one of the co-founders of Hubspot, a pioneer in the Inbound Marketing methodology and develops several projects related to startups.

If you have read any of our articles or used an Inbound Marketing concept in your company, Dharmesh Shah is indirectly responsible for this.

Co-creator of Hubspot, one of the leading marketing companies on the planet, Shah helped to create the term Inbound Marketing and organize all the knowledge necessary to use this strategy.

Today, 71% of London companies use Inbound Marketing daily.

If your company is one of them, then you need to know more about the history of Dharmesh Shah and the lessons we can learn from it.

Are you ready for this journey? So come on!

Who is Dharmesh Shah?

Dharmesh Shah
Source: Cox Blue

Talented programmer, angel investor and successful entrepreneur, Dharmesh Shah is one of co-creators of Inbound Marketing.

Born in India, but raised and educated in the USA, Shah revolutionized the world of Marketing in 2006, when founded Hubspot alongside colleague Brian Halligan.

The pair met at MIT, when they were studying to get an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management, specialized in the areas of leadership, entrepreneurship and marketing.

Since the founding of Hubspot, Dharmesh Shah has served as the company’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO), dedicating his efforts to improving the company’s software.

In addition, Shah also serves as an angel investor in Boston, supporting more than 35 startups in the region.

Not to mention the published books, the hundreds of articles posted on the Internet and other activities.

Why stop to listen to Dharmesh Shah?

As we saw above, Shah is a tireless content creator.

There are hundreds of articles published in different sources, written books, TED Talks and other formats.

But why should you stop to listen to the guy?

Yes, creating an impactful company is relevant, but is that enough to devote your time to consuming its content?

In fact, Dharmesh Shah is much more than “just” the co-founder of Hubspot. Check out what he’s done:


Dharmesh Shah has a respected academic background.

He earned his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

It was there that he learned to program and obtain the technological base that would motivate his career.

Shortly afterwards he went to MIT to get his Master’s in Technology, alongside his MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management.

That is: the guy has quality luggage on his resume.

Columnist on entrepreneurship

The basis of Inbound Marketing is to offer high quality content to attract customers to your company.

And that Dharmesh Shah knows how to do like no one else.

During his time at MIT, he founded the OnStartups website and started writing about entrepreneurship.

At the time, Shah already had a lot of experience because of his first startup, which was recently sold.

Currently, more than 500 thousand readers who rush to read each new article published on the page, an impressive number!

Best-selling author

Dharmesh Shah is the co-author of two major marketing best sellers.

Dharmesh Shah's On Startups Book

The first was the Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media and Blogs, launched in 2009 and written with its partner Brian Halligan.

In 2014, the duo prepared the book Inbound Marketing: Attract, Engage and Delight Customers Online.

These two works were essential for the creation and popularization of Inbound Marketing around the world.

Any self-respecting professional in the field needs to read both – we even reviewed one of them!

In addition, Shah also compiled a series of articles written on OnStartups to launch the book On Startups: Advice and Insights for Entepreneurs.

Angel investor

When Dharmesh Shah starts talking about entrepreneurship, it is best to stop and listen.

In addition to having made two successful journeys in the world of entrepreneurship (we’ll talk about them later), the guy still acts as an angel investor in the American market, having invested in more than 30 different startups.

What to learn from one of the creators of Inbound Marketing

For any entrepreneur or Marketing professional, Dharmesh Shah’s life and career is full of lessons to be applied in his own journey.

Explore your options

Shah started his professional career as a software developer at SunGard, a $ 11 billion technology company, in 1992.

Two years later, he left the company to found Pyramid Digital Solutions, where he created software focused on the financial services market.

In a game of genius, he negotiated with SunGard itself so that his former bosses could sell the software he developed at Pyramid, since he did not like the sales area.

In 2005, 11 years later, sold its first startup to SunGard for millions of dollars.

It was at this time that he entered MIT, already with a success in his baggage and ready to found Hubspot with his future colleague Brian Halligan.

Sow your ideas to reap the rewards

Shah’s first experience as an entrepreneur already showed the maxim that would guide his business performance in the future: the idea that you need plant the seeds in fertile soil before you can harvest the fruits.

Hubspot itself is an example of this. The two explain that the company was born from the perception that the companies and startups of the time were not finding a favorable environment to develop.

Halligan was already an angel investor at the time and noticed that the startups he supported were bumping into the sale of their products, without being able to use the marketing techniques that used to work.

At the same time, Shah was thriving with his OnStartups website, having more readers and views than companies with more employees and a much larger Marketing budget.

Together, the pair realized that consumers had changed and no longer wanted outbound marketing interruptions, but they need the help that only Inbound Marketing could offer.

However, being able to gather all the tools necessary to make a good Inbound Marketing strategy was too difficult a task.

The solution to this would come from Shah’s programming skills, who would create a CRM, software capable of bringing together all the necessary functions for a successful Inbound Marketing strategy.

Before they could offer the product that would allow other companies to grow, the pair realized that they needed to take care of their own plantation.

That is why the first job done by Hubspot was its own blog.

Before even having the software ready, before prospecting the first customer or investor, the duo was feeding a blog full of quality content.

First they prepared the soil, then they placed the seeds.

The fruits came soon (it didn’t take long for the company to grow a lot), but they continued to plant more and harvest more.

Hubspot only recorded operating profit in the first quarter of 2017, 11 years after it was created.

Without patience and confidence in the process, they would not have succeeded.

In fact, insecurity is one of the worst things for an entrepreneur or marketing professional, according to Shah. One of his most famous phrases says the following:

“If you can get your team out of insecurity, incredible things will happen. If you can get the insecurity out of yourself, amazing things will start to happen ”

3 fun facts about Dharmesh Shah to take to life

One of Hubspot’s mantras is that 1 + 1 = 3.

You can question their mathematics now, but you will not go after understanding the logic behind this maxim.

According to the ideal of Shah and the company, the total is greater than the sum of its parts. Two elements together complete each other and create something bigger than themselves.

Therefore, we have separated 3 interesting moments in the life of Dharmesh Shah to show how they contributed to making him better:

He broke a promise to his wife

Shortly after he founded his first startup, Shah founded a second one, which did not go very well.

The work of dealing with two companies was very large and caused a lot of stress in his family.

Eventually he ended up selling both companies and promised his wife that he would not start any other startup and would only act as an angel investor.

Soon after he went to MIT and ended up creating the Hubspot with Brian Halligan.

His wife was not nervous about the broken promise. On the contrary: she even designed the company logo and was the first customer to pay for a Hubspot service.

Without the support of the people around you, it can be very difficult to reach your maximum potential.

He’s incredibly introverted

They say that an entrepreneur or marketer cannot be an introvert, but Dharmesh Shah is living proof to the contrary.

The guy is very introverted, but he learned to deal with it. Check out the tips he gives to those who have the same characteristic:

  • “Accept introversion and play with the best you have. I’m very good with emails and terrible on the phone, so I don’t make calls. ”
  • “Recognize that introversion is neither bad nor good. It just is. ”
  • “Join people who understand what it means to be an introvert”
  • “Read this article and Susan Cain’s book Quiet. They have good ideas on the topic. ”

He did high school in India because it was “too easy in the USA”

Despite being born in India, Dharmesh Shah soon moved to the USA and did almost all of his education in the country.

However, when it came time to enter American high school, Shah’s parents thought it would be better to send him to India.

The reason? High school in the USA was “too easy”.

It was only when he returned from high school in India that Shah had access to his first computer and soon fell in love with the device, going to study Computer Science.

As you can see, knowledge and the thirst for learning were great motivators in Dharmesh Shah’s career.

And In yours? Do you want to learn more and more in your field? So how about seeking a Certification in Digital Marketing? Check out our article to find out how this certification can help you!