OpenView’s Cultural-Fit-ology March Madness tournament came to a thrilling conclusion with HubSpot and SEOmoz locked in a battle to decide who has the “Best Company Culture in Tech.” The results are in and we have a winner.
After four rounds of head-to-head competition with some of the best names in tech, one company has emerged as OpenView’s first ever Cultural-Fit-ology champion.
And the winner is…
The two companies gave us a final to remember, with SEOmoz climbing back from an early deficit to make it anyone’s match on Saturday, but in the end HubSpot rallied to pull away and prevail, winning 56% to 44%.
Capping off a dominating run through the Northeast region and its epic take down of Google in the Final Four, HubSpot proved it was (in)bound for glory, and that this was a title it wouldn’t be denied.
Congratulations HubSpot! Let’s take one final look at the qualities that set this winning company culture apart, and the path HubSpot took to its championship title.
HubSpot: Cultural-Fit-ology Champion
Company size: 300+ employees
Motto: All-in-one marketing software
CEO: Brian Halligan
X-factor(s): The HubSpot Way; Beer fridge
Road to the Title: Sent home goods retailer Wayfair home packing in Round 1; Added another win for Boston vs. NYC by trouncing Fab in Round 2; Left Google searching for answers in the Final Four; Won the title in the championship match against SEOmoz
You don’t become the second fastest growing SaaS company in history and get named the best place to work in Boston two years in a row without an amazing culture. From its vaunted “No Door Policy,” where CEO Halligan and other top execs sit with everybody else, to its open-thread wiki and its “podjects,” where any employee can organize new projects to improve the company, HubSpot encourages fresh thinking as much as it does fresh beer in its dedicated fridge. Plus, any HubSpotter wants to enroll in a “mini-MBA” course can look forward to classes taught by the CEO, MIT profs, and entrepreneurs like Paul English from Kayak (seed #3). Ping pong tournaments after sundown with spiked slushies are the icing on the cake. For a closer look, watch "Inside HubSpot," which our readers voted Best Recruiting Video of the Year.
While SEOmoz’s run fell short, Roger & Co. can stand tall knowing they have an incredibly passionate fan base who poured in their votes, comments, and support.
What this tournament has made absolutely clear is that both companies have a connection with their employees and customers that goes well beyond the norm, and both serve as shining examples of what putting that connection and company culture first looks like.
1) Size Can Be a Challenge
There were more than a fair share of shocking upsets throughout the tournament, and we learned that when it comes to amazing company culture, size can actually be a potential disadvantage.
Both HubSpot and SEOmoz took down larger competitors who tipped the scales in terms of number of employees and brand awareness in their favor. If anything, the success of underdogs in the tournament may be an indication that the elements of a vibrant company culture — strong, personal relationships, a cohesive set of values and vision, and both individual and collective passion — is something that is easier to develop and inspire starting out than it is to maintain as you grow.
Perhaps the real challenge is finding ways to scale that passion and cohesive vision, and sustain those close connections in the midst of expansion and transition. With their solid foundations, however, both HubSpot and SEOmoz appear well prepared to take that challenge head on.
2) Great Companies are Community Builders
Both HubSpot and SEOmoz have the power of thriving communities behind them, and that’s because they have taken the time and effort to develop those communities around a focus on shared passions and interests rather than a focus on branded products and solutions. Inbound.org and the YouMoz Blog are two of the most active forums in their respective spaces, reaching beyond their founders to take on lives of their own.
3) Openness and Empowerment Rule
At the core of both companies’ cultures are two distinctly important qualities:
- An eagerness to be open and share information
- A passion to empower their customers, employees, and communities
4) It Pays to Have a Code (one that you don’t need to crack)
Perhaps one of the biggest reasons HubSpot and SEOmoz made it so far in a tournament based on company culture is because they have both taken such care in defining exactly what it is that defines them. They are crystal clear about their mission, vision, and values, and they have each put them front and center with the HubSpot Culture Code and the TAGFEE Code, respectively.
Thank You for Following this Year’s Tournament and Congratulations HubSpot!
Thank you to everyone who voted, participated, and otherwise helped make Cultural-Fit-ology possible! Stay tuned for more tips and tactics on developing a strong company culture from our winner, HubSpot, and in the meantime, see The HubSpot Code for an inside peek into the best company culture in tech: