10 Things You Didn’t Know about Brian Halligan

Brian Halligan is one of the co-founders of HubSpot, which is a corporation that specializes in the field of inbound marketing. Currently, Halligan serves as the corporation’s CEO, which is in addition to his other roles as both an author and a senior lecturer at MIT.

Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about Brian Halligan:

Did Some Painting During College

When he was still a college student, Halligan didn’t have a lot of entrepreneurial ambitions on his mind. He ran a business that provided interested individuals with painting services, but that was the extent of it. It was not until after he had graduated from school that Halligan became fascinated with entrepreneurship.

Hired By Parametric Technology Corporation Out of School

Once he had graduated from college, Halligan was hired by the Parametric Technology Corporation, which was still a start-up at the time. At the time that Halligan joined up, the corporation was earning $3 million in revenues. In contrast, by the time that Halligan had left 10 years later, the corporation was earning $1 billion in revenues. It was in this place that Halligan learned to lead other people.

Established Branch in Hong Kong

Later, Halligan was the one sent out to establish a branch of the Parametric Technology Corporation in Hong Kong, which would operate through Asia. Like the rest of the corporation, it grew fast, so much so that it was earning $100 million in revenues with 300 or 400 people.

Joined Groove Networks for a Change of Pace

Towards the end, Halligan had risen to senior vice president of the Pacific Rim for the Parametric Technology Corporation. However, he wanted to work at a smaller corporation, which is why he signed on for the role of vice president of sales at Groove Networks, where he would remain until it was bought out by Microsoft in 2004.

Has Faith in People’s Capabilities

It is interesting to note that Halligan believes that most people are capable of doing more than what they believe about themselves. As a result, he is willing to put a lot of faith into their ability to perform. Of course, the other side of that faith in others is that Halligan tends to have high expectations of his employees as well.

Likes Young People

Speaking of which, Halligan’s faith in other people’s capabilities might be what makes him willing to entrust important duties and responsibilities to younger employees than most of his counterparts at other corporations. In fact, it is interesting to note that Halligan has designed HubSpot to an extent to attract younger employees, which means building a corporate culture that is more capable of accommodating them.

Encourages Naps

One of the things that Halligan has encouraged at HubSpot is the practice of napping, so much so that he has had a napping room built into the office. According to Halligan, he does this because he believes that he gets his best ideas when he is either entering a nap or coming out of a nap, meaning that he wants to encourage other people to have good ideas as well by getting enough sleep for themselves.

Teaches in His Spare Time

Besides his full-time role as a CEO, Halligan teaches as a senior lecturer at MIT. To be exact, he teaches entrepreneurship, which is something that he knows a fair amount about. Besides MIT, it is interesting to note that Halligan has also been known to lecture at Sloan from time to time. There, he lectures people on how to sell products as well as other aspects of marketing, which are once again, things that he would know based on his experience as the CEO and co-founder of HubSpot.

Penalized By the Board of Directors for Failing to Report Inappropriate Behavior

On one occasion, Halligan was hit with financial penalties by the Board of Directors at HubSpot for failing to tell them as soon as possible when he learned of inappropriate behavior on the part of some of the HubSpot executives. What happened was that an ex-HubSpot employee had written a book that was critical of the corporation as well as its corporate culture, which the HubSpot executives believed could prove to be a threat to the corporation. As a result, they went to extreme lengths to stop the book from being published, with examples ranging from extortion to email hacking.

Served on the Board of Directors for Fleetmatics

At one point in time, Halligan served as a member of the Board of Directors at Fleetmatics, which provided fleet management services in a SaaS format. In time, the corporation proved to be successful enough that it was bought out by Verizon for more than $2 billion.


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