Hubspot: Talking in CodeDharmesh Shah of HubSpot tops our list of innovators in high tech
May 22, 2011
The Boston Globe
by John Dyer
1. Dharmesh Shah, cofounder and chief technical officer, HubSpot Inc.Dharmesh Shah, 43, spent much of 2010 raising $32 million in venture capital for HubSpot Inc., an online marketing platform for small and midsize businesses, bringing its total venture investment to $65 million. But just about every day, he manages to write software code, even if it means staying up till 2 a.m.
“Writing software isn’t work for me,’’ he said. “It’s a calling.’’
That is echoed in an online biography, where Shah wrote, “I still write code as it keeps me in touch with reality and makes me a better entrepreneur. Plus, I enjoy it.’’
An “engineer at heart,’’ Shah said he has “a passion around building things,’’ and that extends to the entrepreneurial community in Boston and around the world.
He built HubSpot from a two-person, 2006 MIT dorm room dream to a bustling 200-person operation in Kendall Square. Before that, he founded Pyramid Digital Solutions, an enterprise software company bootstrapped with only $10,000, which he ran from 1994 until he sold it in 2005. Shah also runs OnStartups.com, a prominent blog and community for entrepreneurs. He also maintains small investments in “20 or 21’’ early stage companies.
“It’s important to me to support early stage entrepreneurs,’’ he said, “because many of them have wild, crazy ideas that may not make sense to a lot of people.’’
– D.C. Denison
2. Jeffrey Anderson, chief executive, Quick Hit The big coup in the world of video games last year belonged to a company in Foxborough: Quick Hit Inc., which scored a license from the National Football League for an online football video game. Most industry observers assumed the NFL contract that allowed game giant Electronic Arts to produce licensed football games was exclusive. But it turned out EA’s deal covered only console, computer, and handheld games — not games played online.
“We found a space where we could operate, and obviously the NFL felt the same,’’ said Jeffrey Anderson, 44, the founder of Quick Hit.
The company launched its NFL game to the delight of online players. Around three million users now log on and play Quick Hit regularly, he said.
Anderson believes video game production could be a major engine for growth in Massachusetts. To realize that goal, he’s on the steering committee for the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute, a recently established coalition of state officials, video game companies, and colleges that train would—be game programmers.
“We have such a great opportunity to build the economy on digital games,’’ he said.