Brian Halligan is an American executive and author. He is CEO and co-founder of HubSpot, an inbound marketing and sales software company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and is also a senior lecturer at MIT. Halligan uses the term inbound marketing to describe the type of marketing he advocates.
He has co-authored two books on marketing: Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs with HubSpot co-founder Dharmesh Shah and Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead: What Every Business Can Learn from the Most Iconic Band in History with David Meerman Scott.
Brian Halligan in 2010
|Alma mater||University of Vermont|
MIT Sloan School of Management
Halligan was born in Westwood, Massachusetts, and grew up and attended public schools in Westwood, Massachusetts. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Vermont and an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management in 2005.
His career began at Parametric Technology Corporation in several roles leading up to senior vice president of the Pacific Rim. Wanting to work in a smaller company, he joined Groove Networks as vice president of sales, where he worked from 2000 to 2004 before it was acquired by Microsoft and rebranded as Microsoft SharePoint Workspace.
After a period as a venture partner at Longworth Ventures he co-founded HubSpot in June 2006. In HubSpot's 2016 Year In Review, the company reported $271 million in total revenue and 1,597 employees with headquarters in Cambridge, MA and offices in Dublin, Ireland (EMEA HQ); Berlin; Singapore; Sydney, Australia; Tokyo, Japan; and Portsmouth, NH. He credits the company's success, in part, to innovations like the "Alpha, Beta, Version One" policy, in which employees begin proving their ideas might profit the company "nights and weekends" (the alpha phase) before receiving additional resources (the beta and version one phases).
From 2014 to 2016, Halligan also served on the board of directors of Fleetmatics, a provider of fleet management solutions delivered as software-as-a-service, leading up to their acquisition by Verizon for $2.4 billion.
Halligan's first book, Inbound Marketing, was co-authored with HubSpot co-founder Dharmesh Shah. The thesis of the book is that because people now block marketing that interrupts them, such as advertisements and spam, companies need to instead provide information that is useful to prospects, who will then self-identify. Reviewing the book, Meryl Evans said that it contains "elementary stuff..." but it "does a good job for those who don’t have a clue about how to use social media for business."  It was also reviewed in The Boston Globe. As of July 2011, the book was in its seventh printing, had sold 40,000 copies, and had been translated into nine languages. The book was revised and updated in 2014 in a second edition.
His second book, Marketing Lessons, was co-authored with David Meerman Scott. It uses the marketing activities of the rock band The Grateful Dead as an example of this. Scott Kirsner, reviewing this book in The Boston Globe, mentions that the authors say that they were inspired, in part, by an article in The Atlantic by Joshua Green. In 2017, Halligan purchased the "Wolf" guitar once owned by Garcia for $1.9M at a charity auction. An anonymous donor made an additional donation of $1.6M and so the total benefit the Southern Poverty Law Center was $3.5M.
Halligan speaks on marketing and business topics, including at TEDx. He was an entrepreneur in residence at MIT and is a senior lecturer, teaching "Designing, Developing, and Launching Successful Products in an Entrepreneurial Environment". He previously taught "Entrepreneurial Product Development and Marketing" with Elaine Chen. He is also an occasional lecturer at Sloan on the science of selling and marketing.
In his book Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start Up Bubble, which is sharply critical of HubSpot's management and culture, former HubSpot employee Daniel Lyons accused Halligan of age discrimination.
Materials obtained under the Freedom of Information Act showed that certain Hubspot executives working under Halligan considered the book "a financial threat to HubSpot, its share price, and the company’s future potential." The FBI report discusses "tactics such as email hacking and extortion" in the attempt to prevent the book from being published.
Halligan was forced to pay financial penalties by the HubSpot board of directors because he failed to promptly alert the board after he discovered that staff members at HubSpot behaved inappropriately. "There was definitely some fishiness. But I didn’t report it. That was my bad," Halligan said about the incident.
Chief executive Brian Halligan was fined for failing to promptly alert the company’s board of directors after finding out about the incident.
I did the math on how many days I’ve been a working professional. It’s something like 6,250, and yesterday was the worst.
Daniel Pritzker (born 1959) is an American billionaire heir, musician, film director, and member of the Pritzker family.David Cancel
David Cancel is an American entrepreneur, investor, and founder of several software companies. He is the CEO and founder of Drift, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company which creates messaging software for businesses.David Meerman Scott
David Meerman Scott is an American online marketing strategist and author of several books on marketing, including The New Rules of Marketing and PR.FutureM
FutureM is an annual two-day marketing conference; a series of events, discussions and parties throughout the Greater Boston, Massachusetts, United States, area. The conference offers marketing and technology practitioners from around the world the opportunity to network, explore media and technology opportunities, and discover the future of marketing.Grateful Dead
The Grateful Dead was an American rock band formed in 1965 in Palo Alto, California. Ranging from quintet to septet, the band is known for its eclectic style, which fused elements of rock, folk, country, bluegrass, blues, gospel, modal jazz, reggae, experimental music, psychedelia, and space rock, for live performances of lengthy instrumental jams, and for their devoted fan base, known as "Deadheads". "Their music", writes Lenny Kaye, "touches on ground that most other groups don't even know exists". These various influences were distilled into a diverse and psychedelic whole that made the Grateful Dead "the pioneering Godfathers of the jam band world". The band was ranked 57th by Rolling Stone magazine in its The Greatest Artists of All Time issue. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994 and a recording of their May 8, 1977, performance at Cornell University's Barton Hall was added to the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress in 2012. The Grateful Dead have sold more than 35 million albums worldwide.
The Grateful Dead was founded in the San Francisco Bay Area amid the rise of the counterculture of the 1960s. The founding members were Jerry Garcia (lead guitar, vocals), Bob Weir (rhythm guitar, vocals), Ron "Pigpen" McKernan (keyboards, harmonica, vocals), Phil Lesh (bass, vocals), and Bill Kreutzmann (drums). Members of the Grateful Dead had played together in various San Francisco bands, including Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions and the Warlocks. Lesh was the last member to join the Warlocks before they became the Grateful Dead; he replaced Dana Morgan Jr., who had played bass for a few gigs. Drummer Mickey Hart and non-performing lyricist Robert Hunter joined in 1967. With the exception of McKernan, who died in 1973, and Hart, who took time off from 1971 to 1974, the core of the band stayed together for its entire 30-year history. The other official members of the band are Tom Constanten (keyboards; 1968–1970), John Perry Barlow (nonperforming lyricist; 1971–1995), Keith Godchaux (keyboards; 1971–1979), Donna Godchaux (vocals; 1972–1979), Brent Mydland (keyboards, vocals; 1979–1990), and Vince Welnick (keyboards, vocals; 1990–1995). Bruce Hornsby (accordion, piano, vocals) was a touring member from 1990 to 1992, as well as a guest with the band on occasion before and after the tours.
After the death of Garcia in 1995, former members of the band, along with other musicians, toured as the Other Ones in 1998, 2000, and 2002, and the Dead in 2003, 2004, and 2009. In 2015, the four surviving core members marked the band's 50th anniversary in a series of concerts that were billed as their last performances together. There have also been several spin-offs featuring one or more core members, such as Dead & Company, Furthur, the Rhythm Devils, Phil Lesh and Friends, RatDog, and Billy & the Kids.Halligan (surname)
Halligan is a surname of Irish origin, deriving from Irish Ó hAilechain or Ó hAleagain. Bearers include:
John Halligan, Irish politician
Bob Halligan, Jr., US Christian rock musician
Brendan Halligan, Irish economist and politician
Brian Halligan, CEO of HubSpot
Caitlin Halligan, US lawyer and judicial nominee
Danny Halligan, New Zealand soccer player
Daryl Halligan, New Zealand rugby league player
Dick Halligan, US jazz-rock musician
James Halligan (1778–1806), an Irishman hanged for murder in America
James Reginald Halligan (1894–1968), Australian public servant
Jim Halligan, US politician
Jocko Halligan, US baseball player
John Halligan (ice hockey), US ice hockey executive
John Halligan, Jr., US Navy admiral
Johnny Halligan, Scottish footballer
Liam Halligan, UK economist and journalist
Marion Halligan, Australian writer
Ray Halligan, Australian politician
Ursula Halligan, Irish broadcasterHubSpot
HubSpot is a developer and marketer of software products for inbound marketing and sales. It was founded by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah in 2006. Its products and services aim to provide tools for social media marketing, content management, web analytics and search engine optimization.Interruption marketing
Interruption marketing or outbound marketing is promoting a product through continued advertising, promotions, public relations and sales. It is considered to be an annoying version of the traditional way of doing marketing whereby companies focus on finding customers through advertising. (Confusingly, the ambiguous term outbound marketing is sometimes used as a label for interruption marketing. This gives rise to an ambiguity because in the past the term had a different meaning, namely that information about finished product capability was flowing out to prospective customers who have a need for it i.e. benign marketing communication and product marketing.)Jerry Garcia
Jerome John Garcia (August 1, 1942 – August 9, 1995) was an American singer-songwriter and guitarist, best known for his work as the lead guitarist and as a vocalist with the band Grateful Dead, which came to prominence during the counterculture era in the 1960s. Although he disavowed the role, Garcia was viewed by many as the leader or "spokesman" of the group.One of its founders, Garcia performed with the Grateful Dead for their entire 30-year career (1965–1995). Garcia also founded and participated in a variety of side projects, including the Saunders–Garcia Band (with longtime friend Merl Saunders), the Jerry Garcia Band, Old & In the Way, the Garcia/Grisman acoustic duo, Legion of Mary, and the New Riders of the Purple Sage (which Garcia co-founded with John Dawson and David Nelson). He also released several solo albums, and contributed to a number of albums by other artists over the years as a session musician. He was well known for his distinctive guitar playing, and was ranked 13th in Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" cover story in 2003. (In the 2015 version of the list he was ranked at #46.)Garcia was also renowned for his musical and technical ability, particularly his ability to play a variety of instruments, and his ability to sustain long improvisations with The Grateful Dead. Garcia believed that improvisation took stress away from his playing and allowed him to make spur of the moment decisions that he would not have made intentionally. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Garcia noted that "my own preferences are for improvisation, for making it up as I go along. The idea of picking, of eliminating possibilities by deciding, that’s difficult for me". Garcia's improvisation techniques were widely lauded for their ability to span genres, as well as his ability to employ modal guitar playing. He was particularly a proponent of using the Mixolydian mode, a scale which utilised a flattened 7th note.
Later in life, Garcia was sometimes ill because of his diabetes, and in 1986, he went into a diabetic coma that nearly cost him his life. Although his overall health improved somewhat after that, he continued to struggle with obesity, smoking, and longstanding heroin and cocaine addictions. He was staying in a California drug rehabilitation facility when he died of a heart attack in August 1995 at the age of 53.List of Internet entrepreneurs
An Internet entrepreneur is an owner, founder or manager of an Internet based business. This list includes Internet company founders, and people brought on to companies for their entrepreneurship skills, not simply for their general business or accounting acumen, as is the case with some CEOs hired by companies started by entrepreneurs.List of companies founded by MIT alumni
This is a list of companies founded by Massachusetts Institute of Technology alumni, including attendees who enrolled in degree-programs at MIT but did not eventually graduate. This list is not exhaustive, as it only includes notable companies of which the founding and development history is well recorded by reliable sources. In particular, subsidiaries are listed with their owners in parentheses.
MIT is one of the leading universities worldwide in attracting funding for start-up companies, and its alumni have founded numerous companies. According to PitchBook, from 2006 to 2017, MIT produced 907 company founders as alumni or current students, creating 780 companies, third most among all universities in the world. In addition, according to a report of MIT Sloan School of Management in 2015, some 30,000 companies founded by MIT alumni were active, employing 4.6 million people and producing annual revenues of $1.9 trillion, roughly equivalent to the 10th-largest economy in the world (2014). Approximately 40% of MIT founders are serial entrepreneurs, starting multiple companies, and 23% of MIT alumni’s new companies are founded outside the United States.In this list, founders of a company which merged with other companies to form a new company are counted as founders of the new company. However, founders of a company which later dissolved into several successor companies are not counted as founders of those successor companies; this same rule applies to spin-off companies. Finally, a defunct company is a company that stopped functioning completely (e.g., bankrupt) without dissolving, merging or being acquired.MIT Sloan School of Management
The MIT Sloan School of Management (also known as MIT Sloan or Sloan) is the business school of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States.
MIT Sloan offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs, as well as executive education. Its MBA program is among the most selective in the world.
MIT Sloan emphasizes innovation in practice and research. Many influential ideas in management and finance originated at the school, including the Black–Scholes model, the Solow–Swan model, the random walk hypothesis, the binomial options pricing model, and the field of system dynamics. The faculty has included numerous Nobel laureates in economics and John Bates Clark Medal winners.Phil Singleton
Phil Singleton is an American author, web designer and Internet marketing consultant who assists small businesses. He is the co-author of SEO for Growth and The Small Business Owner’s Guide To Local Lead Generation.Robert Harris Mnookin
Robert Harris Mnookin is an American lawyer, author, and the Samuel Williston Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. He focuses largely on dispute resolution, negotiation, and arbitration and was one of the primary co-arbitrators that resolved a 7-year software rights dispute between IBM and Fujitsu in the 1980s. Mnookin has been the Chair of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School since 1994.Tiger (guitar)
Tiger was Jerry Garcia's main guitar from 1979 to 1989. It was built by Sonoma County luthier Doug Irwin. After the instrument was commissioned by Garcia in 1973 following delivery of Wolf (his first major Irwin guitar), Irwin was assisted from 1974 to 1977 by apprentice luthier Thomas Lieber, who devised the body design and later became known in his own right for designing instruments used by Pete Sears, Stanley Clarke and Chris Stein. According to Lieber, he and Irwin conceived the instrument as "our generation's Les Paul." Throughout the design and construction process, it was provisionally designated "the Garcia" in homage to Paul's eponymous instrument. Upon commissioning the instrument, Garcia enjoined Irwin to "make it the way he thought was best, and not worry about cost."The Tiger is named after the tiger inlaid on the preamp cover located on the guitar's top, just behind the tailpiece. The body features several layers of wood laminated together face-to-face in a configuration referred to as a "hippie sandwich" by employees of Alembic Inc., where Irwin worked for a brief period in the early 1970s. The combination of several heavy varieties of wood, plus solid brass binding and hardware results in an unusually heavy instrument that tips the scales at 13½ pounds. After Garcia began using a new Irwin guitar (known as Rosebud) in December 1989, Tiger became his backup guitar. Due to a problem with Rosebud during the Grateful Dead concert on July 9, 1995, Tiger was the last guitar Garcia played publicly.University of Vermont
The University of Vermont (UVM), officially The University of Vermont and State Agricultural College, is a public research university and, since 1862, the sole land-grant university in the U.S. state of Vermont. Founded in 1791, UVM is among the oldest universities in the United States and is the fifth institution of higher education established in the New England region of the U.S. northeast. It is also listed as one of the original eight "Public Ivy" institutions in the United States.
The university is incorporated in the city of Burlington–Vermont's most populous municipality. The campus's Dudley H. Davis Center was the first student center in the United States to receive a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification. The largest hospital complex in Vermont, the University of Vermont Medical Center, has its primary facility on the UVM campus and is affiliated with the Robert Larner College of Medicine.Westwood High School (Massachusetts)
Westwood High School is a public four-year high school located in Westwood, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston, Massachusetts, in the United States. It is fed by the E.W. Thurston Middle School. The school consistently ranks as one of top educating institutions in the state, ranking 5th among public schools and 134th nationally, according to Newsweek.