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Relentless curiosity, radical accountability, and HubSpot’s winning growth formula | Christopher Miller (VP of Product, Growth and AI)

Relentless curiosity, radical accountability, and HubSpot’s winning growth formula | Christopher Miller (VP of Product, Growth and AI)

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Christopher Miller serves as the VP of Product for Growth and AI at HubSpot. Having spent the past seven years at HubSpot, Chris has been at the center of one of the biggest B2B growth stories in history—leading HubSpot’s early growth strategy, their shift to PLG, and now their investment in AI. Beyond his role at HubSpot, he lends his expertise to founders advising them on PLG and their growth strategy broadly. In today’s podcast, we discuss:

  • The principles of winning teams, careers, and companies

  • What customer obsession looks like in practice

  • How sneaking into a party led to a career opportunity

  • Advice for breaking into product management

  • How to find mentors

  • The top four skills for growth roles

  • Lessons from building HubSpot’s famous PLG motion

Listen now on Apple, Spotify, Google, Overcast, and YouTube.

Find the full transcript at: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/relentless-curiosity-radical-accountability-and-hubspots-winning-growth-formula-christopher-mil/#transcript

Where to find Chris Miller:

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/christopherwilliammiller/

• Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/millsyjoeyoung/

Where to find Lenny:

• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/lennysan

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

In this episode, we cover:

(00:00) Chris’s background

(04:15) Chris’s role at HubSpot leading Growth and AI teams

(09:17) The story of how Chris crashed a party and pitched his idea around pricing and packaging

(12:25) Relentless curiosity and other important traits to have as a PM

(16:52) How Chris broke into product management and advice for others wanting to do the same

(22:12) Helpful tips for learning the craft of product management

(26:30) Why you should talk to customers, former customers, and potential customers

(29:34) Mentors vs. sponsors, and advice for finding people who will help you grow

(34:02) What makes HubSpot unique

(36:07) Customer obsession in action

(40:23) How staying in the mid-market space has benefited HubSpot

(42:10) HubSpot’s culture code

(45:10) Fun rituals at HubSpot

(47:36) Key elements that contributed to HubSpot’s early growth

(55:00) Fallacies of product-led companies and how HubSpot embraced PLG

(1:00:48) Advice for companies wanting to become more product-led

(1:04:35) Common mistakes to avoid when trying to start a PLG motion

(1:07:53) How HubSpot structures growth loops

(1:10:50) The importance of aggressive experimentation within new channels

(1:16:11) How Covid accelerated growth at HubSpot

(1:17:59) Lightning round


• Kyle Poyar on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kyle-poyar/

• Mariah Muscato on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mariahmuscato/

• Ken Norton on Lenny’s Podcast: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/how-to-unlock-your-product-leadership-skills-ken-norton-ex-google/

• Fareed Mosavat on Lenny’s Podcast: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/videos/how-to-build-trust-and-grow-as-a-product-leader-fareed-mosavat-reforge-slack-instacart-pixar/

• Jules Walter on Lenny’s Podcast: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/leveraging-mentors-to-uplevel-your-career-jules-walter-youtube-slack/

• The Culture Code at HubSpot: https://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/34234/the-hubspot-culture-code-creating-a-company-we-love.aspx

• Brian Balfour on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bbalfour/

• Dharmesh on Twitter: https://twitter.com/dharmesh

• ChatSpot: https://chatspot.ai/

Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are: https://www.amazon.com/Everybody-Lies-Internet-About-Really/dp/0062390856

Chop Wood Carry Water: How to Fall in Love with the Process of Becoming Greathttps://www.amazon.com/Chop-Wood-Carry-Water-Becoming/dp/153698440X

The Score Takes Care of Itself: My Philosophy of Leadership: https://www.amazon.com/Score-Takes-Care-Itself-Philosophy/dp/1591843472/

I’m a Virgo on Amazon Prime: https://www.amazon.com/Im-A-Virgo-Season-1/dp/B0B8PXXV2M

Barry on HBO: https://www.hbo.com/barry

Succession on HBO: https://www.hbo.com/succession

• Building a great product management organization: https://stripe.com/it-es/guides/atlas/building-a-great-pm-org

• Garmin watch: https://www.amazon.com/Garmin-010-02174-01-Vivoactive-Smartwatch-Refurbished/dp/B0BPCNKBW1

• Fernet: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fernet

Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.

Lenny may be an investor in the companies discussed.