When we opened a HubSpot office in Dublin five years ago, there were no plans of starting a product team. We were going to invest in sales, marketing, and customer service to grow our customer base and community in Europe, not in software development.
And we would have made a huge mistake.
The product team in “DubSpot” is 70+ employees and counting today, including engineers, product managers, product designers, and product leadership. They build some of HubSpot’s core software that over 31,000 customers use including our email tool, mobile applications, and freemium products. Now, we’re building our third line of business completely out of Dublin, the Customer Hub that’ll launch in 2018. In Europe alone, the customer service space is a €3.2 billion market. That’s nearly double the market for marketing software. There’s a ton of opportunity globally to introduce a customer service platform to our customers and community that’s inbound, that changes the way people think about customer support.
So how’d we go from no plans of building software in Dublin to growing a core product team there? I think it’s more than just “talent”, it’s the hard and soft skills that tech talent has brought to the table from day one. The inaugural engineering team was small but mighty. Most of them came from big companies like Microsoft and IBM, and yes they were strong developers, but they were hungry, too. They wanted to get their hands on real customer-facing applications. Today, they’re tech leads in our Cambridge and Dublin offices.
It’s not just that we’ve been able to hire product people, it’s that the product people we’ve hired in Dublin are ambitious, creative, and hilarious. I don’t go to Dublin as much as I’d like to (my kids are both under four, and they’re pretty cool) but when I do, we.have.the.craic. And over the next few years, we’re going to invest a lot in scaling that craic across the product org.
Not only is engineering talent strong in Ireland, but we’ve hired amazing design, UX, product management, and analytics people to the team over the past two years. Not to mention, leadership with Barbara McCarthy and Sile Brehony running engineering and product respectively in DubSpot. And we plan to double down there. We’re trying to drive a really modern go-to-market strategy that looks more like Atlassian than some bigger corporations, by building out a growth R&D team to offer more free products and self-service support and sales. Most of that is happening in Dublin.
When I think about why we started a team in Dublin and why we’re bullish on growing it over the next few years, it’s because of the people. The talent is bar none, and I think we’ll see more and more orgs moving core product to Ireland as a result. It’s a good time to be a tech company in Dublin, but I think it’s an even better time to be a product person.