Not long ago, a prospect was kind enough to share their thought process where they evaluated us against a competitor. One thing that stood out to me was an email chain where a consultant they employ positioned our competitor as a large, established enterprise and us as “a startup with a stupid rap video.”

Yup.

The not-so-subtle subtext of the consultant’s email was that their client shouldn’t feel comfortable relying on a bunch of jokers like us. It’s a fair point. We are a (5 year old) startup. We have a rap video. Guilty as charged.

Why We Made a Stupid Rap Video

When we posted the rap video, it wasn’t a crazy viral success. It did, however, get thousands of views. It also generated a bunch of leads, one of which converted into our biggest customer up that point. In 2009, that was a very big deal for us.

Part of the reason we made the video was to get in front of potential customers, but there is more to it than that. Bob and I wanted to start a company that was true to who we are. And we are dorky rap fans who like making references to startup terms while researching the marketing tactics of shady online dating companies.

We’ve tried to bake that honesty and quirkiness into our culture as our team has grown.

Building a Culture of Eclectics

The rap video was released in May of 2009. In the four and half years since then, I’d like to think that the 45 people who have joined us have only added ammunition for people who want to dismiss us for not being a big-respectable-faceless-megacorp.

Here is a sampling:

People with strange, ambitious, and hilarious achievements make for incredible engineers, marketers, and account execs. They take risks, try new things, and are incredible to work with. If you’ve retrofitted a Keurig with a ballcock, you’re likely to be just as imaginative when optimizing MapReduce routines.

No Plans to De-Weird Ourselves

If you extrapolate the trend line from the rap video to the crew that we’ve assembled today, you can see that we are not asymptotically approaching peak weirdness. Both the first and second derivatives are still positive. We know who we are, and we’re looking to find more oddballs with a passion for data.

We’re not everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s OK. But if you enjoy rap videos, duck wrestling, or toilet-inspired coffee machines, you know where to find us.

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  • Sam from HubSpot

    Rap on fellas. #HatersGonnaHate

  • http://twitter.com/timwut Tim Wut

    As much as they are about growth and business, I firmly believe (working at) startups should also be about enjoying what you do and the company you keep. +1 to Sam’s comment.