The 31st December 2021 marked my last day at Hotjar, a company I co-founded in 2014. A company that now has a fully distributed team of 240 (and growing – Hotjar is hiring), has a product that is used by almost 1,000,000 websites globally and was recently acquired by tech giant ContentSquare.
Hotjar was not my first startup (and knowing myself, likely, not my last either). My adult life-long obsession with building a successful online business eventually led me to Hotjar’s success – but it certainly came with many ups and downs, and many moments of frustration and disillusion. It also came with many challenging situations – most of which many of us had never faced before despite having years of experience.
Over the next few months, I’ll be sharing some of the insights I have learned over the years as I worked through different roles (most recently as Director of Engineering) and as I discovered what having a successful startup really meant and how different it was — in many ways better, in some ways worse—to what I imagined.
I’ll also be putting some time aside for one-on-one calls with founders, aspiring founders, or early-stage startup leaders who need advice or just want someone to exchange ideas with. I certainly don’t have all the secrets to success, but I have been through enough to know what the journey is like and what pitfalls to watch out for.
Why am I doing this?
Firstly, I got lucky. Whilst my perseverance and the long nights learning random business-related topics certainly helped, I also know that much of my journey is down to luck. The luck of coming across an incredible group of people who eventually became my co-founders (a special shoutout here to David Darmanin, Hotjar’s founder and chairman, and one of the most inspirational people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing), the luck of having those same people share my values and ambitions, and the luck of launching a product that served a real need, at the right time.
Now that I’ve been through it myself, I want to give something back to the startup community and do all I can to help others who are in the same position I was just a few years ago.
Secondly, I love startups. I love the process of taking an idea and turning it into a real business. It would be great to be able to connect with anyone trying to build an online business and talk through all the daily challenges they may be facing.