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October 13, 2023

Business Ecosystems at Hubspot: Podcast with Scott Brinker

Discover Scott Brinker's vision for business ecosystems, HubSpot's transformation, and the pivotal role of AI in our latest podcast episode.

Julian Kawohl and Scott Brinker in the new episode of Voices of Ecosystems.

Introducing Scott Brinker: Pioneering Ecosystem Transformation

Welcome to the new session of "Voices of Ecosystems" , featuring Scott Brinker from HubSpot. Scott is the VP of Platform Ecosystem at HubSpot, where he plays a pivotal role in shaping the company's ecosystem of technology partners.

HubSpot is an American developer and marketer of software products for inbound marketing, sales, and customer service. HubSpot was founded by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah in 2006.

Its products and services aim to provide tools for customer relationship management, social media marketing, content management, lead generation, web analytics, search engine optimization, live chat, and customer support.

In the conversation with Scott Brinker, HubSpot's transformation from a product-centric to an open ecosystem company was discussed. Scott told us about the different categories of ecosystem products and the varying maturity levels across industries and highlighted the critical role of AI, data, and audience engagement in shaping the future of ecosystems, emphasizing the need for collaborative and empathetic partnerships for success.

Would you rather listen to the talk on the go? Then head over to Spotify.

Now, let's delve into our conversation and extract five key takeaways:

1. HubSpot's transformation: Scott discussed how HubSpot transitioned from being a product-centric company to an open ecosystem company. As businesses grow and diversify their needs, integrating with other technologies becomes essential. This evolution is driven by the recognition that value to customers extends beyond the core product. Ecosystems, according to Scott, are the key to success. They're more than partnerships: they're interconnected webs of value. Collaborative ecosystems will thrive, leveraging AI to gain a competitive edge. To put it simply, it is not just about identifying the right prompts to train generative AI models. It's more about feeding them with the appropriate data. With the combination of data sources from different companies, the ecosystem approach can really create value. 

2. Categories of Ecosystem Products: Scott explained that ecosystem products can be categorized into three groups:

   - Complimentary Products: These are integrations that enhance HubSpot's core offerings, such as connecting with financial systems.

   - Competitive Overlap: Some partners may have products that partially overlap with HubSpot's offerings, catering to more specialized or advanced needs.

   - Specialized Extensions: Some partners create unique, specialized extensions designed specifically for HubSpot, enhancing its functionality and value.

3. Ecosystem Maturity Varies: Scott mentioned that the level of ecosystem maturity varies among businesses in different industries. Software companies tend to grasp ecosystem concepts more readily, while other industries are still in the early stages of understanding and adopting ecosystem strategies.

4. Ecosystems in an AI Age: Scott emphasized that AI technologies are becoming integral to all businesses, transforming the way we operate. In that context, data is emerging as a strategic asset, and companies must harness it effectively. Whereas in the past companies already had a huge amount of data, with the use of AI this data can be leveraged much quicker and much broader also across company boundaries. 

5. Partnership Dynamics: Scott highlighted the importance of adopting a collaborative and empathetic approach to partnerships. Trust, transparency, and mutual value creation are key to fostering successful partnerships within an ecosystem. Scott's vision for the future? In three years, ecosystems will be at the forefront of business strategies. Data and audience coordination will be paramount, both within and across organizations. Since we all are part of more and more communities in private and business life companies have to establish much better community management activities to remain close to their clients. 

Looking ahead, Scott sees ecosystems taking center stage in business strategies, empowered by AI and data. These interconnected webs of value will continue to evolve and redefine how businesses operate and create value for their customers.

Did you like the interview and the blog post? Let us know.

Please read our other blog posts or sign up for our newsletter to learn more and stay updated. You can also use our tools to help your business here for free. Finally, if you are interested in ecosystem education, learn more about our FastTrack Program here.

‍If you want to learn more about the topic of business ecosystems, our book "Ecosystemize Your Business" is just the perfect thing.

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