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The Cartoon That Inspired a Business

Sometimes the inspiration for something new comes from the most unlikely place. Brian Halligan’s Hubspot owes it all to a dog.
COLLABORATORS Brian Halligan
On the Internet, no one knows you're a dog.

Meet Brian Halligan at Build Boston — a high-impact, day-long event for leaders of midmarket companies.

“And I was lIke, that’s it. Today a schmuck small business In friggin’ Nova Scotia can build a big company.”

Brian Halligan, CEO of HubSpot.

The whole story: “I was on Martha’s Vineyard on vacation, thinking about whether we should start the company or not. One day I’m looking at a book of cartoons from The New Yorker, and the first cartoon I open to shows this dog who’s just sitting at a computer on the Internet. A second dog is looking over his shoulder, like, what the heck are you doing on the Internet? And the dog on the Internet looks at the other guy and says, ‘You know, the great thing about the Internet is nobody knows you’re a dog.’

And I was like, that’s it. Today a schmuck small business in friggin’ Nova Scotia can build a big company. So I think, the Internet disproportionately benefits the dogs — and small businesses. I love that cartoon.”

THE PLUS

Brian Halligan isn’t the only one we know who appreciates New Yorker cartoons. You can access them online, by subject.

The New Yorker’s business category has 24 themes, including meetings, marketing and, one of the most popular, salesmen.

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