David Darmanin

David is the CEO and founder of Hotjar. Before founding Hotjar, he spent a decade generating hundreds of millions of dollars in growth consulting some of the web’s most sophisticated companies. Founded in 2014, Hotjar is run fully remotely by 70+ team members across 17+ countries and is used on 400,000+ sites worldwide.

Recent Posts

An internal investment of €17.5 million & a new vision for the future of Hotjar

May 15, 2019 by David Darmanin
Since being founded in 2014, Hotjar has been bootstrapped and profitable. To date, we’ve only reinvested into the business and no dividends have been paid out to shareholders. We’ve done this because we’re truly passionate about our vision, the work we do, and the people we do it for, and we believe that we’re building the foundations of a long-lasting business.

How to implement effective leadership to grow a business

May 7, 2019 by David Darmanin
By the time my co-founders and I started Hotjar five years ago, we’d had enough experience to know that old-school approaches to business leadership—micro-management, lack of transparency, and so on—wouldn’t do anymore. We felt very passionate about the fact that work needed to better adapt to our lives, rather than our lives adapt to work.

How we defined our company values at Hotjar (and you can do the same)

March 7, 2019 by David Darmanin
When we started Hotjar in 2014, the four co-founders and I knew what we wanted from each other: the ability to move fast, stay lean, self-manage, and take ownership. We didn’t need to write any of it down as our official company values: we just acted in line with those principles and kept one another in check every day.

The Hotjar story (part 3) - growing our team & product while going from €1 to €3 million ARR

November 13, 2018 by David Darmanin
When we founded Hotjar in 2014, we had an ambitious vision for our product, but we were also an unknown team of five with no external funding and little experience in the world of SaaS. We didn’t let any of that stop us: Hotjar went from idea to 60,000 beta signups in six months, and we hit an important milestone by going from beta to €1 million Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) in the six months that followed.

Hotjar’s Approach To Privacy

November 29, 2017 by David Darmanin
In 2005, after spending 5 years in Law school, I submitted my legal doctorate thesis entitled ‘Privacy and Electronic communications’. Little did I know that this experience would deeply impact the decisions my team and I took when building Hotjar (the business and the product) nine years later. Today we are proud to say that, since launching in 2014, we have taken important decisions that prove our commitment to Privacy, and we’ll continue to do so over the coming years.   

How we're re-investing €4 Million in 2017 to make Hotjar even better

July 5, 2017 by David Darmanin
Hotjar was founded in 2014 with a bold vision to ‘Change the way digital experiences are built and improved by democratizing user analytics and feedback’. In less than three years, we went from running a 9-month beta program, to making Hotjar available to the public, to experiencing tremendous growth by finally reaching an Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) of €8 Million as of June 2017.

The Hotjar story (part 2) – from beta to €1 million ARR in 6 months

May 29, 2017 by David Darmanin
Data from Chartmogul - March to September 2015 Last year we wrote about how Hotjar went from idea to 60,000 beta signups in 6 months. As we inched closer to the end of the 6-month Hotjar beta phase, we had no idea what would happen once we started asking for payment. 

How to go to market quickly and fail fast

October 29, 2016 by David Darmanin
If you’re building a startup or digital business (or want to), the worst thing you can ever do is fail slowly.

The Passion Fallacy (Or, Why You Need More Than 'Passion' To Be Successful)

September 22, 2016 by David Darmanin
“Follow your passion!” At some point in your life, you’ve undoubtedly heard someone say that all you need to do to succeed is to “follow your passion.” While it’s true in some cases, it doesn't always (or often) translate into automatic success in the startup world. And, in many cases, following your passion can lead you straight into a failed business. So, what’s the solution?
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