Instead, the discussion took an unexpected turn when I decided to ‘come clean.’
“Look, I think I know what you really want to talk about. I didn’t reach the target I set myself which means that our number of signups are not as high as expected, which probably has an impact on our revenue too…”
“What do you mean?” David D. asked.
“Well, I figured if I could bring 50,000 people per month on the blog then it would mean more subscribers to our list, more signups, more…”
David D. interrupted me:
“You came up with that number, Louis. I didn’t. This isn’t what Hotjar is about. Honestly, I couldn’t care less about your target or the number of subscribers…”
“Yes, reaching our objectives in the long-term is important but you know what is even more important? Helping our users to reach theirs. That’s what we care about first. The amount of subscribers, the number of signups, the traffic on our website, our profits… They all come after."
Coming from the CEO of a 60-person company, one of whose key responsibilities is to pay his team’s salaries, this answer might surprise you.
But it didn’t surprise me one bit.
In fact, it was a wake up call.
I knew exactly what Hotjar stood for (and why it got me to join), but I’d gotten lost in the day-to-day hustle and had forgotten about our ethos of putting people first.
So in that moment, I made the decision to wipe away our entire content strategy.
I realized that David had given me carte blanche to explore what I believe in: Transparency, vulnerability, honesty, humanity.
So 6 months worth of ‘strategy’ went up in flames, just like that.
Out of the ashes, the kernel of the idea that would become 'The Humans Strike Back' emerged.
Just the seed though. And like all seeds, it had to grow and change to bear fruit.