Hotjar is a powerful analytics tool, currently disrupting the website intelligence market. We spoke to CEO and founder David Darmanin about Hotjar’s rise to fame, working remotely and how TransferWise has helped him navigate his international life.
David speaks to us over Skype from the comfort of his own home in Malta. “Hotjar is a completely remote company. Everyone works from wherever they want. So much time is wasted by being forced to go into the office. Previously, I worked as consultant and I was selling my time. I didn’t have flexibility and I thought: life is short and the most important thing I have is freedom. So for my own company, I wanted to recreate a lifestyle that allows the team to manage their own time and choose a location they’re happy with.”
“We’re 42 people now, which makes us big enough for the company culture to be lost, but we’ve come up with ways to combat that. When you join Hotjar, we assign someone to help you out with which books to read or videos to watch. You receive a high-quality headset and a Kindle with unlimited downloads. There’s a budget for hardware and a startup budget of €4000 for your home office or co-working space.”
Trust is one of the keys to success for Hotjar and its remote working culture. While their employees get the freedom and flexibility to work where and when they want, Hotjar wants to ensure they take their mental health seriously. “If things go wrong in a startup, they go wrong much quicker, which is why accountability and transparency are so important. It’s much easier to burn out. We find driven people, so they tend to be more likely to overwork themselves. To address the issue, we’ve launched the ‘company bonfire’. Every Wednesday we talk about mental health, living by your calendar and carving out the time you need to switch off.” While David has turned Hotjar and its remote culture into a thriving success, managing a distributed team doesn’t come without its difficulties. “We faced some issues with our bank in Malta. They flagged us because we were sending money all over the world, which wasn’t ideal. One employee spent the majority of their time on sending out salaries on a monthly basis. It was costing us a great deal in time, effort and money. That’s when we decided to introduce TransferWise in our business.
We now send batch payments, allowing us to send all our salary payments in just one click of a button, and our finance team got really excited about that. We easily save a thousand euros per month by using TransferWise. Our finance lead even saves a full working day, and in a startup time might be even more valuable than money so using TransferWise is a double win.”
“I can really get behind TransferWise’s mission. For me, TransferWise is a knight standing up against the banks, giving everyone a fairer deal. That sense of purpose really inspired me and it has shaped Hotjar’s journey.”