In my humble opinion:
1. All organizations, startups or otherwise, will always have more to learn about how to create and manage culture.
2. Organizational cultures should purposeful, clearly articulated, values based, and differentiated.
3. Communicated culture must match lived experiences or risk eroding trust and authenticity.
4. Culture should be consistent and integrated throughout the organization while also leveraging diversity.
Hubspot did some things right, and appears to be learning and improving on other things. Dan Lyons’ book created a catalyst for dialogue on the employee experience.
The reality is that there is only so much that can be understood about this particular case from the outside in. Hopefully organizations (and their people) will take this opportunity to look inward and influence their own context. That requires taking action and investing in people.