Navigating the AI Hype Cycle: Insights from HubSpot’s Former CRO Mark Roberge Part 1

Join Ryan for part one with the legendary Mark Roberge, former CRO of HubSpot and current venture capitalist. They dive deep into the world of AI companies, discussing the immense opportunities and potential pitfalls. Mark shares his unique perspective on identifying promising AI start-ups and provides invaluable insights for entrepreneurs and investors alike.

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  • AI is a generational technology, potentially bigger than the internet, but currently in a massive hype cycle similar to the dot-com era.
  • Most current AI ideas are basic integrations into existing workflows, not reimagining the workflow, and are likely to be disrupted.
  • Joining an AI company now provides valuable experience, even if 90% fail, as the winners will scoop up experienced talent.
  • The AI technology creating operational efficiency in the short term may not be the same as the disruptors redefining industries over the next decade.
  • Understanding prompting, the foundation of AI language is crucial for developing micro-workflows, agents, and eventually autonomous swarms.
  • The innovator’s dilemma and appropriate beachhead selection are key concepts for AI startups to consider when building for the long-term vision.
  • RevOps, once seen as supporting humans, may flip to AI doing the job with humans tweaking and refining.
  • Technical issues like hallucinations and latency will likely be ironed out as the technology matures, revealing AI’s true potential.


“I’ve never had more conviction for my students that come up to me. Like, ‘Hey, what’s up? Professor, like what, what should I do? Like, I want to be, I want to go into startups. Like, what should I do?’ And I, I’ve always had like different opinions. I was like, do you have to go to AI? Like every tech company is going to, in like six years is going to be native AI. You have to get that experience now.”

“I think all the tea leaves are similar to like 1997. Let’s not forget that in that time, we dialled up to the internet using AOL, launched a Netscape browser and did searches through AltaVista, right? Where are those companies? Lycos, right? Is, is, is, yeah, is OpenAI Netscape or is it Google? Like we got to figure that out, right?”

“The AI technology that’s going to create significant operational efficiency and growth this year and next for companies, especially these bigger companies that my CROs are from is not going to be the trillion dollar new company that disrupts the space.”

“I’ve kind of come to the conclusion that the AI companies, vendors, technology that is going to create the most operational efficiency, even for our start-ups in the next year is not going to be the same AI technology company, et cetera, that becomes the disruptor over the next decade and redefines the sales and martech sector.”

“RevOps has become huge, didn’t even exist 15 years ago. And for the most part, RevOps is seen as an organization that supports the humans to do their job. And that flips with what you’re saying. Is, at some point, it flips where RevOps does the job and humans there to tweak it.”

Ryan Staley

Founder and CEO

Whale Boss 

Saas, Saas growth, Scale, Business Growth, B2b Saas, Saas Sales, Enterprise Saas, Business growth strategy, founder, ceo: