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Year in review 2020

2020: Year-in-Review

For those of you who don’t know, this is my annual letter – to my blog readers, to my family & friends and to myself. I’ve been writing it since 2016, so this is my fifth letter.

My family and friends ask me why I write these letters annually. Here’s the answer: I firmly believe that if I’m the same now vs a year ago, then I’ve wasted that year – I didn’t learn anything and did not grow or evolve as an individual. I try to navigate my life proactively rather than reactively.

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Operating smoothly as a (NEW) remote marketing team

I hope you are weathering the days of the virus well. While this is an unfortunate tragedy that’s hit our world, it’s forcefully allowing companies/institutions/orgs to go remote.

I’ve dedicated the last 4 years of my life in helping marketing teams go remote.

If you’re a marketing team that just started working remotely and figuring out stuff or have questions, tweet to me or DM me with your questions.

You can also check out my blog, YouTube channel & podcast for advice on operating smoothly as a remote marketing team. 🌎You can also subscribe to my newsletter.

By going remote, you’ll:

  • Help limit the spread of Coronavirus
  • Make people’s lives better
  • Help the environment
  • Save costs as a business

Embrace it with all your heart.

I started a podcast on remote marketing teams

In 2012, I worked with my first remote marketing team.

In 2017, I decided to pursue a long term mission – enable all co-located marketing teams to go location independent.

In 2018, to support this mission, I launched the world’s first blog dedicated to remote marketing teams on

A couple of months back, I launched the world’s first podcast on remote marketing teams called Remote Marketing Podcast. The podcast covers everything you need to know about remote marketing teams – from building one to managing one.

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2019: Year in Review

Alright, ladies and gents – it’s time for my annual year in review. This year’s review is a special one because it’s the end of a decade.

So what did Madhav look like 10 years ago?

18 year old Madhav

  • Computer science engineer
  • Incredibly animated
  • Unhealthy
  • Long hair & no beard
  • No spectacles
  • Questioned a lot
  • Loved music

28 year old Madhav

  • Marketer
  • Less incredibly animated
  • Healthier
  • Short hair & sports a legit beard
  • Spectacles
  • Questions a lot
  • Loves music

Not a lot of change…

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When I interviewed 15,000+ freelancers from 151 countries

In 2017, I led a massive research project at Hubstaff where we interviewed 15,000+ freelancers from 151 countries. We got insights from the freelancing world’s top 1% on charging higher rates, getting better clients and landing more freelance gigs.

The study got a ton of coverage from the media including Forbes, Entrepreneur & CNBC. I presented the results at a keynote exactly 1 year back, in Pune.

Those insights are still relevant today so I thought I’ll share my slide deck from that talk:

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My Top Marketing Newsletters of 2020: Filtered from 100s

Last updated: Jan 6, 2020

One of the ways I stay updated on marketing trends is through newsletters. Every year, new strategies are discovered, new roles are defined, new concepts surface & some old ideas die. And I’d like to aware of it to keep a general view of the broad marketing landscape every year.

I started subscribing to a bunch of newsletter about 5 years ago and realised it was just too much content to consume. Subscribing to them wasn’t serving any purpose for me as I was just bookmarking & starring my newsletter emails, never reading them.

That’s when I decided that I only have the bandwidth to go through 5-6 newsletters at a time, which is how the below list got created. Every couple of months, I keep refining this list of newsletters to see which one has delivered most value for me over years.

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$2 million to $4 million in 1 year: Thinking long-term in marketing

A year back (march 2017), Hubstaff had just crossed $2 million ARR and I had shared some lessons here on our journey from $0 to $2 million ARR.

A year later, Hubstaff just crossed $4 million ARR (june 2018).

Interestingly, we added the same revenue in last 1 year v/s in the previous 5 years.

So I wrote up some of my own lessons from our growth journey in the last 1 year. It’s a mixed bag of lessons touching marketing operations, strategy, culture etc. I’d love to hear your thoughts on these lessons.

You can read them here.

2017: Year in Review

We’re officially into the last week of 2017 and I’m writing this letter on a beautiful rainy night in Sydney. What a transformative year this has been.

Traditionally, I’ve done annual reviews of how my year went and since 2016, started publishing those reviews on the blog (here’s my 2016 review). I primarily cover:

  1. How my year went.
  2. What my high-level goals are for the upcoming year.

My goals with these annual reviews are self-introspection, being honest and useful to you. In line with making these letters more useful to you as well, I’ll also be covering my top resources of 2017.

Here’s the full review: Read More