If you’re in the Boston startup scene, you know Dharmesh Shah. You know he’s CTO and co-founder of HubSpot. You know he’s an active angel investor. You know his tech skills are renowned, and you’ve probably read his blog OnStartups. But how much do you know about his background?

I knew he’d gone to grad school at MIT, where he met co-founder Brian Halligan. But despite having heard Shah talk about HubSpot on a number of occasions, I, for one, didn’t know much about his background beyond those basics. So I greatly enjoyed last night’s Founder Dialogues, the regular event hosted by Founder Collective’s Eric Paley. As with past events, the evening featured a conversation between Shah and Paley.

The video will eventually be posted, but for now here are some things I learned.

His parents sent him to India because high school in the U.S. was too easy…

Dharmesh was born in India, but spent his grade school years in the U.S. and Canada. His parents later sent him back to India for high school, however, because it would be more rigorous than high school in America.

The first time Dharmesh touched a computer…

He was immediately hooked. He was home from undergrad in India on a break. He was so hooked he just didn’t go back to India but instead stayed and enrolled in Purdue to become a programmer.

Before Boston, Dharmesh lived in the startup hubs of…

Gary, Indiana and Birmingham, Alabama.

Dharmesh’s first startup was called Pyramid Digital Solutions…

He left SunGuard to found the company, taking his brother with him to come on as co-founder. Pyramid was an enterprise software company focused on retirement planning. He eventually sold to SunGuard, with which he’d been splitting profits.

Dharmesh Made a Big Mistake…

One of the biggest mistakes of his professional life, he said, was trying to do two startups at the same time. The second startup, begun in Boston, was personal information management. (He compared it to Facebook without the networking aspect.) It eventually morphed into a business application, and though it never took off, it was eventually sold for a profit.

Breaking a promise to his wife…

After his first two startups, Dharmesh promised his wife he wouldn’t start another one. And yet, HubSpot exists. (Also, his wife is a paying HubSpot customer.)

Dharmesh on the value of a business degree…

Though he first intended to return to school for a computer science degree, Dharmesh studied business at MIT Sloan, where he felt he had more to learn. And it worked out, as he says he uses what he learned every day. But Dharmesh said he thinks while elite business schools can be a good decision, mediocre schools aren’t worth the cost.

He cut the first check for HubSpot…

Dharmesh invested half a million in HubSpot. Two early angel investors were Ed Roberts, a professor at MIT, and Joe Caruso.

What he won’t do as an angel investor…

Invest any time. He might add some value beyond the check with his brand, but he’s 100 percent HubSpot-focused and doesn’t spend time with his portfolio companies.

On Boston startup stereotypes…

Having lived here for over a decade, Dharmesh said the stereotypes about Boston not swinging for the fences are mostly true, with an important exception. Over the past two or three years the energy in Boston has been growing even faster than HubSpot.

That’s what we like to hear.

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Slideshow photos via Lauren Landry.