Co-founder & CEO of @buffer: a platform to help build your brand on social media. Finding my own path for business and life. Traveler, skier, surfer.
“There’s a huge difference between in-theory versus in-practice. If you’ve been deliberating on something for a while, get it out of your head, and into the world. ” - @sivers
So much incredible work happens across the whole organization that I'm not involved in at all these days. It's a real thing of beauty. I feel very proud and privileged to work with so many talented folks. (1/2)
It's very different from the early days of a company (we're 90 people now). I loved those early days where you're part of everything, and I love this phase we're in now, too. It's always changing and I've grown to embrace that and learn the magic of each stage. (2/2)
RT @LaurenChilcote: Super excited to share what we've been working on—Plan, preview, & schedule Instagram Stories w/ @buffer 🙌 https://t.c…
On the VC path, you can literally keep raising and then either succeed and sell, or fail and fold. That cycle could be 10 years of your life.
There's a huge amount to learn and figure out in that middle area where sustainable companies live, that so many founders end up skipping entirely if on the VC path.
When we were more on the funding path, we were much less disciplined with our finances and a lot of the other details of the business. You don't have to be, at least for a longer amount of time compared to profitable companies who aren't raising.
Of course, a lot of this is a matter of preference, but with the strong VC narrative in recent years, it's easy to be blind to the real differences in the experience of being on each path.
We've also introduced profit sharing, bought out investors, and made charitable contributions. All things that you can only do as a profitable, sustainable business. It's exciting to think about what we can do with our profits each year as we push forward further on this path.
I personally love the strategic aspect of choosing when to grow the team, figuring out how long it takes for new folks to have a real impact on revenue, and adjusting our expenses and investments based on ever changing company performance.
It's fascinating to me how raising multiple rounds of funding can mask the necessity to build a real company. If you sell within 5 years of starting your company, you may never experience that challenge of adapting through market shifts.
We've experienced this at Buffer, and adapting our products to the market changes in the last few years, and continuing to grow each month throughout those shifts, is something I count as a huge achievement.
Being profitable and not raising further funding has been a beautiful constraint, and continuing to grow under those circumstances, an invigorating challenge.
I also fundamentally believe that for most companies, your initial success can give you momentum for perhaps 5 or even 10 years, but at a certain point the market changes and you have to adapt in order to last.
It's probably not for everyone, but trying to make Buffer a sustainable, real business, has been perhaps the most challenging but also most fulfilling part of the journey so far. A few thoughts on this ⬇️
RT @nickfrancis: I’d like to know more women and people of color that are running remote-first companies. My network looks too much like me…
I've been leading Buffer remotely for almost 9 years. Myself, @sarawsutton, @wrkdistributed and @nickfrancis have submitted a SWSX panel proposal to discuss how to make distributed teams work. We'd love your support with a vote: #sxswpanelpicker #sxsw2020
I tried out wake surfing for the first time over the weekend at Grand Lake, CO. So much fun! After surfing and kitesurfing, I think I’m ready to learn snowboarding this winter to round out all the board-based activities 🏄🏻‍♂️🏂👌
We've been gradually transforming Buffer into a fundamentally different company. While we’ve traditionally been solely in the social media space, we now have three products and are expanding into brand building. ​🎉 More on this evolution​ ⬇️​
Just finished up an AMA (ask me anything) on Instagram. Check out my stories to see some questions and answers about remote work, work life balance, building sustainable tech companies and more ➡
Now you can create and save groups of hashtags to use in your Instagram posts and add them right to your scheduled posts. We’re excited for this feature to start helping customers get more reach out of every Instagram post. 📈 Learn more:
Some great news if you use @Buffer Publish for Instagram! We’ve released a new feature today called Hashtag Manager #️⃣ 📸 🎉
“In the black is the new black. Founders who recognize and build to that immovable milestone will have all the leverage in funding negotiations and control over their destiny that generations prior quickly ceded for pre-seed, seed and post-seeds.” - @bryce
Interesting that my color choice customization (More > Display) didn't carry over from mobile.twitter in the same browser to Twitter Web. Wonder why they're not syncing that.
Finally got new Twitter for real 🎉 (I was going to mobile.twitter before). Seems like I'm at the end of the rollout list based on the Tweets I've seen from others. Personally, I'm so excited to have bookmarking more accessible on web 👌
I have started a potentially neverending thread all about product/market fit:
Product/market fit (PMF) is a moving target. I’m going to share a lot more about PMF this week. What are your questions about PMF? (I’ll answer them!)
Would love to hear any thoughts on p/m fit at larger scale (e.g. a $20m/yr product 😉) and his to navigate detecting loss of p/m fit and gaining strong fit again. Especially given a larger ship feels harder to turn, more people involved, etc.
Awesome thread from @redman here and article at the end of it, with a ton of insights of what has gone into building Analyze from nothing to $500k ARR in two years:
Having Analyze live feels like a big deal for us at Buffer. We have three fully built and available products, and three revenue streams. This goes a long way towards being a more sustainable and long-term company.
And of course, we hope that Analyze can grow even more by being fully open to the public. The team has a goal to hit $1m ARR this year. It's ambitious but feels within reach. For Buffer overall, that's big. We'll have a new product generating significant revenue.
Stay tuned for further Analyze updates 😀 One final fun thing - we’re giving away three free Analyze accounts over on Instagram! Re-share our post to your Instagram Stories for a chance to win one year of Analyze for free.
This also completes our multi-product strategy (although it still feels like we're at the beginning of it!) We intentionally built Analyze initially on top of existing Buffer login architecture. That meant you always needed to be an existing customer to start using Analyze.
At this point I want to give a shout out to the fine folks who have been stewarding Analyze to great heights. Analyze team: @redman (product), @alfred_lua (prod mktg), @msanromanv, @tiggreen, @FedericoWeber, @x_maras (eng), @ivanazuber (eng mgmt), @moreofmorris (design). 👏👏👏
Today, anyone can sign up directly to Analyze and it could be the first product they try out of the multi-product @Buffer platform. This is significant. Our goal is to create a platform with flexibility: use whichever products you need, and whatever tier is appropriate for you.
We’ve been working on Analyze since July 2017 and had our first customer in February of 2018. It's been on a tear since then: Analyze currently has 982 paying subscribers and earns $47,443 per month, or $569,316 in ARR.
It’s a big day at @Buffer: Our third product, Analyze, is live! 📊🎉 Analyze is our Facebook and Instagram analytics tool for online consumer brands that want to make better decisions about social media strategy and measure results easily. More info ⬇
Just having fun! I'm an LP in a couple venture funds and angel invest occasionally. Do what works for you!
Speak your truth my friend ✌️
RT @AndyGCook: Here are our monthly @Tettra metrics for June 2019. Follow me & @nelsonjoyce to join us and Team @Tettra on our journey to…
Going into our year 8 soon, I know it is a cliche to say, but it feels like we're just getting started, and the world's left to conquer. The early halo is gone, now we can execute without noise.
Agreed! Almost 9 years in at this point and very much finding joy in "keeping going" (which also always seems to feel like "getting started" in one way or another) 🙌
Tomorrow at @buffer we start our first ever company-wide mid-year break (W-F off) 🏖 Company-wide time off for global remote teams is powerful: there's no catchup afterwards 📨⛔️ Excited about how we're trying to create fulfilling long-term work that doesn't cause burnout 🧠💚
"How are you complicit in creating the conditions of your life that you say you don't want?" - @jerrycolonna Incredible powerful and thought provoking question from @RebootByJerry.
Wow, I really want this version of Twitter.
May 2019 was a perfect month to cross $20m. We’ve had a slower patch recently, and we grew MRR more in May than the previous 3 months combined. A great win for the whole team, and a reflection of many efforts coming together and showing results.
Let me know if you have any questions on these numbers or our journey to reach $20m. I have a long train journey tomorrow so I’ll try to respond over the course of the weekend.
Interesting to consider the funding it took to get here. We raised $450k in 2011, and another $3.5m in 2014. However, last year we used our profits to buy back a majority of the Series A. We spent $3.3m to do that.
Fun fact: it took us ~5.5 years to reach $10m in ARR, and another 3 years to go from $10m to $20m. Let’s see where we can be in 3 more. SaaS truly compounds, so stick at it if you can. Take care of yourself, take time off to avoid burning out and abandoning the journey.
The last few years have been truly up and down at Buffer, and for me personally, so this makes the $20m milestone that much more special. I’m for sure taking a moment to reflect and celebrate this.
So, not a perfect interpretation, but in a sense we’ve reached $20m ARR with $650k in funding. And these days we generate around $300k in net profit each month. We’re now more sustainable and long-term focused than we’ve ever been.
Building Buffer has been one of the most stressful and also most rewarding things I’ve done in my life so far. I wouldn't have it any other way, and I’m looking forward to it being a very long journey ahead. No plans to stop anytime soon!
Reaching $20m ARR is a huge milestone for the whole team, I’m so proud of everyone. It’s been a long time in the making, I started Buffer almost 9 years ago. It really is a long journey. If you’re getting started in SaaS, buckle up!
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