Business and SaaS strategy

A collection of posts on Business and SaaS strategy

OpenJun 14, 2022
How is Our New Product Performing? A Transparent Look at our Launch Metrics

In early 2021, we started talking about building a new tool at Buffer. We wanted to build a new feature to allow our customers to create beautiful micro sites easily. We wanted to create a simple, intuitive, and delightful experience. This new feature would be the first time we'd venture beyond focusing on purely social media tools in our 11-year history. Start Page launched in October 2021. Since then, we've made a lot of improvements and have been closely tracking its performance. In all hon

OpenMay 18, 2022
What We’ve Learned Launching a New Product as an 11-Year-Old Company

75% of product launches fail according to HBR. But you can weigh the odds in your favor. Read the lessons we’ve learned about releasing a new product as an 11-year-old company.

Crafting a Support Network as a Founder and CEO

This post was originally published on Joel.is . Sometime in late 2018, the concept of having a support network clicked for me. This was the year that I started working with Mandy, my second Executive Assistant. Caryn, who I worked with in that capacity for around a year and a half, had transitioned to lead Finance. The gap without this type of support helped me to reflect on the most ideal setup. The journey to a support network The first time around that I w

OpenJan 6, 2021
Welcoming Maria Thomas as Buffer’s Chief Product Officer

In July, we shared that we were looking for a product leader to help us take Buffer forward in our next phase. After speaking to an incredible group of talented folks in product, I’m happy to share that Maria Thomas has joined us as our new Chief Product Officer. We’re now a 10-year old company , and in the past year, I’ve done a lot of reflection on the purpose of the company an

The Evolution of Product at Buffer and the Next Step: We’re Hiring a VP of Product

We've been building Buffer for coming up to ten years now. We’re currently a 90-person fully remote team with over 70,000 paying customers and $20M in annual revenue. We’re proud to be a leader in the space of social media management, and to operate long-term as an independent and profitable business. As a company, we’ve rallied around serving small businesses. We’re also passionate about challenging suboptimal approaches to how work happens and how employees are treated. Our current 4-day work

OpenMay 25, 2020
Snowmelt Meetings: Why I’m Meeting With My Team Even More Right Now

“When spring comes, snow melts first at the periphery, because that is where it is most exposed”Andy Grove This quote comes from Andy Grove , Intel’s former CEO, and which I was reminded of in the most recent book I finished reading, Seeing Around Corners by Rita McGrath. The idea is that snow melts first from the edges, at the periphery. This is where the first c

We Are Sunsetting Reply, Here’s Everything You Need to Know

In 2015, we made Buffer’s most significant acquisition and acquired Respondly , which became Reply, our solution to help businesses deliver fast and responsive customer support on social media. We originally acquired it intending to diversify Buffer’s core product offerings. While it served that purpose, it has become clear over time that Reply is better suited for larger organizations and is not the best product for Buffer’s core custome

#wpAug 13, 2019
Buffer’s Evolution and Expansion

Almost exactly two years ago, I wrote this blog post about the next step in Buffer’s social media journey . I described Buffer’s multi-product vision of the future, which included Reply and Analyze . This idea was such a huge vision and change for us as a company, and it’s taken a few years to fulfill it. But now, looking back the vision in that blog post, it’s our current reality at Buffer. W

#wpJul 16, 2019
Two Years Ago, We Started Building a Product that Now Earns Over $500,000. Here’s How We Did it.

Editor’s note: We’ve just launched Buffer Analyze, Buffer’s Facebook and Instagram analytics tool for online consumer brands that want to make better decisions about their social media strategy and measure their results without feeling overwhelmed. Here’s the inside story of its creation: It took seven months of development and hundreds of emails and calls to make our first $25. But today, two years afte

#wpMay 27, 2019
The 6 Lessons We’ve Learned About Product Marketing at a Startup

Product marketing can seem like a catch-all for the many various skills, tasks, and activities that help people discover and love a product . Because of this, product marketing can have few bounds. It can feel loose yet vital. Abstract yet essential. Fuzzy yet powerful. And because of this juxtaposition, there’s a risk that you won’t get the full impact of proper product marketing if you don’t have things figured out for your team. This is

#wpDec 28, 2018
Best of 2018: Our Top Articles and Experiments from the Open blog

We hope you’ve had a great year. We’ve had a lot of fun here at Buffer , and have learned a lot while serving our customers and building our business this year. And, as always, we’ve done our best to capture all these learnings here on the Open blog to share with you. Thinking about all that’s happened here over the last year, several key moments stand out. We’d love to look back with you on some of the biggest Open blog posts from 2018

#wpDec 4, 2018
Continuous Improvement vs. Big Launch Mentality: Which is Better for Product Marketing?

Among the many existential questions of building and distributing software is the question of product marketing. What even is product marketing? Is it launching new products and features? Is it finding ways to increase product adoption? Is the goal of product marketing to offer customer education, retention, activation, or engagement? All of the above? Product marketing can mean various things in different company contexts, which makes it hard to find

#wpOct 15, 2018
Dream Big, Go Small, and the Path to a Minimum Lovable Product

For the past year, my team and I have been building a brand new social analytics solution within Buffer called Buffer Analyze. We’ve done our best to distill research, data, and intuition into a lean, lovable solution, and we’ve been fortunate to find early signs of product/market fit. (Currently, the Analyze beta is open to Buffer for Business customers. You can learn more about Analyze’s social analytics features here [https://buffer.com/analyze?utm_source=open-b

#wpJun 13, 2018
How #bufferchat Shaped Our Community and What We Plan to Do Next

Of the many ways that we engage with our audience — email, video, content, socks — one of our longest-standing traditions has been #bufferchat, our weekly Twitter chat where members of our Twitter community gather together to share questions, answers, insights, and GIFs about social media topics and workplace trends. We’ve been meeting together every Wednesday for the past four years — a to

#wpMar 12, 2018
Why We’re Changing the Buffer Free Plan

Note to existing Buffer users: We are bringing back two Free plan features: default profiles and an option to turn off link shortening. More on this decision and the complete “why” behind all changes below. Thank you for your support, and we are sorry if the changes came as a surprise. We strive to offer all Buffer customers a seamless, intuitive experience with the product. Recently, we’ve put that experience under the microscope to see where we can improve and how we can better serve our gro

#wpDec 18, 2017
Why Terms of Service Matter and How We’re Evolving Ours at Buffer

bThere are very few moments when a Terms of Service agreement gets the spotlight. They crop up during the signup process then linger in the footer of a web page. On occasion, whenever the terms change, you might receive an email notification to let you know. Many people click through these terms with equal parts automation and trust, believing that the company behind the terms will be doing the right thing by them, the customer. This is exactly the trust we hope to engender at Buffer, and we f

#wpAug 16, 2017
The Research Behind How Brand Names Impact Customers and What Name We’ve Changed at Buffer

Names create an identity that people can associate with, they create perceptions and they let customers know what to expect. There is a lot of power in them. When it comes to a company or product name it can be one of the “most valuable assets a company possesses” according to this Nielsen study. They also share that the power in brand names comes from the fact that they can lend credibility, assure

#wpMar 1, 2017
Buffer and the AWS Outage: How This Interruption May Have Affected Your Posts

tl;dr – Buffer experienced interrupted service due to the AWS outage on Tuesday. All is back to normal now, and all posts are going out as expected. We know how important a reliable social media experience is for you, and we recognize how interruptions to Buffer can have a significant impact. We’re incredibly sorry for the disruption we caused you today. Here is precisely what happened and how it may have affected you. What happened For several hours on Tuesday, one of Buffer’s main hosting p

#wpFeb 24, 2017
Cloudbleed Update: Buffer Data Is Not Affected

tl;dr – Customers should not worry about their Buffer data after the Cloudbleed incident Several hours ago our team learned of a large security incident at Cloudflare , a service we use for Buffer. The incident, which you may have heard about, has been nicknamed “Cloudbleed.” Many websites, including Buffer, use Cloudflare to help handle web traffic more quickly and efficiently amongst many other th

#wpFeb 10, 2017
Change at Buffer: The Next Phase, and Why Our Co-Founder and Our CTO are Moving On

We’ve always done things differently at Buffer. For me, this has always come from a natural desire to question things. Why base your company and team in a single location? Why is it customary to keep salary information private? Why can’t someone exercise during their day and work unusual hours, as long as it’s a productive way for them to work? Asking these questions – and seeking their answers – has taken us down an interesting path. It’s been a rollercoaster of a journey so far. We’ve made

#wpJun 16, 2016
Tough News: We’ve Made 10 Layoffs. How We Got Here, the Financial Details and How We’re Moving Forward

The last 3 weeks have been challenging and emotional for everyone at Buffer. We made the hard decision to lay off 10 team members, 11% of the team. I’d like to share the full details of how we got here, and the way we have chosen to handle this situation to put Buffer in a healthier position. I believe most startup founders are, by nature, optimistic. We want to solve problems and we believe in going from nothing to something. The attitude of most successful founders is that something previousl

#wpJun 2, 2016
These Are Buffer’s Top 10 Lessons from Growing to $10 Million ARR

In five-and-a-half years of Buffer (wow!), we’ve been fortunate to cross many milestones — 3 million registered users, 90+ team members, and most recently, $10 million in annual recurring revenue (ARR). Along this journey, we’ve been grateful for the support of the community and for the chance to gather new learnings along each step of the way. Some of these lessons we gleaned easily — others we learned the hard way. We’ve discovered the value of masterminds, data, and customer research. We e

#wpMay 25, 2016
From Startup to Scaleup: What We’re Changing As We Make The Transition

In the past couple of months, I’ve had a number of thoughts around the growth Buffer has experienced in the last year and some interesting challenges and paradoxes that seems to be bringing us. I’ve had a number of conversations with people in the team on this and I recently shared a version of what follows with the whole company to get their thoughts. It resonated with almost everyone, and as a result we’ve started to put in place some changes based on these realizations. I’d love to share it

#wpApr 12, 2016
Building in the Open: Introducing Buffer’s Transparent Product Roadmap

💡August 2023 Update: We have a brand new Transparent Product Roadmap and it's even better. You can upvote your favorite ideas and suggest features we should build. Take a look → Buffer is known for being transparent in radical ways. We share the diversity of our team. We share our cultural evolutions and learnings. We share our salaries. We keep sharing because we keep learning so much along the way! So many of you participate in discussions and help us shape the Buffer path. And we’re inspir