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Join us as we share what we’re learning as we build a company that approaches work from a fresh perspective. We write about workplace culture, our finances, and our business decisions and strategies.

OpenDec 17, 2018
On a Scale of 1-10: Why Tracking Your Team’s Satisfaction Matters

Here at Buffer, we believe that what gets measured, gets managed. That’s important because with effective management and oversight, we have the tools and knowledge to effectively make change happen. But how do you measure an emotion? Certainly, you may notice the signs of an emotion like happiness trending up or down. When it’s trending downward, you’ll notice that productivity wanes, morale decreases, and people leave for other jobs. And when it’s tre

OpenDec 13, 2018
Babies, books, and more: Buffer’s 2018 in numbers

One of our favorite year-end activities — and one of our favorite everyday cultural values — is to pause and reflect on all that we’ve seen and done at Buffer over the past twelve months. (You can check out our reflections on the past two years: 2017 and 2016 .) We’ve done the same year-in-review again for 2018 , and having gathered this data for three years in a row now, we are able t

OpenDec 6, 2018
Empowered Accountability: How to Scale a Team Without Losing Its Autonomy

Growing pains. Every company gets them, and the pains come in all sorts of ways, from the tactical (tools ) to the philosophical (this post). As your company grows, some of your team members may feel like they have less impact. You may find it harder to set accountabilities and goals. Things can start to feel “top down.” We find ourselves dreaming about being empowered, making our own decisions, and setting our own goals. Wouldn’t it be nice to ma

OpenDec 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

OpenNov 26, 2018
The Most Common Questions We Get About Working at Buffer

When you experiment with work culture as much as we do at Buffer, you tend to receive a lot of questions about it. What is it like to work remotely? How do you collaborate across time zones? Do people really feel okay making their salaries public? Can you become friends with teammates when you’re not in an office? Do you miss working in an office? Do you basically live in pajamas? (Quick answer to that one: not usually, though I definitely have spent a work day or two in pajamas!) These qu

OpenNov 19, 2018
From Maker to Manager: How to Take the Leap

Almost two years ago, I fell into becoming a manager . In my past career, I never thought that this would happen. Most of my life I’ve been a maker: working as an engineer, solving technical problems and building apps, products, or just circuit boards. People management was a huge change. I learned a lot of things the hard way through trial and error, success and failure — but also by reading a lot [

OpenNov 7, 2018
Why Great Managers Matter

Having managers isn’t something we do at Buffer just because it’s what other companies usually do. We’ve always been proud to be different and to follow the path less travelled — even when it comes to people management. Over the past few years, we’ve tried it all: from experimenting with full self-management (no managers) to having leads and managers supporting our team [https://bu

OpenOct 29, 2018
Why Transparency in Business Matters (and How to Get Started)

With transparency in business on the rise, more and more businesses have been talking openly about their hiring, their diversity and inclusion efforts, and even their revenue. Transparency is more than just a PR or marketing ploy for a business. There are significant advantages to productivity, trust, culture, and morale when you embrace transparency. We are fortunate to have been learning about transparency for the past seven years at Buffer —  lots of lessons, good and bad, that we’re ex

OpenOct 17, 2018
What Voice and Tone Sounds Like in Practice: Inside the Buffer Content Style Guide

Can you tell when you’re talking to someone from Buffer ? Absent any Twitter handle or an email “From” name or other identifying element, if you were essentially Internet-blindfolded, could you distinguish between a conversation with one brand versus another? If so, what a powerful impact that brand must have! We’d love to cultivate this type of unified voice and style at Buffer. As part of that journey, we created a company-wide content style guide as a resource on communi

OpenOct 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 [

OpenOct 8, 2018
An Intro to Diversity and Inclusion in Business: Resources for HR, Hiring, Managers, Founders, and Allies

Diversity and inclusion is one of the most important areas for us as we grow our company. We’d love to help others embrace it as well. In addition to all the benefits we’ve seen — innovation, product quality, unique perspectives, team morale, success — we believe in diversity and inclusion because it is the right thing to do and is the type of future we want to build toward. This article contains a lot more detail on the subject as well as specific strategies and tactics that you can imple

OpenOct 4, 2018
How Our 10-Person Marketing Team Spends Money Each Month

Highlights: * We spent $93,653 in August 2018 * We spent $3,041 on ads. We budget $4,000 per month (total!) * We spent $3,151 on software tools (our stack includes 28 paid tools) * Grab your free marketing budget template Tweet this ☝️ When I first started managing our marketing budget, I was a bit over my head. To put it mildly. What software were we actually spending money on? I didn’t know. What made sense for a monthly ad spend? Not sure. How much should we budget for the followi

OpenOct 1, 2018
How to Hold a Hackathon (When No One’s in the Same Room)

As a globally distributed team , one of the most interesting things to experiment with is how we collaborate and innovate when we’re all spread out. A couple weeks ago, we tried out that stalwart of engineering innovation – the hackathon! In researching hackathons, it was clear we needed to rethink a lot of the traditional structure … particularly this: As a remote team, we couldn’t all be in a room together, ordering in food and grouping around a laptop.

OpenSep 19, 2018
Slack-off Fridays: What Happened When One Team Experienced a Day Without Slack

Imagine a world without Slack .. Weeping, mourning, and gnashing of teeth, right? Slack is a ubiquitous part of so many workplaces. The real-time messaging and communication app has become the go-to for so many remote workplaces , distributed teams, and offices. Buffer , included. It’s also been a point of contention in our always-on, always-connected “alerts” culture. Are we too reliant on Slack? Many [https

OpenSep 16, 2018
The Joys and Benefits of Working as a Distributed Team

Buffer is a fully remote team . It’s a decision I made at the end of 2012, when Buffer was in its infancy, and it’s interesting to reflect on that decision now. I am happy to report that I am in love with the choice we made to be distributed all across the world. When I say that we’re a remote, distributed team, I mean that we’re literally spread across the whole world. Buffer is a team of 79 right now , and we have teammates on a

OpenSep 12, 2018
How to Run a Workplace with Office and Remote Workers: An Interview with the CEO of RemoteYear

When we give remote work advice , we tend to give it from our own perspective, which is that of a fully, 100-percent remote team. However, this way of working isn’t the norm — or even the standard. In our inaugural State of Remote Work study, we learned that most of the companies who support remote work are not fully remote; 65 percent of them have a combination of office-based employees and remote employees

OpenSep 9, 2018
The 5 Whys Process We Use to Understand the Root of Any Problem

Sometimes things don’t go according to plan. Tools break, wires get crossed, the best-laid plans fall apart. And on those occasions, it helps to know exactly what happened—so it doesn’t happen again. Moments like these are when we at Buffer turn to a simple but remarkably effective process: The 5 Whys. It’s just as it sounds: A discussion of the unexpected event or challenge that follows one train of thought to its logical conclusion by asking “Why?” five times to get to the root of what

OpenSep 7, 2018
Why We Have Our Best Ideas in the Shower: The Science of Creativity

“I’m not really a creative person”, always struck me as an odd sentence. Could it really be that some of us are born to be more creatively gifted than others? If so, I thought at first, that’s definitely a downer. In school, what was considered “being creative”, like writing or drawing nice pictures was never my strength. It bugged me for a while I have to say. For today, I finally decided to research and read up on the latest studies of creativity and the science behind it. The truth, which I

OpenSep 7, 2018
Why We Prioritize Reading at Buffer and the 19 Most-Read Books From Our Team

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. —Joseph Addison We’re a remote team that loves reading (and self-improvement ). In fact, through the first nine months of 2018, we’ve read over 1,000 books! So when International Literacy Day popped up on the calendar, we wanted to get involved. International Literacy Day, celebrated annually on September 8 ,

OpenAug 29, 2018
We Spent $3.3M Buying Out Investors: Why and How We Did It

Last month, Buffer spent $3.3 million – about half of all the cash we had in the bank – to buy out our main venture capital (VC) investors. Starting the conversations, negotiations, and process of this buy out was one of the most important decisions I’ve made in the Buffer journey so far, and it was the culmination of more than a year of work. This is a key inflection point for Buffer that puts us truly on a path of sustainable, long-term growth. Here is the full journey of how we decided on t

OpenAug 27, 2018
Everything We Know About Remote Work

Remote work has been the norm at Buffer for many years now; we ditched our office in 2015 and have been hiring remote teammates since 2011. We now have over 85 teammates spread across 10 different time zones. Over the years, our team has experimented and learned tons about productivity, tools, collaborating, communicating, and disconnecting as they each relate to remote work. Here’s a full list of all of our resources on remote work. Comment below if you have a question and we haven’t written

OpenAug 15, 2018
Our 2018 budget is $11 Million, here’s exactly how we’re using it (Buffer Budget Series #2)

Editor’s Note: Here’s part 1 in the series, A Transparent Look Inside Our Process For Creating Buffer’s Annual Budget. We believe that numbers tell a story and we hope that anyone looking at our budget for the first time will have a good idea of what we value based on how we’re planning to spend our money. Last month we shared our approach to creating a budget. Today, we’re excited to invite you to take a closer look at how that approach led to allocating dollars in our budget and how that inf

OpenAug 11, 2018
27 Questions to Ask Instead of “What Do You Do?”

I love the little traditions that develop organically at Buffer. One of them is to welcome each new teammate with a long email chain of happiness that begins with that person’s introduction. More often than not, the introduction has a certain ratio: * 1 part what this person will do for Buffer and has done for work in the past * 2 parts who this person is in the world—a mom, a breakdancer, an ex-Marine I love this 1:2 ratio because it speaks to a simple truth we strive to recognize as a tea

OpenAug 8, 2018
Where the Buffer Team is Speaking in 2019: Conferences, Meetups, and More

Hi there! This is an older post that we’ve kept around for transparency but that means that sometimes the information is no longer accurate. Head to our homepage to view our most recent posts. We love conferences, and who doesn’t? They’re a great place to connect with like-minded individuals. Over the years as the Buffer team has grown, we’ve not only been attending more conferences, but we’ve started seeing more and more Buffer speakers as well. Speaking has so many benefits for the Buffer t