Another exciting month (and year!) has come to an end at Buffer and I wanted to take a moment to share the latest update I have just sent this evening to all our investors. I hope you enjoy reading the full details of our work on Buffer in the last month. I’m excited to hear from you in the comments if you have any questions about what we’re up to!

If you want to know how November went, you can take a look here.

Traction update

  • New users: 60,000 (Total: 1,249,000, from 1,189,000: +5.0%)
  • Daily active users: 28,700 (down from 30,600: -6.2%)
  • Revenue: $235,000 (Annual: $2,819,000 up from $2,347,000: +20.1%)
  • Awesome revenue: $179,000 (up from $174,000; +2.9%)
  • Business revenue: $56,000 (up from $22,000; +154.5%)
  • Cash in bank: $359,000 (last month: $319,000)

Thanks to the business revenue growth, we finished off 2013 strong with 20% month on month revenue growth. We are in particular happy about it as December was a slower month for us in terms of usage (drop in daily active users).

Our vision for Buffer

During our Thailand retreat, we spent a lot of time reviewing the past year and planning ahead our path. We have now shifted from our original vision. Our previous vision was to become the standard for social sharing, and to set the bar for great customer support. Our new vision is to become the simplest and most powerful social media tool, and to set the bar for great customer support.

Our market positioning moves from consumer and attracting large numbers of free and $10/mo users, to attracting more business users who subscribe for plans from $50 or above. We now have a high focus on building out our Business product and creating clear differentiation from our existing product. That said, we see huge value in our large userbase and it is a key early part of the funnel of business customers as well as impactful branding, so we will continue to improve the free and $10/mo product also.

Open Salaries & Our “Default to Transparency” value

December was a milestone month for our continued push for transparency as a core value. After almost a whole year of having salary transparency in place internally at Buffer, and after some months discussion within the team about making the information public, we were delighted to share all the details of the formula we use and individual salaries. We were lucky to receive a lot of interest and discussion: QuartzSFGateIncEntrepreneur,Business Insider.

Steps forward in our Happiness team

We made some incredible progress with our Happiness goals in December. We answered 55% of support emails within 1 hour, 78% within 6 hours and had a total volume of 7807 emails. We are doubling down on our customer support efforts by hiring a Weekend Warrior (to work 5 days a week including weekends and close our biggest gap in terms of having someone to respond immediately to customers), and we will soon hire another Happiness Hero in Europe to close our timezone gap (we currently have Heroes in US and Australia).

Finally, we are also planning to work more deliberately on growing our community, and are looking for a Community Champion to lead this. We are especially excited about the Happiness team with our new focus on business, as it means we can provide a very high level of service for the new business customers.

A new focus on Growth

We’ve started to focus a lot on growth. We’ve hired one more person for the growth team and also switched someone internally from a pure product development role to part-time focus on growth. Hiten has also been extremely kind to offer us more help in this area and we’re working together on a few initiatives. Key areas we’re looking at currently are improving landing page to signup conversion, and learning more about reasons for cancellation.

The Buffer Team is 17 people and growing fast

We’re growing the team faster than we ever have, and we’re more sure than ever about the areas we need help with and the roles we are looking for people for. In December 2 people joined the team (we’re now 17) and we’ve sent offers to another 2. We’re looking for several more people too.

Buffer for Business

We launched the business product officially this past month. The monthly recurring revenue this month is at 84% of the total recurring revenue since soft launch in July. Customers paying yearly also grew significantly to 68, versus from 4 last month.

  • MRR grew 69.3% to $32,491
  • Total revenue grew 154.5% to $56,208
  • Buffer for Business was 23.9% of total revenue (up from 11.4% in November)
  • 667 total paying customers (from 376 in November)
Let me know any questions you have on our progress, we’d love to answer them.

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Written by Joel Gascoigne

Joel is the founder and CEO at Buffer. He is focused on the lean startup approach, user happiness, transparency & company culture. Say hi to him anytime @joelgascoigne.

  • Heather YamadaHosley

    As always, great to read about your progress as a company and team! Hope everything keeps looking up in the new year! :D

    • LeoWid

      Thanks so much Heather! Really excited for 2014 and the amazing things to come! :)

  • Danny Lim

    Great updates everyone! Super excited to see what happens in Q1 of
    14!

  • Ronald Mwangi

    I’ve never seen a company give such a simple tonunderstand progress report. You are definitely movin in the right direction. I’ll keep following..and congratulations

    • Thanks Ronald, that’s really great to hear! Amazing to have you following along :) Have a great rest of the week!

  • alistaircunningham

    Great to see another young business doing well – congratulations!

    • Thanks Alistair, that means a lot! Hope everything is well with you.

  • Abhik Basu

    Joel great update! Been following them the last few weeks, and love to see you guys at the forefront of evolution of organizations of the future with transparency, remote-working and other futuristic tennets. Best of luck for the new year!

    • Wow, thanks for the kind words here Abhik. If we can have even the slightest impact on how others choose to run their businesses, I will be very happy.

      • Abhik Basu

        Absolutely! Looking forward to Buffer’s evolution :)

  • Ashley Read

    Awesome stuff. Love seeing the progress each month! The new vision is an interesting one and it’ll certainly be interesting to see how that develops – also, great to see the company retreat paying off there!

  • Deuce Thevenow

    Joel, would love to chat and see if Buffer would want to go on on 10 date college music & ideas festival tour to activate and recruit college students http://recess.is/campus-tour/the-playground-campustour-spring2014/

  • Colin McLean

    Congratulations on your progress. I had noticed that the free product had become a bit problematic and buggy. Now I understand that your focus is shifting. Unfortunately I tend only to pay for products that prove value initially on free basis; WordPress, LinkedIn etc and others may be the same. Maintaining good functionality in the free product might be more important than you think.

    • Hi Colin, thanks for mentioning this. So sorry to hear about your experiences with the free product, I use it too and I agree that there are quite a few problems we need to work on.

      We’re still really focused on providing an amazing experience for all users, both in terms of the product and customer support. One thing to mention is that our codebase for the free product and the business product are the same, so any bugs in the free product exist in the business product. So for many reasons we are very motivated and have tried to set things up in a way that hopefully we can maintain the quality of both products.

      I’d love to hear from you about the issues you’ve been seeing, I will ensure we get onto fixing them right away. I’d love to hear from you personally if you have a moment to share the bugs. You can reach me at joel@bufferapp.com.

      Thanks again for mentioning these concerns Colin, I appreciate you taking the time to express them here.

  • Great numbers guys and great service!

  • Paul do Forno

    Very impressed with your transparency Keep the services coming… would love to see some of the deeper analytics for the awesome accounts I would pay more for that but don’t need all the other trappings of the business account.

  • Keep rocking it Team Buffer!

  • Tyler_Hakes

    Cheers to more success.

  • Great job guys!

  • Alon Waisman

    Love this report, Joel. The openness you all have is incredible and very attractive to someone like me who has more experience in big corporate than small startup. You have my sincerest respect for that.
    Also, I’ve only been using Buffer for a couple weeks, but I’ve already seen giant leaps in the engagement on my Facebook page. So, thanks for the that :)
    I have some suggestions for the app, at least for my own use case. I’ll send my thoughts over in an email if that’s ok – I noticed you dropped your email address to another commenter, so I’m guessing that’s the way to go.

    Thanks for the great product and transparent business process. Best of luck moving forward.

    [image attached shows a sample of my Facebook page's improvement. It's completely attributable to the fact that I'm posting more which is a direct result of the convenience afforded by Buffer's workflow.]

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