6 Suggestions for an Aspiring Startup Founder

I feel incredibly lucky that I managed to jump on board the path of building a startup. Having hit upon a product that solved a key pain for many people, Buffer has grown rather fast. The team is now 25 people and we’ve just crossed $4M ARR.

When I reflect on how quickly things happened and what it has required of me, the first thing that comes to mind is Paul Graham‘s essay entitled How to Make Wealth. In particular, this part resonates with me:

You can …

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The Third Option: Why I Encourage Students to Create Startups

I’ve realized I am very much in a bubble. Everyone I know is building a company. Amongst my circle of friends, that is the norm. This, however, is mostly out of choice: I believe, in agreement with Seth Godin, that to be an outlier is an inefficient way to make progress:

The easiest way to thrive as an outlier is to avoid being one. At least among your most treasured peers. Surround yourself with people in at least as much of a hurry, at …

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Try an ‘Anti-To-Do List’ To Feel Happier and More Productive

I’ve gradually realized that my day is not occupied only by tasks from my to-do list. Often, there are lots of other tasks that deserve time in my day just as much as those I have in my to-do list. Previously, I found that these extra tasks detracted massively from my feeling of productivity and happiness.

After I read a great article from the guys at iDoneThis, I made some concrete changes and started to feel consistently much more productive. Since then, the Anti-To-Do List has become …

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Why You Should Keep Working On Your Bad Idea

“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out; the brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. The brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They are there to stop the other people!” -Randy Pausch

I’ve had a few email exchanges in the past with startup founders struggling with an idea. Often they’ve been working on …

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Questions I Ask Myself About Working as Distributed Team

As a CEO, I often ponder how I can help the team be as productive and happy as possible. As part of our decision to be a distributed team at Buffer, there have been a number of amazing advantages this has brought as well as it making a fun team to be part of due to the many different cultures and locations of team members. Recently I’ve seen quite a number of articles about remote working, and I’m excited so …

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Enjoy All the Moments: How to Find Gratitude in Any Task

When I look back on the times I’ve done the most productive work on my startup, it has always been when I’ve had a great balance of work and rest. It has also been at times when I have genuinely been enjoying the moment.

Steve Jobs suggests that in order to do great work, we should love doing the work:

“Work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do …

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How and Why to Create a Sleep Ritual

My first post on my personal blog was one where I pondered whether exercise is a requirement for sleep. The post was actually triggered by my inability to sleep, and I wrote it in the middle of the night.

Since then, I have made a number of adjustments and I now sleep much better, so I’d like to share what I’ve changed.

Why create a sleep ritual?

As an early stage startup founder, I’ve found the emotional ups and downs to be incredible.

In …

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Buffer’s June Investor Update: 7% MRR, Introducing Daily and More

June was a great month, here’s the latest:

Traction update

New users: 60,530 (Total: 1,598,049, from 1,537,519: +3.9%)
Daily active users: 39,752 (up from 39,559: +0.5%)
Monthly active users: 158,894 (down from 160,241: -0.8%)
Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR): $303,000 (Annual: $3,636,000 up from $3,396,000: +7.0%)
Cash in bank: $715,000 (last month: $653,000)
Team size: 25 people across 5 continents

We’ve been super happy to keep up consistent MRR growth, with 7% growth again this month. We also broke past $300k in MRR, which is a big milestone for us to reach. We’re excited to keep pushing forward …

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The Habits of Successful People: They Disengage to Renew

I just booked a flight for a vacation to Cancún, Mexico, and it got me pondering the relationship between work and rest in a startup.

One reason I’m building a startup is to gain control over many aspects of my life. I like to hack my productivity, and I’ve found I don’t necessarily thrive by following normal working hours or only working from an office.

If you’re working on a startup or have aspirations to create one, I’m guessing you …

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Raising Funding as a First-Time Founder

When I meet with outstanding first-time entrepreneurs, I can really feel the passion and determination they have, and I know that if they will just continue there is every chance that eventually they will be very successful.

Often a topic that comes up in these conversations is the timing of raising funding as a first time founder. I’ve had entrepreneurs often talk to me with just an idea or a very early prototype with no traction and tell me that they want to raise funding. We closed our $450K seed round for Buffer at the end of 2011, and joining the dots looking back I can see that a number of things came together which enabled us to raise the round.

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