The Buffer CulturePowered by HappinessVersion 0.2 (alpha)
Always a work in progress• As with everything we do and ourselves,this document is a continual work inprogress.• Updated March 30th, 2013.
Start with whyCulture: what gives Buffer the best chancefor progress of the product, happiness ofusers and the team, and personal growthwhile part of the journey?
The foundation of ourvaluesIn the founding months, Joel & Leo read, re-read and internalized Dale Carnegie’s famousbook, How To Win Friends and InﬂuencePeople.A lot of the Buffer values are derivedfrom his deeply impactful words.In January 2013, when Buffer was 7 people,we discussed what words deﬁne the culturewe have, and put together this document.
The 8 BufferValues• Always choose positivity and happiness• Default to transparency• Have a focus on self improvement• Be a "no ego" doer• Listen ﬁrst, then listen more• Have a bias towards clarity• Make time to reﬂect• Live smarter, not harder
Always choose positivityand happiness• You always approach things in a positive and optimistic way.• You never criticize or condemn team members or users.• You never complain.• You let the other person save face, even if they are clearlywrong.• You are deliberate about giving genuine appreciation.
Default to transparency• You take pride in opportunities to share our beliefs, failures,strengths and decisions.• You use transparency as a tool to help others.• You always state your thoughts immediately and withhonesty.• You share early in the decision process, to avoid “bigrevelations”
Have a focus on selfimprovement• You are conscious of your current level of productivity andhappiness, and make continual changes to grow.• You have a higher expectation of yourself, than Buffer does ofyou.• You regularly and deliberately do things that make you feeluncomfortable.• You practice activities and develop habits that will improveyour mind and your body.
Be a "no ego" doer• You dont attach your personal self to ideas.• You let others have your best ideas.• You approach new ideas thinking “what can we do rightnow?”• You are humble.• You always ship code the moment it is better than what islive on our site – no matter what.
• You seek ﬁrst to understand, then to be understood.• You focus on listening rather than responding.• You take the approach that everything is a hypothesis andyou could be wrong.• You are suggestive rather than instructive, replacing phrasessuch as ‘certainly’,‘undoubtedly’, etc. with ‘perhaps’,‘I think’,‘my intuition right now’.Listen ﬁrst, then listenmore
Have a bias towards clarity• You talk, code, design and write in a clear way instead ofbeing clever• You over-communicate, repeating things more times than youwould intuitively• You use more words to explain, even if it feels obviousalready• You don’t make assumptions, you instead ask that extraquestion to have the full picture.
Make time to reﬂect• You deliberately ﬁnd time for reﬂection, because that’s whereyour life-changing adjustments come from• You have a calm approach to discussions and ponder pointsin your own time• You ﬁnd time to jump out of the trenches into the higherlevel thinking that will move the needle• You understand the value of patience and treat it as a musclewhich needs practice to grow
Live smarter, not harder• You value waking up fresh over working that extra hour• You always aim to be fully engaged in an activity, or resting• You single task your way through the day• You are at the top of your game, as you focus on expandingcapacity of your mental, physical, emotional and spiritualenergy• You choose to be at the single place on Earth where you arethe happiest and most productive, and you are not afraid toﬁnd out where that is
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