#42: Buffer CEO Joel Gascoigne: From Side Project to $1 Million Per Month in Revenue

About the Episode:

In today’s episode, we’re talking to Joel Gascoigne, the co-founder and CEO at Buffer, the widely used social media management tool for small businesses.

Buffer now has over 75,000 customers, the company has 70 employees, and they’re bringing in over $1.3 Million in revenue each month. You can check out all of their public metrics right here on Baremetrics.

Perhaps, what I like most about Joel and how he got Buffer off the ground in the early days, is that he was incredibly systematic and disciplined with how he validated the idea for the product that would later turn into Buffer.

The very first thing he did was build a super simple landing page with nothing more than a description of the product with a call-to-action button that people would have to click on in order to sign up. But instead of taking these early visitors to the actual product (that didn’t yet exist), it directed them to another landing page where they could enter their email address for early access when Buffer did launch.

After about a month of promoting his landing page to his audience on Twitter and through HackerNews, Joel had 120 people signed up, and the rest is history. He continued working on Buffer as a side project for the next month or so, brought on his first round of paying customers, and within another 6 months they’d climbed up to around 100,000 users, most of which were on the free plan, but many of whom would later upgrade.

In Today’s Episode, We Talk About:

[02:49] What book Joel’s reading at the moment.
[05:32] What Buffer is and who it’s for.
[08:26] If Buffer was a side project.
[09:27] How many people signed up to test Buffer at its initial stages.
[10:40] How people discovered the original landing page of Buffer.
[12:18] What came next after they built up their initial email list.
[15:59] When he decided to go all in on Buffer.
21:18 Buffer’s revenue statistics and active customer base.
[22:03] When momentum at Buffer really picked up the pace.
[25:19] The content marketing process of Buffer.
28:23 The best investment he’s made in growing Buffer.

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Resources Mentioned:

Raising the Bar: Integrity and Passion in Life and Business

Connect with My Guest:


Joel’s personal blog

Joel on LinkedIn and Twitter

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In today’s episode, we’re talking to Joel Gascoigne, the co-founder and CEO at Buffer, the social media management tool for small businesses. We're digging into the Buffer story from side project that began as a simple landing page all the way up to generating more than $1 Million/mo in revenue...




5 responses to “#42: Buffer CEO Joel Gascoigne: From Side Project to $1 Million Per Month in Revenue”

  1. Marta Avatar

    Thanks for the episode! 🙂 Very interesting case study about using landing pages for product marketing etc. !

  2. Mike Avatar

    Hey Ryan – appreciate you recording this episode. I’ve always been interested in the Buffer story and decided to explore it a bit more this week. You covered it very well 🙂

    1. Ryan Robinson Avatar

      Thanks so much, Mike! Joel made it easy, he was a blast to chat with. Super cool company doing some amazing work.

  3. Andrew Shatnyy Avatar
    Andrew Shatnyy

    Great concept of validating demand with a landing page. However, that woudn’t work good unless you have 10k of followers on social media to funnel some traffic to that page.

    1. Ryan Robinson Avatar

      I see your argument, but my counter-argument is to problem-solve your way into a version of this experiment that works for you. If you don’t have an audience of your own to validate something with… then take a step back and invest time in building a community of people who could potentially use a product/service like what you’re considering creating. It’s easy to look at other people’s stories and point at reasons why it won’t apply to your unique situation… but my challenge to you is to figure out YOUR unique journey and the steps you need to take in order to realize your goal. You can do it if you’re willing to become the ultimate problem solver.

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