How Buffer Came Out on Top After Getting Hacked

“Aw crap,” I muttered as I looked at my inbox a few weekends ago and saw an email from Buffer CEO Joel Gascoigne with the subject line “Buffer has been hacked — here is what’s going on”.

We rely on Buffer to handle all the iDoneThis social media accounts, so I braced myself for all sorts of toil and trouble as I clicked on the email. It began:

I wanted to get in touch to apologize for the awful experience we’ve caused many of you on your weekend. Buffer was hacked around 1 hour ago, and many of you may have experienced spam posts sent from you via Buffer. I can only understand how angry and disappointed you must be right now….

Fortunately we hadn’t been affected, but I continued to follow updates as they unfolded. Throughout, Buffer was transparent, responsive, and reassuring. They disclosed, accepted responsibility and apologized for the security breach. They communicated not just what they knew but gave us a heads up about their next steps and guidance on what we could do to protect our accounts in the meantime. They also continued posting updates and answering everyone’s questions while resolving the problem.

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Make Recurring Revenue and More! The Best of the Internet

Pugtastic! Onto the best of what we shared on the interwebs this week:

How iDoneThis got to $1,000 in recurring revenue — besides nerves & anxiety.

Why Teams with Contrasting Time Management Styles Are Stronger.

Transparency is the competitive advantage that keeps on giving — and that includes your hires.

Writing things down can help us see.

The distributed company advantage has two sides.

Beyond Funnel Vision — choosing people over leads.

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Jeff Bezos’s Hiring Anti-Pitch

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Today, the competition for top tech talent is as fierce as it’s ever been, and without a high-performing team, it’s tough to survive. It makes sense that such intense competitive pressure drives startup founders to pitch their company to prospective hires in ever more grandiose terms, exaggerate how well their company is “crushing it,” and make their culture sound like the happiest place on earth.

How else can you stand out to a top candidate who’s considering offers from all of the hottest companies?

It’s counterintuitive, but Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos takes a totally different approach to hiring: he gives prospects a hiring anti-pitch.

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Send One Simple Email to Make Your Job Better

For better or for worse, bosses don’t spend much time thinking about your needs and worrying about to helping you with your career advancement. Bosses, like most people at work, are busy people with their own jobs, their own lives, and their own concerns.

That’s obvious. But the upshot is a harsh reality: your boss most likely has very little sense of what you’re accomplishing or even what you’re doing with your time. If you aren’t proactive about reporting your accomplishments, you’ll never get recognized for your good work.

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The Power of One Simple Email

For many people, the thought of being more proactive about sharing accomplishments at work can be daunting and a real turnoff. Eric Barker at his blog, Barking Up the Wrong Tree, provides an elegant solution to this problem that takes minimal effort and doesn’t require you to turn into a loudmouth braggart.

Every week, Eric writes, send one simple email to your boss that’ll make your life better.

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Making Happiness a Habit: The Best of the Internet

bearHappy Friday! Catch up with the best of what we’ve shared on the interwebs this week! 

Why you should stop keeping score at work.

You have to fight to make your distributed team a competitive advantage. And your right to party.

How to attack the dark heart of mismanagement and chronic stress.

Don’t be a Productivity Pinocchio.

Make happiness a habit.

imageDundee’s Tip of the Week: Display a list of entries over a span of time by clicking and dragging over the days you want show on your iDoneThis calendar. Your chain of progress will show up in the right! You go, you!

How WooThemes Makes Distributed Team Culture Succeed

The multi-million dollar company WooThemes started with a single email, as a small side project of Magnus Jepson in Stavanger, Norway, Adii Pienaar in Cape Town and Mark Forrester, then in London.

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From that one email sprouted a bootstrapped company that produces a rich catalog of WordPress themes and plugins, serving 450,000 users. And this impressive success emerges from a distributed team of only thirty people, spanning seven countries.

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Prevent Work Related Stress: The Best of the Internet

seems impossibleHappy Friday! Catch up with the best of what we’ve shared on the interwebs this week! 

How the Buffer team uses iDoneThis to build a truly transparent company.

8 Awesome Tech & Startup Newsletters You Should Be Reading

Email is people.

One way to prevent burnout – the done list.

How to build a collaborative space like Pixar and Google.

imageDundee’s Tip of the Week: Find out how to feed what you get done in Trello, Evernote, Github, and Google Calendar to iDoneThis with Zapier!

How Buffer Works Smarter, Not Harder

Buffer stands out among startups not just for its success in building a great social media sharing tool but in fashioning a company culture focused on making work fulfilling, impactful, and enjoyable. What’s fascinating is that they do this as a completely distributed team, spread across multiple countries and time-zones.

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Treat People in the Best Way

Co-founders Joel Gasciogne and Leo Widrich set the foundation for Buffer’s culture according to the tenets of Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People. Carolyn Kopprasch, Buffer’s Chief Happiness Officer translates what that means for Buffer’s modus operandi: “We want to treat people in the absolute best way we can, and that includes co-workers, vendors, and customers.”

It also includes how the Buffer employees treat themselves. With a unique self-improvement program, they share their progress on anything from time management to healthy eating with their teammates, spurring conversations about different lifehacks and routines. Michelle Sun, Buffer’s growth and analytics expert, tracks fitness routines and getting up early while Leo has been making strides with learning how to code.

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Co-workers become a collective accountability partner for future plans like blogging or exercising, and more importantly, they become an incredible support system. Instead of looking askance when you’re doing work to do something to take care of yourself, you receive encouragement. “If you’re trying to work on your health or your fitness or your happiness level, that affects work a lot too,” Carolyn explains.

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Nowadays, You’re Hiring People to Think

In many companies, your manager will know the team’s and company’s objectives, but you won’t.  He may keep crucial information from you so that he can consolidate decision-making power.

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Not so at Qualtrics, the extraordinary Provo, Utah-based company that did $50M in revenue, raised $70M from elite venture capital firms Sequoia and Accel, turned down a $500M acquisition offer, and grew its headcount to nearly 300 employees in 2012.  At Qualtrics, transparency is perhaps the company’s most important value for one simple and obvious reason—”Nowadays, you’re hiring individuals to think.”

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Stop Repeating the Same Mistakes

We make a lot of mistakes in life, and a lot of those mistakes take place at work. Elaine Wherry, founder of Meebo, even made a mistake diary to remember and review her mistakes, such as time management and perfectionism issues. “I wanted to be able to reflect on them later,” she explains, “so I wouldn’t beat myself up during the week … It was a way to get more sleep.” As she saw her employees make many of the same mistakes she did, the diary developed into a manual to share what she learned with others.

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Luc Levesque, founder of TravelPod and General Manager at TripAdvisor, decided to guide his employees with a boss blueprint. Luc shares his particular values, dislikes, and quirks to prime new employees for great performance in short order. With swift, effective communication rather than protracted information asymmetry, employees — and the company as a whole — are able to sidestep a period of trial and error, as well as lots of trials, tribulations, and stress.

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