How to Dogfood

Recently, whenever I’m using one of our Buffer social media tools — Buffer Publish (the original Buffer) and Buffer Reply —  I’ll add fixes and ideas to a running Paper doc that I share with the product managers, both of whom are always very nice to respond, sometimes even to fix the things I find or give me the features I want. Sometimes.

That being said, should I be sharing my ideas with them? After all, I am not our target customer.

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A Delightfully Simple Exercise to Create a Marketing Vision

For better or worse, I tend to be a short-term thinker. Marketing vision does not come naturally to me.

I prefer doing the work rather than dreaming about the work.

You need both, of course: dreaming and doing. When it comes to the dreaming, I hacked my way there by turning it into “doing,” and finding a clear and obvious blueprint to follow in order to come up with the dream.

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The Trello boards I use every week to stay organized and on top of things


As a marketer and manager, I have a lot of things to track, projects to manage, and people to help. I used to organize everything in dozens of different places or — eep — by keeping it all in my head.

No surprise: this didn’t work.

Trello works!

Here are the three boards that I use most often these days. I hope you might find some inspiration here, and I’d love for you to grab the Trello templates and use them yourself!

Note: For even more Trello inspiration, their team has collected a huge number of popular Trello templates that you can make your own.

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Trying vs. winning

From the box of unanswered (unanswerable?) questions:

Is it enough to try?

I’ve been taught that yes, yes, absolutely YES it is enough to try. Failing is fine. Just do your best, that’s all anyone can ask of you. I’ve heard this philosophy, I’ve preached this philosophy, I’ve lived it. As a parent, it is baked into my core. As a people manager, it is indispensable to motivating my team. We can control our effort, we can’t control results. All you need to do is try. Trying is enough.

I am Team Try through-and-through.

But lately, I’ve been tempted by Team Win.

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On Managing One’s Feelings, by Dallas Willard

Interestingly, “growing up” is largely a matter of learning to hide our spirit behind our face, eyes, and language so that we can evade and manage others to achieve what we want and avoid what we fear.

The child’s face is a constant epiphany because it doesn’t yet know how to do this. It cannot manage its face. This is also true of adults in moments of great feeling—which is one reason why feeling is both greatly treasured and greatly feared.

– Dallas Willard, The Divine Conspiracy

How to calculate brand reach (w/ spreadsheet included)

Brand reach — the number of people who see you and hear about you — is the ethereal power behind the success of most every major brand. It is a flywheel, a wind in the sails, an invisible hand. And it’s kinda hard to measure.

There’s not a lot of industry best practices about measuring brand reach. Measurement is more art than science: specific numbers aren’t as obvious to track or as necessary to report.

In many cases, this is freeing.

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Buzz vs. bucks

The difference between doing cool stuff and doing stuff that gets results. Does there need to be a difference?

Note: This is a message I shared internally with the Buffer marketing team. I’m excited to make it transparent here (with a few edits for clarity). You can check out more transparent articles here.

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Bugs Bunny and the keys to storytelling

The YouTube video above, from the Every Frame a Painting channel, profiles the artist, storyteller, and animator Chuck Jones who was one of the primary forces behind the success of  Looney Tunes, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and the gang.

The video is fantastic and is eight minutes very well spent.

If you’re short on time or want to relive the highlights, I’ve collected a handful of my favorite moments from the video. These lessons on creativity and storytelling have been hugely influential on me since I first heard them; I hope the same will be true for you.

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