Buffer Costs and Profits

Buffer is famous for transparency.  Today, Buffer revealed where your money goes when you sign up for a paid plan.

A couple of interesting points:

  • The infographic: Buffer succeeds in making a simple, one-dimensional data series with categorical keys and numeric values into an appealing reading experience
  • Expensive salaries: With vanishing costs for running a SaaS business from hardware to software licenses, salaries are the one huge expense for starting a software business.
  • Cost of Culture: Apparently having a culture is not free at Buffer.  I suspect spending 9.2% of revenue includes social events, food and office toys?
  • Credit Card Processing: The only third party called out in Buffer’s cost analysis is Stripe, collecting a whopping 4.1% of Buffer’s revenue.
  • Transparent Profit: Buffer is transparent about making 4.6% profit.  I suspect that Buffer targets a specific profitability margin.  Would they continue to be transparent if their profit margin as negative or “too high”?



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