• Jeff ShinJeff Shin, almost 7 years ago

    A comment from a discussion on HN is very good:

    This may be a little cynical but: "With our culture of bringing our whole selves to work and seeing team as family, with shared values we live by,..."

    In the American business world, you are an employee until you aren't. Confusing being an employee with being "family" is a mistake, both for the company and the employee.

    When times get bad, companies do what it takes to survive, including throwing employees overboard. That's just a fact.

    Buffer may have thought it was different, but that flow-chart of how they decided who to layoff was entirely about how an employee can help the company, not how the layoff would affect the employee. That's not how normal families make decisions.

    I have no problem with any of that, but anyone who thinks that way has another thing coming.

    All of this isn't to say that Buffer was thoughtless or callous in how they handled it. From the outside, it looks like one of the better handled layoffs I've seen.

    But still. Don't confuse your job with your family. It's a business relationship that is only maintained as long as it is in both side's interest to do so.

    10 points
  • Matt CastilloMatt Castillo, almost 7 years ago

    This sucks, but it might've been nice to use the post to promote the individuals who got laid off. It could humanize the situation a bit and help them find jobs elsewhere.

    10 points
  • James Young, almost 7 years ago

    Their salary packages always looked extremely generous. I don't know if it's just because they're so different to the UK but when I look at some of the jobs on their salary calculator it made me wonder how they could pay so much.

    A "happiness hero" (customer service role?) in SF is between $74-95k A "diversity guardian" begins at $105k

    Am I just totally out of whack being in the UK because I don't know many senior people near these salaries let alone ones where you could pull in $75 or 100k at a "beginner" level?

    6 points
    • Bevan StephensBevan Stephens, almost 7 years ago

      I have met junior developers in the UK that are getting an equivalent of $30k.

      2 points
    • Dylan SmithDylan Smith, almost 7 years ago

      Welcome to San Francisco.

      4 points
    • Ian GoodeIan Goode, almost 7 years ago

      A "happiness hero" (customer service role?) in SF is between $74-95k A "diversity guardian" begins at $105k

      This because of SF's exorbitant cost of living and also local competition.

      3 points
    • Daniel Codella, almost 7 years ago

      When you have to pay over $3000 a month for a tiny one bedroom in a bad part of town, $75k a year doesn't actually go a long way in SF

      3 points
    • Gavin JonesGavin Jones, almost 7 years ago (edited almost 7 years ago )

      Just think of it like London money, you'll pull in £60-75k ($85-$105K) as a developer.

      That puts you in the upper tax bracket (40%), and a crap 1 bedroom apartment will cost £2k base + £300-500 utilities/taxes per month.

      • £60k salary
        • 40% income tax (-£24K)
        • Years accommodation (£27,600)
      • Disposable income:
        • £8,400
        • : £700 p/m,
        • : £175 p/w ($250)

      That £175 p/w needs to cover travel, food, drinks, savings, and all-round-good-times...

      Basically the same deal in SF, except costs are even fucking higher, so you can expect higher salary to match it. Either way you've little left unless you commute in Tokyo style.

      0 points
      • Amaresh RayAmaresh Ray, almost 7 years ago

        This is not true though. Average tech salaries in London are far lower than SF.

        Unless you're a very senior developer, you won't be making anywhere near 75k.

        Not sure where you got 2k for a 1 bedroom apt for. You can easily get a 2 bedroom flat for 2k. It's more like 1200-1500 for a 1 bed.

        Also, on a 60k salary, you'll be left with ~42k after taxes. The 40% tax bracket doesn't apply to your entire salary.

        0 points
  • Robin RaszkaRobin Raszka, almost 7 years ago (edited almost 7 years ago )

    The changes we’ve made to recover

    We canceled our upcoming team retreat to Berlin. Savings: $400,000.

    No shit

    4 points
  • Martin LeBlancMartin LeBlanc, almost 7 years ago

    Running a company that has growing revenue and could easily be profitable, only to find out you have 5 month runway left. Damn. I feel sorry for the employees but I'm happy that the team went ahead and fixed the problem.

    It's awesome that Buffer are open about all this.

    4 points
    • Karl Weber, almost 7 years ago

      The only thing that bugs me about the article is the explanation of how much money they were just hosing away on a retreat. 400K! That's so much! That in itself would be enough salaries for everyone they are laying off.

      We've got to give them credit for cutting their own salaries though.

      I agree with you, Buffer has been exceptionally open about everything and that has incredible value to the tech community.

      6 points
      • Anton StenAnton Sten, almost 7 years ago

        At first I thought just like you, 400k - are they private jetting to Berlin?! But when you think about it, at nearly 100 persons it's no more than 4k per person. Take into account that they are a completely distributed team so certain persons will have to travel a long way, 4k per person is really not that much at all.

        6 points
  • Jim SilvermanJim Silverman, almost 7 years ago

    if you've gotta do it, this is the way to go. 100% transparent and rational. if only all businesses followed their lead.

    2 points
  • Carlos MCarlos M, almost 7 years ago

    *Layoff — but yeah tragic, that sucks :(

    1 point
  • Michael AleoMichael Aleo, almost 7 years ago

    I stopped understanding what they were doing when they killed off their "suggested articles" feature, to nearly unified anger from their customers.

    0 points