b'Joel Gascoigne, BufferFor Joel Gascoigne, CEO andmoney out plus nine perconversations, he was co-founder of social mediacent annual interest at anyasked if hed be prepared management platform Buffer,point starting five years fromto stand down as CEO if the process of deciding totheir investment.Buffer could not afford the buy-out founders began afterAfter raising funding, theyagreed nine per cent annual he realised his companysbegan to accelerate growthgrowth return. It was at values and culture wereand recruited rapidly. Butthis point that he admits being lost in a relentlessresults didnt follow quicklycommunication started to growth focus.enough, layoffs were neededbreak down and he began to It helped that when theyand they had to questionpursue the idea of buying out raised Series A funding inwhat growth rate theytheir VC investors.2014, they had established awanted to achieve.Carrying out a stock buyback better position than most inUltimately, Gascoigne optedwas not easy and required a that they didnt cede controlfor calm company growthbig hurdle to be cleared first; through an investor boardthat allows team membersthey had to build up cash seat, raised a relatively smallto bond and have time toreserves to make it possible. amount in $3.3million andbecome productive, ratherThen the discussions began.only given away 6.2 per centthan having a large portion ofUltimately, this led to them of the company instead ofthe team be completely newspending $3.3million to buy the usual 20-30 per cent.to Buffer. out their main investors, a Also, hed been upfront aboutWhile this was good fordecision which Gascoigne not wanting to go publicstrengthening the companyssays put the company or sell the company in theculture and core values,on a path of long-term next five to seven years. Thishe admits it caused somesustainability and created saw one of his investors askchallenging conversationsbetter alignment within our for a clause to give themwith their investors.shareholder base towards the the option of getting theirAs part of thesepath we are on.27'