Both Nelson Elhage and Hillel Wayne run their newsletters on Buttondown. I recently knew that the company behind the service, Buttondown, LLC is refreshingly different.

Buttondown, LLC is Justin Duke’s one-man company. He works at Stripe runs Buttondown and Spoonbill are his side gigs.

Run by a Human

Buttondown is a passion project. I didn’t start it to “revolutionize” or “disrupt” the landscape – I wanted a better tool for my own newsletter, and then I wanted to share it with you.

There’s no customer success team or board of directors: just me, working on a project I love. Email asking for help onboarding? You’ll get a response from me. Have a bug report or a feature request? You’ll get a response from me.

Running this tool is probably the most fun I’ve had in my ten years of being a developer, and it’s something I want to take care of not just for the next ten years but the next fifty.

He discloses Buttondown’s roadmap and its running costs publicly and donating at least 10% of its profits to various open source projects from Django, Vue to Homebrew.

I wouldn’t have my newsletter. I’m the one who always finds typos after hitting “Submit” button and I’m glad a lot of communications tools around me (GitHub, Slack, …) allow me to edit things later. So blogging works better for me.

But I do think that Buttondown is pretty cool.