Joining the Team
I wanted to take a few moments and introduce myself. My name is Jonathan Graeupner and I just joined the team to help Kevin scale Polar and I’m mostly focused on product and growth.
Originally, I’m from Germany - Garmisch- Partenkirchen. Lovely place to grow up. After my BSc in Munich, I was fortunate to get admitted to Yale to pursue my MSc and Phd in chemistry there. Homogeneous water oxidation and hydrogenation with Ir(III) - if you want to know exactly… My PhD experience is a huge part why I immediately fell in love with Polar. Subsequently, I was lucky enough to get an offer from BCG’s NYC office where I worked for over four years Startups have always fascinated me and so last summer, I decided to take the plunge and pursue my passion full-time.
Jonathan and Kevin at AWS Loft San Francisco, Jan 2020
Polar & plan ahead
Guess how Kevin and I met? Reddit… actually. Fortunately, we were both located in SF and when we met, we immediately had a shared passion for EdTech and building something that can truly change the world. After a few meetings and hikes in the Bay Area, it was clear that pursuing this together was the right choice.
So toward the end of 2019, I joined forces with Kevin to build out Polar. Obviously, Kevin is the brain behind the code. Given my background in academia and management consulting, my focus moving forward will be more around engaging with you all on plans ahead (I’ve been reaching out to a few of you already), grow the platform, refine our long-term strategy, and some of the ‘boring’ corporate stuff.
We’ve shared with you our Q1/Q2 roadmap here. As with everything, we welcome feedback and input about our plans - rest assured, we are taking a more subtle approach to getting feedback now :) On a high-level, Q1 and Q2 2020 will be all about getting the Polar more stable, further simplifying existing features, and streamlining user flows.
Longer-term, we are looking at implementing additional features to really make this the platform of choice for anyone serious about their education. This will include opening up Polar to a vast array of integrations, and adding features like reference management, note taking, improving spaced repetition / flashcards, and more. We truly believe that incremental reading is a deeply transformative tool of thought and want to maximize its utility in Polar.
Further building the community & how you can be involved
Since a big reason for me to join Polar was the community, I do want to provide a few thoughts on how we can work together in the future:
We want to understand your needs better to build an even better platform - I will be reaching out to a few of you sporadically and would really appreciate your time!
We are working on a referral incentive and an ambassador program and are actively looking for student ambassadors. Especially since we received the feedback that Polar premium can be a big investment for students, reach out to me!
Interested in writing a blog post? Reach out to me. We have a long list of topics in the pipeline (including Wim Hof breathing, meditation, reviews of various study techniques,…) but are always open to guest blog posts. Happy to cross-link your blog too if you have one.
Are you in the Bay Area? Happy to connect in person as well. I’m very interested in not only knowing our users online but in real as well.
Final point: we are in the very early stages of this exciting endeavor and are fully aware that not everything will work out the way we want it from the get-go. Please be patient as we are only a two-person team working around the clock these days! I know we’re doing everything we can on our end to make this the best study and reading platform out there.