Patrick Gruban

Working (15+ years of experience)
989Munich, GermanyJoined Aug 2020



Co-Director EA Germany

Entrepreneur (currently textiles, previously software) for 25+ years and interested in EA since 2015, joining the local group and donating. I joined the EA Munich organiser team and took the GWWC pledge in 2020, developed the software for the new donation management system Effektiv Spenden is using in Germany and Switzerland in 2021 and am co-director EA Germany since November 2022.

I run the donation drive Knitters Against Malaria, which has raised over $100,000 for the Against Malaria Foundation since 2018.

How others can help me

Let me know if you have ideas for EA Germany

How I can help others

I can offer to mentor and be a sounding board if you are an EA non-profit entrepreneur


Topic Contributions

I agree that community members should feel valued. At the same time, I don't think this model changes much in that services for community members have always been discriminatory. Not everyone is accepted for 80k calls, EAG(x) conferences or retreats. While it's important to have open local groups, I think having clearer priorities on national or international services seems less exclusive.

As discussed in the impact considerations section, we continued work on a more useful model for impact estimation and just published this post about it: A BOTEC-Model for Comparing Impact Estimations in Community Building

Having gotten into an EA leadership position in my late 40s last year these statements ring true. I’m very grateful to be able to work with young and smart people but I see the same risks and downsides I faced when running my first startup in my early twenties. I learned a lot when it failed and hope to be able to use this experience in building a more resilient EA organization.

[Writing this in my personal capacity]

Thank you for publishing this! As you mentioned, I encouraged you to write this post. Still, I wouldn't recommend your company to people in the EA community, and I think giving SageWealth a stage at three EAG(x) conferences was wrong.

For the background: After meeting a team member and seeing that you were presenting at EAGx Berlin and had attended EAG career fairs, I tried to find out more about SageWealth. What I found made me concerned about values, transparency, and your targeting of members of the EA community as potential customers and employers. We spoke at EAGx Berlin (this was before I was offered the position as Co-Director EA Germany) and initially wrote a draft forum post about my concerns that I shelved when you shared the draft of this post.

I think it's great that you're building up a business and plan to donate. Being an entrepreneur myself, I very much appreciate this. Encouraging people to invest in globally diversified investment products is something I also do, and having an easy-to-use product can make the difference between someone thinking about investing and not doing it.

However, promoting your commercial product or job opportunities within the EA community mixes your intent of donating and the product you sell. The product is similar to others in the market that are less expensive. If someone asks me for advice, I would point them to competitors or would recommend investing in ETFs directly.

I'm much more excited about people that don't sell products but educate people to invest. For example, Rebecca Herbst teaches financial literacy and donates all proceeds to The Life You Can Save with her service Yield & Spread.

I won't go into details concerning your product. But I do want to point (as I did in the draft you shared with me) out that I find it concerning that your view on nuclear energy and GMOs differ from this post where you say they shouldn't be excluded and your website, where you describe them as part of "the worst offenders". Perhaps you have to conceal the truth to sell your product, but then your target market shouldn't be truth-seeking people in the EA community.

Yes, we'll be the big group directly to the right of the entrance.

I agree that there are diminishing returns and wouldn't see too much value in continuing at this point. The time spent on strategy (about three weeks for the two of us) was also the first time working in this new role, getting to know each other and getting to know stakeholders in the community. As we wanted to lay the basis for the next years of the organisation, this didn't seem overly long, especially as we could present the document to the board within the first month of my joining.

Thank you for the detailed feedback! I’ll quickly try to answer:

  1. Without looking it up I would say 200-250 hours in total (including a list of exploratory programs that we didn’t publish)
  2. We’re currently looking more in detail at the impact model and I‘m curious to know more about your approach. As we write we’re still unsure if we can come up with something that is operational.
  3. We could probably get time estimates from previous programs but didn’t see that this would be helpful as we decided to pursue them anyway.
  4. My feeling would be to scope the build process by defining the minimal features and not by time. Similarly different programs will yield useful measurements on different time scales. But we’re still not at the point where thought much about this.
  5. I see this can be confusing as the third column is just multiplying the first two. We then only used the product for ranking. We probably should have stated this in a clearer way.

Congratulation, I'm excited to see cfactual launch! 

Dustin Moskovitz commented on Twitter:

Actually the Bloomberg tracker looks pretty close, though missing 3B or so of foundation assets. The Forbes one is like half the Bloomberg estimate [shrug emoji]

Thank you for this post, I find it very helpful for clarifying my thoughts when working on community building strategy.

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