Mitchell Hashimoto

Joining Polar as an Advisor

April 4, 2024

I'm excited to share that I've joined Polar as an advisor. The opening text of the Polar website at the time of writing is "Get paid coding on your passion." This is a deeply personal mission to me. I want to share some of my personal history and how it led to becoming an advisor for Polar.

From 2010 to 2012, I was spending nights and weekends working on my own passion. During the day, I had a full time job as a developer and this paid the bills. As the project grew in popularity the time I spent on my passion projects only grew, but unfortunately the amount of income from the project and time in the day did not.

I was left at an impasse: cut down on the time I spent on my personal passion projects or figure out a way for my personal passion projects to support my future. I decided to try to find a way to work on my passion projects full time. I wanted to "get paid coding on my passion."

The path I decided to take was to found a company, raise venture capital, chase a really big dream, and the rest is history. This path worked for me: I was able to get paid to code on my passion, I was able to pay others to work on my passion, and by many measures the work the company did helped many people and made a measurable impact in its associated industry. This was and still is a viable path with its own set of pros and cons, but it needn't be (and isn't) the only path.

In 2023, I left the company I co-founded. I've been relatively quiet about what I want to do next, but one of my personal goals is to help developers in the small1. I want developers to have more choice and viability to work on their passion. I want users to have more confidence and transparency in the sustainability of the software they use (free or paid).

Those who know me well know that I only get financially involved with projects that I use myself. I like to provide feedback or directly work on projects from a position of first-hand experience, and I like to be an active and present advisor. I'm not interested in writing checks or accepting shares and sitting back2. The mission of Polar is one that I'm intimately familiar with. And beyond that, I'm already using Polar for my [still currently private] terminal project3.

I met with the founder of Polar (Birk) initially as part of my personal interest in helping the Zig project4. Our conversation quickly grew to talk about our personal history, supporting developers in general, improvements I'd love to see to the platform, and more. After collaborating on some ideas for some time, Birk asked if I'd be interested in joining more formally in some capacity, and as a result I'm excited to join as an advisor!


  1. Polar is not limited to "developers in the small," this is me stating my own personal goals that align with Polar by being a subset of their own goals.

  2. Until the company reaches a stage where I'm less helpful, but I generally plan and expect that is at least a few years out.

  3. More details on this in the future, but I'm actively working with the 800+ members of the closed beta community (at the time of writing) to discuss project sustainability, upstream support, and contributor rewards.

  4. Zig has its own foundation. My discussions were around automating my matching process to their foundation. I don't speak for the Zig foundation.