Behind the scenes – meet polypoly: Stephen Tattum
polypoly polyVerse

tephen, what is it that you actually do at polypoly?

In a nutshell: researching the data that will later be used in polyPedia. I am doing a wide variety of things for this research, for example looking for data sets, writing descriptions of companies and checking, as well as correcting data files.

As an English native speaker I also proof read English texts for grammar and spelling, which comes in handy for you guys in the Marketing Department (smiles).

I am also working with different partners and I'm involved with the Data Privacy Vocabulary Group (DPVWG). We use their draft vocabulary system to categorise some of the data we input into polyPedia as we already described in another polyBlog article where all the data comes from.

And last but not least I am thinking of ways to get data into polyPedia more easily and to automate that process as far as possible. My colleagues from the development team are a great help and make my work a lot easier by creating tools and other solutions.

How does a typical day look like in your job?

Well, I am working from home. When my children are taken care of and I had the mandatory cup of coffee with my wife, my working day starts with checking emails and then onto research.
Most of my work – approximately 70% – is research and keeping up to date, 20% is communication with colleagues and collaboration partners and 10% is text work.

Change of subject, but we are curious: is it true that you lived in Vietnam for two years and started a peanut butter company?

(Laughing) Yes, that is true. I started the company with a friend of mine, because even though there are tons of peanuts growing in Vietnam, the peanut butter was imported from abroad. So we decided to start our own company and collaborate with peanut farmers themselves, which of course saved a lot of costs and was good for the environment.

Back in Germany I knew that I really valued being my own boss but starting a company here is a little more complicated so first I looked for a job.

So how did you end up with polypoly?
Well, I heard about polypoly from a friend who was looking for a way to recommend new products to his customers without abusing their data. He told me about polypoly. I just sent an email right away, asking for a meeting and met with Christian Buggedei (polyPod Product Owner) and Thorsten Dittmar (initiator of polypoly) shortly after.

What was your first impression?

(Laughing) Two crazy and very competent guys! But you know, in my experience, its the crazy ones who have ideas big enough to change the world on a global level. polypoly has the idea and the team to do just that.

For me it is very important to have skin in the game, which is why I bought shares from the polypoly Cooperative and am now – as I wanted – kind of like my own boss again.
The idea of polypoly is great: we can improve the world for future generations' digital lives, but at the same time we can have a positive impact on the environment. With our polyPod, server farms that consume a crazy amount of energy, will soon be obsolete (More infos about that:

What do you like most about your job?

The variety of my work and our ambitious and lofty goals. Both are very important to me. And of course my colleagues (winks).

What do you see as the biggest challenge for polypoly?

Our challenge will be to scale up. We have the potential to change the entire economy in Europe and create a solution where people aren’t exploited by default. It will be a challenge to convince all Europeans of our solution, but I am sure we will be successful.

Excel Spread Sheet with text
Breakdown of the data shared according to the whatsapp privacy policy.
Programming code
Raw .json file with some basic data for polyPedia.