The Dangers of Loving Your Business Partner: A New Chapter for Kindara

Hi Everyone,

Today we're announcing publicly an internal team transition that has been going on behind the scenes at Kindara these past few months. The logistics took a while to sort out so we’re only announcing it now. Here’s the deal:

Last December, Kati and I realized that if we kept working together as a husband-and-wife-and-co-founder team, we were going to end up divorced. Building a startup is stressful and contentious, and over time the friction of working together bled over into our personal lives, slowly poisoning our romantic connection. Partly as a result of our difficulties at home, Kati's health began deteriorating, and this made the situation even scarier.  We felt trapped in our lives, wanting to love each other but finding it hard while we were building a company together.

Things got worse through last fall and after multiple passionate conversations and tears on both sides, we realized in December that we had arrived at the breaking point. We saw clearly that we had to choose between being married and being business partners in the company we created together. And we had to choose quickly or put both at risk.

Having arrived at this crossroads, It didn't take us long to choose our romantic connection as our top priority.  We’re lucky to have found each other, and once we realized our love wasn’t as invincible as we had previously thought, and was at risk of disappearing forever, we both wanted to save it.  

Personally, it was difficult for me to come to terms with the fact that my dream of building a company with Kati wasn't going to happen. After all, she introduced me to fertility charting in the first place. It was the enlightening experience of charting her fertility that helped me better understand the feminine and inspired me to want to share that understanding with the world. Our love for each other was the engine that got Kindara started, and I dreamed this engine would sustain the business for many years.  This dream blinded me to the reality that we didn’t make good business partners.

So in January, I finally accepted that it wasn’t to be, and we started working on a transition plan. We decided that since Kati didn't want to be CEO and I did, she would transition out of the company and we would hire a new designer and a new product person to fill her shoes. This was no small task. We both wanted to maintain the sophisticated elegance and simplicity of our design, and we wanted our product person to have Kati’s rock-solid commitment to helping women feel powerful in their bodies. Basically we wanted to transition Kati out of Kindara while leaving the soul and mission of the company intact.

After an exhaustive search, we were lucky to find Amanda Weaver and Simla Somturk. Amanda joined as our Head Designer this spring, and has been at the helm of our aesthetic every since. And Simla joined as our Head of Product & Marketing in June. I love working with both Simla and Amanda and I can confidently say that our product and design are in exceptionally capable hands.

Over the past few months we also brought Lauren Risberg and Molly Muranaka onto the team to help with customer support and engineering respectively. And we’re blessed with talented and passionate interns like Lakshmi Senthilnathan.

Team Kindara in July 2014 from left: Courtney Miller (Community), Simla Somturk (Product & Marketing), James Gardner (CTO & Lead Developer), Lakshmi Senthilnathan (QA), Amanda Weaver (Design), Molly Muranaka (Engineer), Lauren Risberg (Support & Content), and Me. Not pictured: Gary Stone (CFO), Andy Goldstein (COO)

Team Kindara in July 2014 from left: Courtney Miller (Community), Simla Somturk (Product & Marketing), James Gardner (CTO & Lead Developer), Lakshmi Senthilnathan (QA), Amanda Weaver (Design), Molly Muranaka (Engineer), Lauren Risberg (Support & Content), and Me. Not pictured: Gary Stone (CFO), Andy Goldstein (COO)

So today we’re announcing the beginning of a new chapter in the Kindara story. Kati has rested up and is feeling great.  Our romantic connection is stronger than it has ever been. And our team at Kindara is kicking butt.

While many companies blow up after founders leave, I feel more optimistic than ever about Kati and my future, and Kindara’s future. We’ve got some big announcements planned for next month including our Android launch and our first device launch.

Now that this transition is wrapped up, I’d like to thank our amazing advisor and coach Lauren Bacon. Lauren was a rock through many heated and emotional conversations, and helped us wear multiple hats to make this transition a smooth one. Lauren along with our lawyer Heather Miles helped us craft a transition plan that preserved the interests of Kati and I, of our marriage, of Kindara,  and of our investors. And thanks to our investors who overwhelmingly supported us in choosing love.

And finally thanks to all the women who use Kindara and tell their friends about us. Your reviews, rants, feature requests, ideas and bug reports keep us going, and steer us towards accomplishing our mission in the world.  

For Kati and I, fertility charting helped us deepen our connection to our bodies and to each other. Ultimately it was the depth of this connection that got us through this scary rough patch together, and allowed us to reach the greener pastures on the other side. Whatever fertility challenge you’re dealing with, our commitment is that Kindara remains the best tool for you to deepen your connection with yourself and with your partner, and do the same.

(P.S. To read Kati's post on her transition click here)

 


Choosing Love

Hi everyone,  some of you may have noticed my absence at Kindara, none of my usual witty blog posts and such.  For those of you who noticed and wondered about it, here’s your answer.  For those of you who didn’t notice, well, here’s some new information for you.

I left my full-time role at Kindara.  Long story short, Will and I are not only co-founders of Kindara, but also married… to each other.  Working together was really taking a toll on our romantic relationship. We are both very passionate people and often had different ideas of what was best for the app, and while this lead to a really awesome product, (by virtue of the less awesome ideas being lopped off, and only the best ideas going forward to become a part of Kindara) it was very hard on our marriage. In a lot of ways it also hindered the product and company because of the long back and forth we would have before we reached an agreement, causing progress to be slower than we wanted.

I was also working too much, and developed some stress-related health problems that I needed to sort out.  Kindara exists to help women know themselves, and make the healthiest choices for their lives, and it was time for me to take my own advice. Around December Will and I realized that the best thing for our marriage and my health was for me to leave Kindara. This was no easy decision on my part. Kindara is my baby, so to speak.  But the company that Will and I built because we loved each other so much and wanted other couples to experience the same closeness and intimacy that fertility charting had brought to us, was tearing us apart. I was burned out, depressed and feeling awful every day.

We took our time sorting things out, so my transition out would be smooth, and fair to all parties involved. We got our investors approval for my transition, and February was my last month at Kindara.

Since March I’ve been healing and decompressing.  In June I finally felt the first glimpses of the energy I used to have, and am ready to start my next thing.  Making beautiful and useful things has been my passion since I was a child.  So I’ve decided to give it a go, and start my own design company. Right now I’m focusing on laser-cut leather accessories. The company is in its infant stage now, check out Luminira to see what I’m up to.

I left Kindara in good hands, Will, James, and Courtney are rocking it out and have added some really amazing women to the team.  Simla, Molly, Amanda, Lakshmi, Lauren and Bekah are each adding their own unique passion and energy to the company and I’m inspired by what I see.  

And Will and I are happy again! Now that the stress of a fledgling startup is no longer monopolizing our relationship, we love being married to each other.

Will & I celebrating 2 years in Boulder together this summer. 

Will & I celebrating 2 years in Boulder together this summer. 

I’m grateful to have had the chance to create a company like Kindara. Thank you for believing in us, and using the app. Thank you for your questions, your feedback, your requests, and the glowing reviews! Thank you for your heartfelt emails, success stories and baby pictures.  Knowing that something I helped create has had such a positive impact on so many women’s lives makes me feel good every day.   And while I’ve moved on, there will always be a piece of my heart in Kindara, and a piece of Kindara in my heart.  

Love,
Kati

(P.S. To read Will's post on my transition click here)


Ask Kindara: What Does it Mean If My Temperature Drops in the Luteal Phase?

Hey Kindara,

Help! I’m confused. On day 15 of my cycle I had a clear temperature shift, and my temps stayed high for the next 6 days. Then, on day 7 of the luteal phase, my temperature dropped wayy below the coverline - and then on day 8 it came back up. I’ve been really good about taking my temperature at exactly the same time each day, as soon as I wake up, etc. - so what could have caused this drop?

Thanks,
Cora in NYC


Hey Cora! After ovulation, a second, smaller surge of estrogen occurs about midway through the luteal phase. This can cause some women’s basal temperatures to drop temporarily, and may be accompanied by a day or two of wet cervical fluid. It sounds like this is what happened to you. So no worries, this is perfectly healthy and normal :) 

If you’ve already confirmed ovulation this cycle with a clear, sustained temperature shift and peak day, this temporary drop isn’t a sign of returning fertility - you are still considered infertile for the rest of your cycle.

 

If you have a question you'd like to submit to Ask Kindara, write us at feedback@kindara.com with your question. 


Kindara v4.2 for iOS: Introducing Expanded Reminders, Personalized Community Notifications, and Return of the Start New Cycle Button!

We’re excited to announce that Kindara 4.2 for iOS is now live in the iTunes App Store!  In this update, we’ve greatly expanded Kindara’s Reminders functionality, added personalized community comment notifications, and brought back the “Start New Cycle Today?” row based on your feedback.

If you appreciate these updates, please consider leaving us a review so that we can help more women get comfortable and confident about their reproductive health.

 

Expanded Reminders  

In addition to the daily temperature and cervical fluid reminders we had before, you can now create custom reminders which go off whenever you’d like them to.

To access your reminders, first tap the More screen, then Settings, and then Reminders.  On this screen, you’ll find a list of all the reminders you currently have turned on and off.  The two reminders at the top of the list are the Temperature Reminder and Cervical Fluid Reminder, which you can set to remind you at any time of day you like (or turn off completely if you don’t wish to be reminded).

To create a custom reminder, look below the Temperature Reminder and Cervical Fluid Reminder.  You’ll see a row that says Tap to Add.  Tap this row and enter the name of your custom reminder – for example, if you’d like Kindara to remind you to check your cervix, you could call this reminder “Check your cervix.”  Please take note that the title you enter here will appear as a notification on your phone when the time comes, even if the phone is locked, so keep this in mind if your reminder is something that you’d prefer to keep private.

 

After you’ve entered your new reminder’s name, tap “Done,” and then tap on the new reminder you just made.  On this screen, you can turn the reminder on and off, change the time that the reminder goes off, change the day the reminder goes off, and set how often the reminder repeats (if at all).

If you tap the “Repeat” checkbox, the app will ask you if you’d like to repeat Daily, Weekly, Monthly, or on certain Cycle Days.  If you choose Daily, you can set which days of the week you’d like the reminder to go off.

If you choose Weekly or Monthly, the app will ask you what weekly or monthly interval you’d like your reminder to go off.  For example, if you’d like Kindara to remind you to go to the dentist every six months, simply choose “Monthly” and then scroll the wheel to “Every 6 Months.”  Kindara will remind you every six months from the original date.

Finally, you can also have Kindara to remind you on certain cycle days or a range of cycle days.  If you’d like Kindara to remind you to perform a breast self-exam on Day 7, choose “Cycle Day,” then “Single Day,” and scroll the wheel to Cycle Day 7.  If you choose “Range of Days,” you can have Kindara remind you on a particular range of Cycle Days.  For example, you could set the app to remind you to use ovulation predictor kits on Cycle Days 12-15 by scrolling the wheels.

 

Personalized Community Notifications

Now, when someone comments on a chart you're following in the Community, you'll see the username of the person who commented, as well as the username of the person the chart that was commented on belongs to. 

 

Return of the Popular “Start New Cycle Today?” Option

We’ve also added (or rather, re-added) one last feature to this update: we are re-introducing the “Start New Cycle Today” button as an option for users who would like to manually set cycle start dates rather than relying on the automatic feature.

In our last update, we removed the “Start New Cycle Today” button and added a feature which automatically starts a new cycle when new menstruation data is entered.  We received mixed feedback about this feature from our users, so we decided to bring the manual option back for those users who prefer it.

By default, Kindara is set to automatically start new cycles for you.  To activate the manual Start New Cycle button, tap the More screen, then Settings, and switch the “Start New Cycles Manually” option on.  You can turn this option off at any time to return to the automatic setting. (More information can be found here.)

We hope you enjoy these new features!  If you have any questions or comments about these new features, feel free to let us know.