60: Learning to build a healthtech company
At the end of 2020, I stopped writing my newsletter. I think at the time it was the right decision; I had a 1 year old daughter, felt I wasn't getting that much out of writing the newsletter and wanted to focus on input (deep diving into machine learning, in particular).
Since around July, I've been itching to start writing again. I even did (briefly) but then stopped again because I wanted to focus on building a company.
My approach to company building so far has been full on. I thought about sharing some thoughts and reflections as I went along, but to be honest everything's been too fast-paced to really stop and reflect deeply without losing momentum.
However, I feel that's changed. I now have an amazing co-founder and a well-defined problem to work on solving. So from here on, deep reflection and decision-making will play a big role.
Part of me thinks I should just focus on building the company, and that I can write about what I learnt afterwards. However, I'm persuaded to by two reasons:
It's easier to remember the true thoughts in the moment. We have a tendency to misremember and often romanticise previous success.
Writing reflections for a public audience can be a helpful prompt.
So here goes. I'll be sharing my learnings, reflections and favourite resources as I look to build a company that facilitates the use of health data to solve the world's most pressing health problems (more details to come).
What I've been up to
Since the last email, I've:
(1) Spent a lot of time my daughter (who is now 2 years old and a daily source of entertainment). I really resonate with this post by Derek Sivers and have been spending around 40% of my time full-time father-ing. I'm very privileged to be in the position where I can do this, but also want to create even further life optionality around this for the future.
(2) Completed my master's degree in machine learning. Pretty proud of the result too - ended up getting a distinction and topping some of the modules. This was a big internal win for me given point 1 above plus my non-maths, non-computer science background. (I’m planning to share some approaches I found helpful in future emails/blogs)
(3) Set up a free service to help people get involved in research. It’s called FindMeStudies and you can sign up here if interested. The rationale is that research efforts are slowed down by lack of data availability, which in turn is caused by lack of individual involvement. We want to make it as frictionless as possible to find and get involved in research studies.
That's everything for this week! Merry Christmas and happy new year for those celebrating.
See you in the next one 🙂