My first weekly email newsletter: Starting from Zero
Welcome to my first ever weekly email newsletter.
This may the first time you’ve heard from me for a while; I’ve had email sign-ups at multiple locations but haven’t actually been sending many emails! I’ve decided to change that by sending out a short email newsletter each week, starting now.
It’s highly likely that you signed up in relation to one of the follow things:
The book I wrote for medical students
The courses I’ve run and resources I’ve made for understanding machine learning in healthcare
My personal website or Medium blog
So, my first challenge is to write and share things that are interesting to the different audiences I’ve attracted.
In order to do so, my initial plan is to share:
a short thought/reflection from the week – this will most likely be something related to practicing as a doctor, working in health technology, or occasionally something from my personal life
links to the best things I watched/read/heard that week – blog posts, videos, books, podcasts, etc that resonated with me
occasional updates on projects I’m working on – for example, I’ll do an early release of the ‘machine learning for healthcare’ eBook I’m writing, share news about a software platform I’m building and will let you know when I schedule any in-person events, such as machine learning in healthcare courses or coding workshops
I expect this will evolve over time, but this is the rough idea at this stage.
If that sounds like your cup of tea, then great – let’s crack on! :)
If this wasn’t really what you were looking for when you subscribed to the mailing list, feel free to click the ‘unsubscribe’ button at the bottom of this email – no hard feelings!
This week I wanted to share a short reflection about starting new projects:
Starting from Zero
I’ve thought about starting an email newsletter for some time.
However, when I look to successful* newsletters for inspiration, I’m often overwhelmed by how good they are, and in comparison, how far away I perceive myself to be. This makes me feel less confident about my ability to start something myself and feel more inclined to “leave it to the experts”.
I’ve seen this in other projects as well. When I was writing my book for medical students a few years ago, there was a period where I got hold of all the similar published books that existed and read them. This was probably a bad idea, however, because I felt overwhelmed with how “insufficient” my book was at that time, and it temporarily became much harder to write. Eventually, I managed to get over that mental block, continued to make slow-and-stead progress, and was very happy with the end result.
My personal take-aways from these experiences are that often the most important thing is just to start, and to avoid comparing with others (particularly in the early stages).
Every project, company, skilled person, etc that we see today must have started from zero at some point. At one point, Amazon didn’t exist, David Beckham couldn’t kick a football and Seth Godin hadn’t written a single blog post.
So this is the start of another project where I’ll be starting from zero. I hope you enjoy being a part of it.
*which is, of course, subjective
Favourite podcast from the week
575: How & Why I Scanned My Entire Library
I found this fascinating; Joshua describes in-detail the process he used to digitise every book that he owns (spoiler: basically by tearing the books apart and running them through a scanner). I’m continually looking for ways to store and access the information in my books more efficiently, and think I may well take a similar approach at some point down the line.
Predicting Hospital No-Shows using Neural Networks [coding exercise]
I delivered a coding workshop for students in London this week, and wrote up the coding exercise as a blog. If interested in learning to code, feel free to check it out. There are other great exercises at CodeMD.
That’s everything for this week.
This is still new to me, so any feedback or suggestions would be appreciated - please hit ‘reply’.
I hope you have a fantastic week!