I'm going public

I spent the last 12 months trying to build a healthtech start-up with a cofounder I met on the Entrepreneur First accelerator. We iterated through a bunch of ideas, but ultimately it didn’t work out.

We spent much of this time as a “stealth” start-up. We didn’t openly share our ideas, for fear that somebody might copy them.

In my new phase, as a solo entrepreneur, I’ve decided to take a different approach: to build “micro-startups” with the door wide open.

By “micro-startup”, I mean a simple web-based product that I build by myself. I’m going to rapidly prototype and test out ideas, and see what sticks.

I’m actively going to share what I do for a few reasons:

  • To get attention, which helps with feedback (to improve the product) and bring more users generally.
  • To share my journey. I’m a married parent in my 30s who initially studied medicine, so aspects of my experience will be different to others. I’ll be happy if I provide inspiration to just one person in a similar position.
  • To prompt reflection. When I stop to write, I think more deeply about what I’m doing.

One obvious risk of building in public is that somebody can take your ideas and out-compete you. In my case, I’m still early-ish in my developer journey, so my development speed will be slower than some. As a parent, my schedule is also less flexible. If I code until 3am, I’ll still be woken up by my daughter by 7am. I can’t just livestream my life as I build the apps.

But I still think it makes sense. Firstly, because ideas are cheap and execution is everything. Secondly, because getting immediate feedback will supercharge my iteration speed. And finally, because my development speed will keep increasing, and I think that fast, committed solo developers can out-compete large teams.

My intention is to gradually share more and more in public. Initially, I’m going to log my progress and thoughts on Twitter, plus write a report for each project I work on. But I feel the real value to others lies in going beyond this. I’m planning to share a bunch of metrics about my life: hours worked on projects, hours on other commitments, revenues generated, number of git commits, gym logs, etc. (I would have loved something like this, e.g. when questionning whether it’s possible to build a start-up by yourself as a preoccupied parent.)

I think a granular log of inputs and outputs over a significant period of time could be a valuable resource to others on a similar path. So that’s what I hope to build, starting today.

I’m initially going to be funding this through freelancing and through my personal savings. (I’m a medical doctor with 4 years experience building ML models, so I help companies and researchers who have health-related data do this.)

For my first project, I want to use AI to make learning languages easier. Follow my Twitter for real-time updates, and I’ll share a comprehensive report here.