Kevin's Weekly Health Tech Reads: A Fun Announcement
We're launching a new brand, a new Jobs board, and a monetization strategy!
Don’t want to read the rest of this post below and just want to check out the fun news / why we’re bothering you mid-week? Ok well here ya go - today we’re launching the following in our quest to support individuals building new ideas in healthcare:
A new brand (Health Tech Nerds)
A new Jobs Board (the place to view and post health tech jobs)
A monetization strategy (newsletter ‘tips’, community memberships, and jobs postings)
More details on all of this below, including how we’d like you to take part! (hint hint: please consider supporting us so we can convince our families that spending weekends on this is still a good idea)
Note - if you just want to keep receiving the newsletter each Sunday don’t worry, nothing will change. The only difference moving forward is that it’ll be called “HTN Weekly Health Tech Reads” instead of “Kevin’s Weekly Health Tech Reads”.
Introducing Health Tech Nerds
Almost four years years ago, this newsletter started as a small missive I wrote over coffee on Sunday mornings to a handful friends and colleagues. Since then, it has grown to almost 10,000 members in the health tech community, an awesome Slack channel has emerged, and has become the go-to place to share cool new jobs in the health tech community.
As it has grown, all of this has become basically a full-time gig on its own. And with that, it’s about time to figure out a monetization strategy for how to support this work moving forward (yes, to date, it’s always been a free side-project).
Today we’re relaunching this newsletter under Health Tech Nerds, a media company providing a trusted perspective on all things health tech. My co-founder, Ryan Russell, and I have been working on this change in the background over the last few months and are excited to share it with you all today.
Our goal in launching Health Tech Nerds is to create a sustainable way for us to continue supporting the community of individuals building new ideas in healthcare - whether those individuals are startup founders, corporate executives, venture capital investors, or students looking to break into the industry. It’s a confusing space, with a lot of noise that can distract from all of our ultimate goals - some flavor of improving health outcomes without breaking the bank financially.
Our goal in this isn’t to build a media empire, but rather to build a sustainable small business that carves out a meaningful role supporting this community in improving healthcare. Today is our first step along that journey, and we’re excited for you to continue down that path with us.
Our Products: The Newsletter, a New Jobs Board, and the Slack Community!
Let’s take a brief look at what the initial Health Tech Nerds product looks like:
The newsletter will continue to go out each Sunday to the audience of almost 10,000 health tech innovators. You’ll see the name change slightly to reflect the changes here, so it will be going out with the brilliant subject line: “HTN Weekly Health Tech Reads”. It really rolls off the tongue, right? The weekly newsletter will remain free, although we may experiment with advertising over time for people who are on the free newsletter. We’re implementing a ‘tip jar’ for people who love the newsletter and want to show their support for the work on an ongoing basis - think of it as a tip for the quality content you get each weekend.
Want to support us via the ‘Tip Jar’? Click here to sign up and ‘tip’ us $3/mo. You’ll be supporting us in providing independent perspective for the cost of a Starbucks latte each month.
We’re quite excited to share that we’ve added a brand new Jobs Board as a way to post jobs to the broader HTN Community. The Jobs section in the newsletter has been a hit - we’re posting between 50-80 jobs each month and getting good feedback on the targeted nature and quality of both postings and applicants. The formal Jobs Board will help better support both job posters and job applicants in streamlining the process, and we’re excited to see this grow.
Moving forward, we’re only going to include Featured Postings in the weekly newsletter. Those Featured Postings will cost $300 per job post. Companies are still free to post jobs on the Job Board site for free, and individuals who are in the Slack Community can still post jobs there for free as well.
The Slack community has emerged organically from the newsletter over the last few years and become its own awesome community of over 2,000 health tech nerds. We’ve reached out to a number of folks in the community for feedback and heard a bunch of enthusiasm around a core set of features we’re adding to the community moving forward - a Member Directory, events and networking, databases, and office hours. In order to support these features, we’ve decided to start charging Community members.
If you’re new to the Slack Community, you can join here for $100/year (or $10/mo). You’ll be joining a group of individuals trading notes and ideas on everything going on in healthcare. Plus you’ll get to hang out with Ryan and I more, which our families have told us is quite fun.
One of the things we’ve realized over the last few months as we launch Health Tech Nerds is that the only thing we really know is that we’re going to get this product offering wrong in some way at launch. To that end, we view this product offering as a next step and first test under the Health Tech Nerds brand. We’ll be looking at other products to add, and have been considering different types of content that we could begin publishing regularly in addition to the weekly newsletter.
So expect to see us experimenting with different types of content moving forward. Folks in the Slack Community will get to participate in some of that thinking with us as well!
Our Monetization Strategy
We’ve gone back and forth on a number of ways to try to make some money while building Health Tech Nerds as a business. We’ve thought long and hard about how to make an income from this work while remaining true to what we view as the core foundation of our work - our willingness to share an authentic perspective on everything going on in healthcare.
This is why we’ve made the decision to focus on charging our community members directly as the source our main revenue stream, via newsletter tips and Slack community memberships. We think this route aligns us most closely with the value our perspective provides to the community, and ensures we can remain authentic and honest in voicing our perspective each week. Charging for job postings also felt closely aligned to our values, as it doesn’t impact our editorial voice / perspective in a meaningful way.
We may introduce ads into the free newsletter at a later date, but haven’t quite gotten there yet on how to do so. It feels one step closer to an editorial conflict with any potential advertisers / sponsors, which we want to avoid.
And certainly, we know that there is no right answer to this question. There are tradeoffs associated with every monetization strategy. We have chosen the approach we feel is right for us, and we feel like it aligns to our core values.
How You Can Take Part (Aka Our Ask of You):
If you’ve been enjoying our newsletter and perspectives on the health tech space, consider supporting our growth by joining as a member in one of the following ways:
We’ve also included a special Founders Tier for the next week, where we are letting up to 10 individuals who want a front-row seat to help us shape the journey and receive a lifetime membership to the Community for $600. If that’s you, sign up here.
If you have any questions on this, or other comments / feedback for us, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
That’s All - See You on Sundays (Or Every Day on Slack)!
We’re excited for what comes next – we think this awesome group of nerds has an opportunity to help each other make health care better for all of us. We know we’re just embarking on this journey, and are excited to continue supporting the community here by providing our perspectives on the space every weekend on the newsletter, and every day on the Slack Community. We hope you’ll join us on the journey!