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Medical Papers are Hard Reads 😩

Hello friends, 10 weeks ago, I pitched you an idea. Many of you replied by email/in person. Some of y
Medical Papers are Hard Reads 😩
By Mustafa Sultan • Issue #26 • View online
Hello friends,
10 weeks ago, I pitched you an idea. Many of you replied by email/in person. Some of you said let’s build it.
It’s now being built 👇

You can sign up for the waitlist at explainthispaper.com
The Basic Concept (A Refresher)
5000-word PDFs are horrible reads. They’re digitised versions of something designed for print. But what if reading a medical paper was as easy as reading your WhatsApps?
A plain text summary written in a conversational tone would be quite cool. Enough that you can understand all the main points of the paper (the so what?) but also be signposted to further reading.
If you’ve ever looked up the meaning of song lyrics on Genius — you’ll know what we’re trying to build
An Experiment 🧪
I’ve read the whole ‘wantrapreneur’ library and spent a year at Business School. Here’s everything I’ve picked up about making a good product. But first, a disclaimer—
Right now, I’m the no skin in the game guy telling you how to beat the stock market.
I would actually encourage you to ignore all of these points. Maybe check back in a couple of years if they ever work.
I’m going to include them for posterity though.
1. Marketing > Product ⁉️
I spent most of my teenage years in front of a computer. This was my first website—
(Couldn't find a screenshot of the actual website — but this was the logo)
(Couldn't find a screenshot of the actual website — but this was the logo)
It started off as a guide on how to jailbreak (hack) your iPhone. Later it became a tech review website.
I only ever had one goal with the website — to get free stuff (this was at the height of YouTube unboxing videos).
Over a couple of years, I promo'ed the s🤬t out of it. It slowly grew to 5000 visitors/month and people started sending me free stuff to review.
Sometimes they would let me keep it, sometimes they would ask for it back 😩
My lesson from this? No idea is unique and 100 other people are doing exactly what you are.
The only thing that’ll separate it is how you present it and spread the word (i.e. marketing).
2. Working in Public 🎭
This is a bit weird. I generally prefer people who are modest and work quietly. This is great, but doesn’t really work in today’s internet climate (I think).
What actually happens is that you work really hard on something for months, launch it… and then crickets… 🦗
After watching my 1000th vlog about someone’s morning routine, it dawned on me — it’s interesting to watch people do stuff. Even if that stuff isn’t that interesting.
Twitter, this newsletter etc. are all my attempts to work publicly. Something pretty cool happens when you start working publicly—
You start attracting likeminded people and collaborate with them. People also become invested in your story and actually care when you make something (🤞).
Books on this topic: Show Your Work
3. Exclusivity/False Scarcity
I keep on seeing companies do this. Manufacturing fake hype by making their app exclusive/invite only.
Clubhouse and Roam Research have done this really well.
In an age of abundance, creating false scarcity might actually be a cheat code to getting eyeballs 👁
My attempt at false scarcity? Calling explainthispaper’s ‘notify-me-when-this-comes-out email list’ a waitlist.
I’m interested in this concept though. Curious to try it properly.
4. MVPs 👩‍🍳
Sarim was one of the medical student co-founders of QuitGenius — a smoking cessation app which now has a million paid users.
When they first had the idea, they didn’t actually make QuitGenius. They just made some slides on PowerPoint to show what it would look like (a Minimum Viable Product).
They showed doctors, smokers and investors — and eventually got funded. Only then did they pay someone to actually make the app. Really smart 🧠
I like to go one step further on this. It’s a bit shady, but I like the Minimum Marketable Product more.
This is the absolute bare minimum thing you can make to demonstrate your product. Like a tweet.
Pretend it’s about to come out and gauge interest.
Here’s a tweet I put out this week. It was seen by 13,000 people and we got 120+ email sign ups from it.
People want it —> time to make it (traditional products do the exact opposite).
The Final Word ❌
Honestly, I don’t know if any of this will work. But it will be fun trying.
Podcast
#027 The Digital ENT Surgeon — Dr Krishan Ramdoo (CEO TympaHealth)
All the best,
Musty
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Mustafa Sultan

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