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Building a femtech media platform covering innovation in women’s health

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It’s Saturday morning and it’s been 2 days since this October’s #WomenMakeChallenge ended. And just like that my first month of working on Femtech Insider has also come to a close.

Today I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the past month of building out in the open for the first time and share a few of the things I’ve learned.

But before we start: What is Femtech Insider, anyways?!

At its core Femtech Insider is a media platform covering all things femtech and innovation in women’s health. I’d been researching the topic for a while, but never found a platform, that had it all and met all my needs. Femtech Insider is my attempt to build it.

So what were my needs:

  • First and foremost I found it difficult to have an overview of what companies are out there. I wanted a database of sorts.
  • I wanted to learn more about the business of women’s health, read news about launches, investments, industry trends, etc.
  • I had seen posts in forums from women, who wanted to work at femtech companies, but didn’t know where to start. I wanted to address this need.
  • I wanted to connect the interdisciplinary femtech community – reasearchers, founders, designers, investers, journalists, consumers,…

I’ve had the idea for Femtech Insider for a while and bought the domain back in April, but after that went through all kinds of “cycles of doubt”:

  • Is this really a good idea?
  • Does the world really need this?
  • Am I really the right person to build this?

I went back and forth and nothing happened. Nothing happened until I randomly found out about Women Make and the challenge. I decided to take a leap of faith, sign up and started building.

Learning #1: Just do it!

Some say beginnings are the hardest part. I disagree. Beginnings are usually easy for me. Once I put my mind to something I have a somewhat unique ability to get *really* excited about things. But then the self-doubt kicks in, I get discouraged and I stop. I’ve been through this many times and while this “curse” hasn’t caught up with me yet on this project, it’s important for me this time around to be very aware of this tendency and to actively remind myself, that I can do this and I shouldn’t give up.

Over the course of this month, there were so many times, when I really had to force myself to ship something, publish something, send something to someone and overcome my doubts. I think I’m a bit of a perfectionist and it was hard for me to accept, that sometimes, done is better than perfect.

What helped me was a 2-ish-step process

  1. Ask yourself: Does this do its job? Does it fulfill its purpose? Will other people understand?
  2. If the answer to all of the above was yes, I’d actually loudly tell myself “Just do it!” and press that send or publish button. And yes, I did actually close my eyes sometimes while doing it! lol
  3. Optional: Take a deep breath and be a little proud of yourself! #yay

Learning #2: Consistency over intensity

As mentioned, I tend to get discouraged and give up. But then a while back I came across a tweet and for some reason it really resonated with me and helped me change my view on progress.

It’s not just about reaching milestones and ticking things off a to-do list. It’s about showing up. Putting in the work. Even if it’s just a little bit of work. Any progress towards a goal is better, than no progress at all. Consistency over intensity. So simple, yet so powerful.

Don’t get me wrong: I work off a weekly to-do list still and it definitely helps me stay organized, but I’m no longer as attached to goals. Not meeting a goal, doesn’t mean I’ve failed, it just means, that I need to put in a little more work. My priority for this project was to do a little every day and to trust, that the little things I do every day, will add up. It’s been a month and I am happy to report: They did. 🙂

Learning #3: Community is everything

I work remotely and am not surrounded by other makers in my everyday life. At times I felt a little lonely spending my weekends working on my project, while everyone was out and about. It’s easy to start questioning yourself, when you don’t have a sounding board. I started to get involved with or more active in some online communities at the beginning of the month. The good news: There’s a lot out there! And I joined them all. After a few days however it became clear to me, that I had to focus and 3 communities really stood out:

  • Women Make – The womenmake community has been nothing short of amazing. It’s such a safe space and full of friendly people genuinely interested in helping you succeed. My favorite part is the telegram chat group, where every question is welcome.
  • Elpha – Elpha is a community for women in tech, and the feedback, I’ve received from there has been incredibly helpful.
  • Indie Hackers – Indiehackers is a community of makers. I was nervous sharing my progress there, as I’m not very far along. But my courage was rewarded and I’ve been able to connect to so many people, who have inspired and encouraged me.

I also joined 200wordsaday and Makerlog, which I think are great communities, but I really got a little overwhelmed. I noticed that communities that don’t require daily input seem to work better for me.

Learning #4: People are awesome

I’m not gonna lie: when I first decided building out in the open I was kind of nervous and in a way I still am. Will people hate what I’m doing? How will I deal with criticism? What if someone steals my idea? Yes, I have a unique ability to always find something to worry about it seems!

It’s one month later now and all I can say is: people are awesome. I think it just comes to show that a little bit of optimism and an abundance mindset can go a long way. Instead of seeing other platforms or people in the femtech space as competition, I chose to reach out to them. In the end we all have the same mission: bringing more awareness to innovation in women’s health. The result? Many amazing conversations, collaborations and partnerships.

What’s next?

Both traffic and our newsletter subscribers are growing every day and I feel like I’m on the right path. My aim for the next months is to really build a platform, that’s useful for my intended audience. I want to improve our database, which is essentially an embedded Airtable at this point, and a podcast is in the works. I guess you could say I’m really working on product-market fit right now.

I’m really excited to see it all come together and in my mind, Femtech Insider is already a success, as it has enabled and empowered me to have conversations with some amazing people, who share my interests and care about the same things I care about. I guess you could say I found my tribe…

If you want to help, keep me accountable! I’m @kathaka on Twitter. Tweet at me with feedback or just ask me, what I’m working on today. I can’t wait to hear from you!

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