Out-Of-Pocket Slack Applications

Hello! It’s been about 7 months since I started the Out-Of-Pocket paid slack channel. I’ve been very, very slowly and deliberately choosing when to add folks and how to actually structure the channel so that it stays engaging. Communities fail when they’re not thoughtfully developed, so I’ve been thinking about how the Out-Of-Pocket community can grow while keeping the same level of engagement and quality of conversation.

To that end, I’m creating a second slack channel. There will be certain shared channels, resources, and events between the different slack groups. However to keep the same small, intimate feel the regular conversations need to be capped at a certain number of contributors. I will be a part of both!

To read more about the what the channel is about, please read the entirety of this document which I’m also pasting below.

Applications for the next cohort will be open from now until 12/4.  You can fill out the application here. Right now the “no investors” rule is still in effect, sorry.

If you from an underrepresented group and they’re interested in healthcare, I strongly encourage you to apply! Getting smart about healthcare is truly about diverse perspectives – it impacts each of us very, very differently. If you know someone or you’re part of channels with people from underrepresented groups, please encourage them to apply as well.

I will still be adding people from previous applications as well. If you’d like to submit a new application, feel free to do so as well with a note in the comments that this is a new application.

This Slack channel is a non-insignificant amount of work, so if you apply please know what you’re getting into. However if you’re willing to put in the work, it can be very rewarding as well.

Very excited to read the applications :) If I think it’s a good fit, I’ll reach out. If I haven’t, I may also still reach out for a future cohort.


Overview

While there are lots of healthcare slack groups today, I think there’s room for a channel that: 

  1. Has an increased level of vetting for community members, decided based on criteria including:

    1. Curiosity on different developments in healthcare

    2. Specific technical knowledge in a certain part of the industry

    3. Strong opinions with an open mind and willingness to engage in constructive debate 

    4. Demonstrate they’ll be an active, contributing member to the community

  2. Has planned small events (both virtual and in-person) to foster a stronger community via face-to-face connection. 

  3. Focuses on making multiple high quality small/medium size groups with a moderator. The goal is not to maximize the total number of people in the channel, but rather to maintain quality discussion and connections. 

  4. Requires participation from its members via occasional short assignments and occasional events.

  5. Is focused on developing stronger, more organic ties between members instead of sporadic asks from strangers

  6. Is more heavily moderated to reduce the amount of self-promotion and encourage thoughtful discussion and sharing of tactics.

This group is meant for people of all experience levels in healthcare, but a strong interest and desire to learn more about the space. By bringing experienced people in healthcare with people new to the space, I believe we can learn a lot just through the process of teaching each other as well as have new perspectives on how to tackle certain problems from newcomers.

Process

The Out-Of-Pocket slack channel is currently $30/month. This process and pricing is meant to self-select for a high quality group of people and discussion that would find this valuable and pay for tools to support that. It also incentivizes moderators (aka me, for now) to put the work in to make the group high quality by providing structure.  

This will initially prioritize people building companies before potentially allowing people that are currently investors. No offense investors.

You must be a subscriber to Out-Of-Pocket to join. I’ll be using the newsletter frequently as a discussion starter in the group + will use sentiment from the group to inform future newsletters.

Over time, these groups will slowly allow more people, but each group will have a maximum size (currently 50 people). After that cap, a new group will be started.

Other than the (hopefully) organic conversation that happens, there will be some structure from me through prompts and assignments. I’ll set up a calendar to see the upcoming events + when your assignments are due. 

Weekly Prompts - Each week I’ll be posing prompts to the group for general discussion. This might be related to trials and tribulations building a company, interesting new developments in healthcare, strategy/tactics tackling a problem, etc. A few people will be tagged each week to kick the discussion off.

Monthly Written Assignments - Each month, you will be asked to complete an assignment. These are mandatory to complete.

The assignments will either be long form write ups or an assignment to contribute to a specific topic or discussion in slack.

Some long form example assignments might look like:

  • Can you walk me through what an average day looks like for you?

  • Can you tell me about a project you’re working on now or completed recently, what’s difficult about it, and what success for the project looks like?

  • Can you do a review of a tool you’ve used at your job?

  • Etc.

Short form assignments might be

  • Share an article in the #interestingreads channel with a summary

  • Pitch an idea in the #companyideas channel

  • What’s a new healthcare acronym you learned recently and what does it mean?

The first six assignments are all long form which is meant to get to learn a bit more about your interests, things you have experience in, etc. so I know when to tag you into discussions, etc. 

After the first six assignments, it will be 2 short form to 1 long form going forward. You will be able to see these assignments in advance as well as your due date so you can plan accordingly and think about what you’re going to write.

Monthly Talks - There will be monthly virtual gatherings that will involve a few people giving short presentations to help practice public speaking + presentation design. Attendance to one of these events once per quarter will be mandatory.

Homework and prompts are meant to keep members invested, learn about each other beyond a surface level context, and help structure your thoughts. Every good community requires some work + contributions from its members, and this is no different.

Everything above is subject to change, this is an experiment.

Community Rules: 

  • This is a moderated community. Violating any of the rules means you will get kicked out without a refund.

    • To start, I will be the only moderator. As the group size increases, I may ask for help with moderation and will explain the rationale behind making someone a moderator

  • If something doesn’t make sense to you, ask questions. There are no stupid questions. Healthcare has so many moving parts, there’s no way you’re going to understand all of them. The point of this community is to learn.

  • Do not harass/bully anyone. Zero tolerance policy for this, if it happens you will be kicked out.

  • I will encourage some one-on-one an small group meetings, but feel empowered to reach out and organize the larger group yourself as well

  • Everything said in this channel should be assumed to be off the record. If it’s found out you’re spreading information outside of the channel, you will be kicked out. 

  • This channel requires participation. There will be “homework assignments” used as discussion starters and ways to bring the community closer together. If you consistently skip the required assignments, you will be kicked out. 

    • If there are extenuating circumstances (which does not include “work got really busy”), please reach out to me.

    • Assignment completion will be audited each quarter. If you’re missing an assignment after the audit, you’ll get a “strike”. 3 strikes and I’ll have to ask you to leave the group.

  • Do not use the group solely to promote things. Promote things in the appropriate channels if you are a regularly contributing member in the other channels.

  • Be personable! If the goal of Out-Of-Pocket is to informalize healthcare, then this group should be able to joke around, share details about their personal lives, and get to know the people behind the group.

  • Contribute to building the community. I won’t be able to do everything myself, so I’m relying on others to help with different parts of fostering a community, hosting events, etc. If you can step up to help, please do.

  • Things will be constantly changing as I experiment with how to make this group better. I appreciate the patience as we learn how to make this community great.

    • I’m extremely open to constructive feedback (positive and negative) on how to improve the group! I may not make every suggestion a reality, but I can guarantee you that I will listen to every single one.

Once again, if you’re interested in applying you can find the form here.