Leaders take risks.

Taking risks requires courage, which can’t easily be faked (the word comes from “cor” — “heart” in Latin).

In the past, it was easier to judge a leader’s courage.

Leaders led their forces in battle. They were on the front lines. For example, a minority of Roman Emperors died in bed. Most died in war, coups or other armed conflicts.

In modern times, political leadership doesn’t involve taking personal risks. Politicians are usually insulated (physically and financially) from the real consequences of their decisions. Their incentives are less visible. There are notable exceptions — Jo Cox RIP.

Recent events have…


Whilst 2020 had its rough parts, there was definitely a silver lining to the lockdown lifestyle which was the gift of time. More time than I’ve had in many years. The arc of life bent squarely towards time with my family and having time to myself. A silver lining in a year full of storm clouds.

My media diet — high level changes

What I cut out:

  • WhatsApp (I’m not not on any Facebook platforms as a principled choice)
  • My New York Times subscription — part of a wider shift away from MSM (not entirely successful).
  • Consciously moving away from advertising-funded media/news models and into more long-form…


I’ve had some time off this last week and discovered some awesome podcasts from the Farnam Street podacst (check it out and subscribe!). Shane at FS distils wisdom from smart people into 60–90 minute conversations. The two episodes that got me thinking about thinking (meta -I know) were an episode with Chamath Palihapitiya, and a second with Roger Martin.

[A brief aside on their bios:

  • Chamath: early facebook employee, billionaire by age 32, one of the major movers-and-shakers in finance where he is pioneering SPACs, one of which I have invested in.
  • Roger: former Dean at the Rotman School at…


I’m developing a mental model for how the educational culture and practice a child is raised in shapes their ability to go deep, why this matters, and the case for home schooling. I might update this piece from time to time — and I’d love your feedback.

Why being able to go deep matters

Many of the greatest technological discoveries that advance human progress emerge following many years of hard labour. They are typically made by gifted individuals in domains most people consider “hard”. These discoveries matter. Their cumulative impact is why most of us no longer live challenging and short lives filled with hardship.

If you…


It’s been a tough year for parents. The pandemic has triggered the most rapid shift of work patterns in modern history. It hasn’t all been good news. Despite that, it’s unlikely everything will revert to “normal”. For some people, working from home has had positives, including getting more done than previously thought possible.

A desire to go back to work seems to be a common theme amongst our friends that have kids.

My personal experience

With 3 kids under 5 years old for most of the last year, it’s been hard to separate “work” and “life” at home. …


In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been trying to pay more attention to what I’m paying attention to.

Working from home has altered my daily routine. No more commuting, stopping off at the gym on the way to work or breaking my day up with a walk to a local coffee shop. Grocery shopping (which, as a foodie, was a bit of a ritual) is gone too. It’s now pretty much me and my computer during the working day. And with that, all the opportunities for distraction…

To get a grip on this, I figured if I can “catch” procrastination early, I can nip it in the bud. This got me thinking about what I do when I…


So we recently closed our latest seed round. In the middle of a global pandemic!

At almost four million pounds, it marked one of Europe’s largest healthtech rounds for a company at our stage. Closing was a total whirlwind of Zoom pitches and virtual signatures but we got there in the end.

Throughout the process, we learnt a lot. I thought I would share some of those learnings here in case they’re helpful to other companies

Getting started

Like many other digital health companies, we’d had a really busy Q2 and Q3. We knew we’d need to start raising again in Q1…

Imran Mahmud

I write about health tech, products, careers and life choices, parenting and a mix of other stuff at www.imranmahmud.com. Co-founder at Nye Health. MD. Dad.

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