ASAPbio Preprint Sprint

December 4, 2020 9:32am

Yesterday was the final event of ASAPbio Sprint - Encouraging Preprint Curation and Review: A Design Sprint, where I again presented Unfold Research. I wrote about the kickoff event here.

Here're the slides for Unfold:

This time around I was much happier with the slides and the way I presented. I was surprised to see that I could fit the entire thing into one slide basically.

The winners were announced at the end of the event: https://twitter.com/ASAPbio_/status/1334555371185246208. "Best in show" award was given to PREreview. Congrats!

Here are a few things that I've learned either from the event itself or things surrounding it:

  • Being forced to only have a very short pitch is a good thing! The registration for the event required summarising the proposal in 500 words or less. At the same time, I was writing the proposal in another place where basically the limitation was 1500 characters. Although these kind of things are extremely hard to pull off, especially for the projects that have a huge vision, it then really forces them to prioritize their descriptions and explanations, and really put an emphasis only on the important, i.e. core stuff. I'm always reminded of this talk by Michael Seibel (CEO Y Combinator), and importance of having 30sec pitch vs 2min pitch, and having different pitches to match the occasion and audience.
  • There might be more projects for the academia than I thought previously, but they still do suffer from the same issues and have the same problems in moving forward (i.e. lack of funding opportunities). The strategic planning and execution might not be lacking, maybe it seems that was simply due to event's short format, but it seems to me that most projects don't have a clear vision on how to reach specific goals, nor can they realistically reason about technical implications and financial costs. There's a lot of overlap, a lot of repeated thoughts and ideas.
  • The politics. I'm not saying that's nor good nor bad thing, it's just a fact - there's a lot of politics involved in decision-making and execution of things in academia. I am not comfortable with that nor too familiar, and it's usually a waste of time imo. This got me a bit more concerned about the maximum speed at which things can move forward.
  • Funding is a lacking!

The recording of the event is on YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrd25ZjkClw, and here's the Sprint recap on the ASAPbio website.