Year in review: 2022

Every new year I reflect on the previous year and set new goals. I'm focusing primarily on my YouTube channel and newsletter, but there are personal reflections in here as well. Last year was an off year for me, and I'm gearing up to make up for lost time in 2023.

Previous years: 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022


Let's start by looking at my YouTube channel. Here are the key metrics of 2022 compared to the year before:

A lot of these numbers have declined sharply. Half as many views, half as many new subscribers, and a lower average watch time. I put this down to three things:

  1. I didn't upload any new videos.
  2. Cryptocurrencies aren't doing well.
  3. People's attention spans are shrinking.

Why didn’t I upload any videos last year? Well, after my son was born in 2021, I stopped working on videos because of a lack of time. With him growing up (really fast), I regained some of this time, but I didn’t put it to good use. I kept postponing. I promised myself I would start working on a video next week. Then I felt overwhelmed. What video should I make? What if people won’t like it? I was having the same doubts I had years ago when I was debating whether I should start a YouTube channel.

So no, I did not make any videos in 2022. But that doesn't mean I've sat idle. I've been collecting a lot of ideas, and even wrote a few drafts. But I never sat down to actually finish a video. I recently came across a blog post by Andrew Lee that might explain what is going on:

My brain feels like it’s become very intake-optimized at the expense of creativity.

This is exactly my problem. I captured a lot of information that could be turned into videos. I have an extensive list of video ideas to work with. And yet, I did nothing with that for 365 days. My brain is stuck in “intake mode” and I need to snap out of it.

Second, views have sharply declined. I put this down to cryptocurrencies being in the drain. My most popular videos are about crypto, and a bear market definitely doesn’t inspire people to learn more about these things.

And finally, there’s the decline in average time watched. It went down by half a minute, and I don’t know why this is. It actually got me worried that there’s an entire generation coming whose attention span is just long enough to watch 30 second clips on TikTok. I’m afraid that longer videos won’t do as well as they used to. I’ve considered making Shorts, but I find it really hard to condense a topic into 30 seconds. For now, I’ll stick to 3-5 minute videos.


Next up is the Simply Explained newsletter. Every month, I send out interesting things related to science and technology. It's mostly stuff I wanted to make a video about, but that doesn't fit my channel or where I don't have the time for.

The key metric here is the amount of subscribers, which doubled last year:

That's a small number, but the growth is 100% organic. No promotion, aside from mentioning the newsletter on Twitter.

This year, I intend to grow the newsletter by promoting it at the end of each new video. Hopefully, this will “convert” some of my viewers into readers.

A friend of mine asked why I keep sending a monthly newsletter with “only” 400 subscribers. Well, because I enjoy doing it, I believe it has potential, and I’m always reading up on various things anyway. Taking the time to collect some of what I found into a newsletter isn’t that much work. Especially given it’s only once a month.

In fact, I'm planning on writing a blog post on how I use Obsidian to track potential topics and write my newsletter. Stay tuned!

Noteworthy events in 2022

There are two events from last year that I want to highlight (and of which I'm very proud).

First up: my family is expanding! We’re expecting a second son any minute now. Exciting times! This will affect (again) the number of videos I’ll be able to make, but this time I have a trick up my sleeve (see my goals for 2023 below).

And second, I was invited to speak at a conference in the United States! I gave two talks: “Introduction to cryptocurrencies” and “introduction to DeFi”. I felt like both talks went well, and I hope to share the recordings with everyone soon. It was my first time in the US, and I had a blast. I met a lot of interesting people and got the chance to visit Philadelphia. My trip was brief, but I’m hoping other opportunities will present themselves in the coming years.

Reflecting on previous year's goals

Let's now look at the goals I set last year and how I've done:

Goals for 2023

This brings me to my goals for 2023. Here they are in no particular order:

Thank You!

As always, I want to thank everyone that has watched my videos and read my blog posts or newsletter. Your support really means a lot to me!

Reach out to me, say hi, or ask a question via Twitter.

Stay safe, stay healthy, and enjoy the new year!

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