Fitocracy, the New York-based fitness gamification startup that recently graduated from the Mountain View incubator 500 Startups, likes to hire its users. The company announced it has hired a chief product officer today, Jared Cocken, a Fitocracy user and until now, the creative director of the high-profile web design agency The Wonderfactory.
Fitocracy’s CEO is Brian Wang and its CTO is Dick Talens, so Mr. Cocken will fit right in. But besides the name coincidence, the startup just generally lucked out with the hire. Fitocracy was scouting for a designer, and Mr. Cocken had been helping them with screens for the iPhone app. “We noticed he was really really passionate about the product,” Mr. Talens told Betabeat. They didn’t have high hopes, and Mr. Talens says he’s still not sure how they managed to woo the talented Mr. Cocken.
IT STARTED BECAUSE BACK IN HIGH SCHOOL, Dick Talens was too fat and Brian Wang was too skinny. Or rather, Mr. Wang was “skinny fat,” meaning he had stick limbs and belly pooch, as the 25-year-old University of Pennsylvania graduate explained to Betabeat during a recent visit to the Soho co-working space where the pair’s startup, the viral hit fitness game Fitocracy, is headquarted.
Mr. Talens and Mr. Wang sit next to each other in a sunny corner alongside their gym bags, with greasy athletic shoes tucked under their desks, an economy-sized bin of almonds and a filing cabinet of goodies such as protein powder, vitamins, oats and Splenda.
Nerd hero and minor internet celebrity Randall Munroe, author of the witty geek comic XKCD, just made a New York start-up’s day. Competitive fitness game Fitocracy has been picking up users at the rate of a Katamari, but today the co-founders were shocked and amazed to see their creation was the basis for today’s comic, “Oversight.”
Fitocracy founders Brian Wang and Richard Talens, flexing at Betabeat’s request.
Fitocracy, which tracks workouts and turns personal fitness into a social game, has had a good six months. The two-person, bootstrapped start-up has users foaming at the mouth for invites–and we’ve got some!–and they’ve just hired a third developer to join the team working out of WeWork Labs. “Every time we’ve introduced Fitocracy to a forum community, people go nuts for invites,” co-founder Brian Wang wrote on Quora yesterday in a call for angel funding.