Welcome to New Fit City
Politicos like Chuck Schumer and Marty Markowitz have been quick to claim Mallory Hagan’s new pageant title a victory for “the borough of Kings,” nevermind that the Alabama native and former Miss New York is a relatively recent transplant. But as it turns out, one New York City tech startup might also be able to bask in the bling of the Miss America crown.
“In case you haven’t yet heard, the new Miss America is a @fitocracy community member + trainee of @DickTalens,” LoyalCX founder Sarah Judd Welch tweeted this weekend. Mr. Talens–a former fat kid turned body builder–is one of the cofounders of Fitocracy, an addictive fitness app that motivates users by treating workouts like you’re leveling up in Everquest or World of Warcraft.
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.
Welcome to New Fit City
This is a guest post by Dick Talens, an amateur competitive bodybuilder and the co-founder and CTO of Fitocracy. He once looked like the kid from Up (except much rounder) until he traded in his video game time for gym time. Over the last eight years, he’s spent 1000+ hours reading about nutrition and training so that others don’t have to. He tweets about startups and fitness @DickTalens, or you can find him on Fitocracy with that same handle.
Over the last decade I’ve gone from comically fat (note the homeless guy laughing at me) to amateur competitive bodybuilder. At the same time, I’ve whittled down the hours I spend working out every week from 20+ to less than three, and improved my results.
Because I co-founded a startup, I obsess over the ROI of my time on fitness for myself and my trainees. There’s nothing more painful than seeing people spend hours every week on the treadmill without seeing any change. So how do you remain fit* while working 80+ hours/week at a startup? Here’s what you should know.
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.”