The Twitter 'mafia' is rising in Healthtech
A growing number of former high profile Twitter executives and employees have started new roles across the health tech, fitness tech and wearable tech industries in the last 2 years. The increasing number of individuals linked to Twitter has prompted many observers to announce a "Twitter Mafia" is here and buidling in size and influence every day.
One of the biggest names linked to the new "Twitter Mafia" is none other than former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, he has set his sights on fitness tech with an app called Chorus who are "Making the hard work of being healthy a lot more fun." In their own words, Chorus are "not interested in building better tracking software, hawking quick fixes or photoshopped abs. Instead, we want to create a product that recognizes that your health, your body, and your mind are already sources of strength that help you pursue the best version of yourself. We believe that your efforts matter, regardless of your particular skill set or area of interest, regardless of your gender."
Ok so the Big Dick is now at Chorus, where is the rest of the Twitter mafia embeded I hear you ask?
1) Elad Gil and Uthman Laraki were vice presidents at Twitter are now running Color Genomics as co-founders
2) Baljeet Singh was senior product director at Twitter is now running chronic disease mgt start-up Livongo Health
3) Nandini Ramani was vice president of engineering at Twitter is now chief engineer at Outcome Health
4) Charles Wu was mobile market manager at Twitter is now director of product at Catalia Health
5) Rita Garg was director of global operations at Twitter is now senior business development manager at Zenefits focused on health and wellbeing
6) Ray Bradford was an Intern at Twitter and now the CEO of Spruce Health
7) Rick Cerf was an account executive at Twitter and now a product manager at Grand Rounds Health
8) Mel Heydari was a recruitment manager at Twitter and now the director of talent at Proteus Health
9) Julie Martin was an industry manager at Twitter is now head of partnerships at Chorus
10) Jesse Bridgewater was data science leader at Twitter is now running the data science team at Livongo Health
11) Katie Jacobs Stanton was head of media at Twitter is now running marketing at a personal genetics company Color
12) Jeff Dejelo was vice president of sales finance at Twitter is now running finance at Color
13) Linda Jiang was strategy and operations manager at Twitter is now consumer marketing lead at Color
So what's attracting all these former Tweets to a highly regulated and structured industry like healthcare?
One of the key reasons appears to be "personal impact" - having joined a startup like Twitter in the early days and seen it grow to become a massively successful and influencial company around the world, a lot of these individuals will be financially secure or very comfortable and now looking to add value in a market "personal" to them and where they believe they can have a big "impact."
Everyone can relate to healthcare, it touches all ages, races and religion, every day, every week, every month and every year, it is all around us.
Dick Costolo was quoted as saying ""In Silicon Valley, we joke that every company thinks they're changing the world," he said. "But with health, you can see an immediate impact rather than needing to jump through verbal hoops to convince yourself."
How influential could the Twitter Mafia be in healthcare?
Early signs are that the Twitter Mafia is laying the foundations in a similar way that the PayPal Mafia laid their foundations across Silicon Valley 10 years ago. The prize is the "network" and value within it, if the first 20 former Twitter executives can establish themselves and their startups in healthcare over the next 2 years, it will only become easier to attract the best talent.
People trust people, especially people they have worked with before in high pressure startup environments where only success was the only option ...