GREATIST: DEREK FLANZAICH

Greatist.com is the trusted health & fitness source for the young, savvy, and social. Health and fitness is hard. We want to make it easier. And for starters, we think you deserve better content than what’s out there now. Every fact is cited by a PubMed study, every story meticulously verified, and expert approved.

The good news is that anyone can be a greatist. Our goals and ambitions may be similar, but each person is unique, every story different. A greatist is someone who chooses better to improve their fitness, health, and happiness. Are you a greatist?

ABOUT DEREK FLANZAICH:

Derek Flanzraich is an entrepreneur on a mission to make everyone a “greatist,” someone who simply makes better choices for their fitness, health, and happiness. He is the founder & ceo of Greatist, a social health & fitness startup working to make healthy living cool. Greatist is currently the fastest-growing site in the space, with nearly 3 million uniques users per month.

Flanzraich was previously with Clicker.com (acquired by CBS) and NBC Universal’s Digital Entertainment Strategy & Operations, graduated from Harvard in 2010, and has been building brands and organizations that last since his dog-walking business at 10 years old. Besides everything health and wellness, he also loves theme parks & theme bars.

Q&A WITH DEREK

 WHY ARE YOU AN ENTREPRENEUR?

 Because I’m honestly not sure I have any other choice. I’ve been starting things before I knew what the heck an “entrepreneur” is (and definitely before I knew how the heck to pronounce it) and haven’t really looked back since. To me, it’s the best way to take a swing at truly impacting the world the way you believe you can impact it.

WHAT CAN A FELLOW LEARN FROM YOU?

As obsessed as I am at making healthy living cool, I’m similarly obsessed with teaching, pushing, and supporting others to growing into their absolute best. I don’t actually think there’s any other way to build a company other than honest and awesome feedback and advice while listening and learning in return. Truth is, we’ll learn from each other– if we work our darnedest to make an impact in a space that needs it badly together, there’ll be so freakin’ much to learn (trust me, I’ve been only doing it for nearly two years and have never learned so much in my life).

WHAT WILL YOUR FELLOW BE EXPOSED TO?

Definitely: strategy, recruiting, sales & biz dev, product management, design, tech, digital media & digital publishing, the digital health space, and more.

WHAT DO YOU EXPECT OUT OF A FELLOW?

Someone who gets it. Who isn’t afraid of tackling the big tasks and still happy to help with every small one. Super positive attitude. Passion for health & wellness (though not necessarily a fitness freak by any means– we’re looking for greatists, not the greatest). Someone who spends time thinking up awesome ideas & immediately shoots them off in emails. Someone who thinks they can figure out how absolutely anything works if someone hands them a computer and a little bit of time. Someone who isn’t afraid to speak their mind, but still knows how to make friends with everyone. Some fun and quirky. Must love Harry Potter. Joking. Am I?

WHAT MAKES YOUR STARTUP UNIQUE?

Greatist started with content to build an audience, but not just any content. We genuinely believe we’re writing the highest-quality content in the health and wellness space: every fact cited by a scientific study, every sentence reviewed by at least two editors, and every article approved by multiple experts. But the key to our growth (we’ve been the fastest-growing health and wellness site on the web since November 2011, had 3 million unique visitors in January 2013, and are syndicated by publications such as TIME Magazine, Washington Post, and USA Today) is social. Over 60% of our traffic is driven from social networks (Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, StumbleUpon, and more)– and our content is explicitly built to be shared and talked about by specific communities on those networks.
Finally, baked into every word is our belief that you don’t have to be the greatest all the time, but just a greatist some of the time. That perspective– that a long-term healthy lifestyle is achieved one choice at a time– is what can ultimately make healthy living cool. It’s what the amazing team at Greatist lives and breathes every day. And it makes us better at everything: our jobs, our relationships, our happiness. As more and more people realize they need to take their preventive health seriously (a huge trend that we’re only at just the start of), it’s important there’s a brand that can empower people to take things step-by-step and define what healthy living really means for this generation and every generation. And that’s the future I want to see, a future where health & wellness is seen in a healthier way, where healthy choices are ultimately easier– and I won’t stop until that future is realized.


ANY LINKS TO/ ABOUT YOUR COMPANY?

Interview w/ Entreproducer: http://entreproducer.com/greatist/
Talk @ Social Media Week: http://new.livestream.com/accounts/2478706/events/1868209 (30:55 in)

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