Derek Flanzraich is a good friend – we started off as blogging collaborators, writing about how to land startup jobs out of college, and now have followed parallel paths into entrepreneurship. Derek’s NYC-based startup, Greatist, is the fastest growth health and fitness site on the planet, with over 1 million (count ’em) uniques a month less than a year after launch.
In this honest conversation we had in late August 2012, he shares the hardest thing about doing a startup, how to really get six pack abs, the most important quality to creating sharable content and much more. Stay tuned at the end for a very special opportunity you won’t want to miss.
Jason = Grey background Derek = White background
[alert style=”grey”]Let’s start from the top: what brings you into SF?[/alert]
I’m here for the Health Innovation Summit hosted by Rock Health. We’re demoing Greatist and honestly it’s a chance to meet new folks and catch up with people. I haven’t been to SF in a while to see the city I like so much. We’ll set up a booth and just chat people up – any chance I can reach a relevant audience with Greatist, I jump at it. Rock Health is well respected as an seed accelerator for digital health startups. We’re good friends with many of the companies that have gone through the program and we also did an infographic on how The Future of Health is Your Smartphone.
[alert style=”grey”]Now, I know you recently went on an adventure to get six pack abs and wrote about it on Greatist as a series called Six Pack Abs in Six Weeks: The #Absperiment. Will you A) show me your abs now and B) summarize what you learned from the experience?[/alert]
You are not the first person to ask this question [about my abs]. They are gone. It took me 6 weeks to get them, 1.5 weeks to lose them.
And that was a choice. I mean I couldn’t stop eating for a week after so maybe it was something in between … but anyway, the ultimate takeaway was that you can get six pack abs but the sacrifice that you have to make to accomplish that goal in a short period of time may not be worth it and may not be lasting. I came to the conclusion that I don’t necessarily want six pack abs, I just want to be healthy, happy and fit.
One other thing I realized was that I usually eat a lot more than I need to. [During the #absperiment] I basically cut my calories in half and honestly wasn’t that hungry. Now, I no longer order, for instance, double meat at Chipotle, because I realize I’m going to be full anyway.
[alert style=”grey”]For readers who want details how Derek did it, you can scroll to the bottom (I’m also throwing in a free picture of “Six Pack Derek”. Now personal experiments aside, what kind of content do you think really stands out? What are the most popular articles to read on Greatist?[/alert]
The most popular articles are really comprehensive, exhaustive lists that people can refer back to. We have some amazing user engagements for a content site. A lot of that is because we have pages that people bookmark and come back to. Continue reading