Attracting growth stage talent: Cozy hires Twitter and Medium alum as VP of Product

One of the consistent complaints among startups in Portland—aside from ever present gripes about capital—is the lack of talent. Often, it’s a lament that while there is a ton of early stage experience in town, we’re lacking in growth stage talent or later stage talent. But that’s starting to change. As is evidenced by the latest hire at Cozy, a veteran of both Twitter and Medium.

Meet Brian Ellin, Cozy’s first VP of Product.

A returning Portlander, Brian joins Cozy from Medium, where he spent the last few years leading the core product teams that help people everywhere create, share, and discover great stories and ideas. Prior to Medium, Brian was an early product manager at Twitter, where he grew the platform products team to deliver Tweets to hundreds of millions of people every day across the globe.

What attracted Brian to Cozy?

“The way most people rent today is incredibly outdated and fragile, and yet it’s a part of day-to-day life at some point for nearly everyone in the world,” he said. “What’s so interesting and exciting to me is that Cozy is modernizing the experience and using the platform to bring peace of mind and value everyone involved.

“As a lifelong renter and someone who has tediously mailed checks to landlords for years, Cozy’s mission resonates deeply. When I met team and found such passionate, hardworking, and humble crew, I knew I wanted to join up and see what I could do to help.

“Building on my background in platforms and shipping products at scale, my goal is to help the team deliver more value to more to more people on Cozy and have a blast doing it. Let’s go!”

And obviously, CEO Gino Zahnd is equally excited to have Brian under the Cozy roof.

“At our size, we have a lot of products and features live, and a lot in various stages of being built. That means there are different teams working on different things, and the collaborative approach our management team has taken with product management was bursting at the seams,” Gino said. “So, it was time for us to bring someone in with a ton of experience shipping high quality products, so that one person can focus on landing all the planes in the right order, prioritize what gets built, and serve as the system of checks and balances between design, support, marketing, and engineering.

“A few people at Cozy have worked with him at past companies, and knew him outside of a professional context. First and foremost, he’s a good human. He’s also smart, and has a hell of a track record building core products at Twitter and Medium.”

Hopefully, this is just part of a larger trend of attracting awesome growth talent to town.

For more, read The newest member of Team Cozy: Brian Ellin.