Dick Costolo has a new gig. The former Twitter CEO is joining the board of directors at Patreon, the platform that helps creators monetize their audiences. It's his first public move since he stepped down from Twitter's board in October, just as Jack Dorsey was taking over as his successor.
Jack Conte, Patreon's cofounder and CEO, met Costolo about six months ago, after seeing him speak at an event hosted by Index Ventures, which led Patreon's $15 million Series A round in 2014. "I was so taken by the level of his honesty and candor," Conte says. "I felt like he was an incredible person and had tons of insight."
The two cemented the relationship over dinner at Allen & Co.'s annual conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, in July. Conte was feeling like Patreon, which now has 48 employees and more than 17,000 creators using its platform, needed an experienced operator on its board. Patreon's other directors are Conte, his cofounder, Sam Yam, and Index's Danny Rimer.
"Patreon is a place to build communities, and clearly Twitter has a lot of experience with that, both the awesome side of communities and the tough side of communities," Conte says.
Indeed, Patreon has grappled with many of the same issues that have bedeviled Twitter, including hacking and harassment by supporters of the so-called Gamergate movement. But the three-year-old company has continued to grow apace, with many podcasters, bloggers, cartoonists and other artists now using it to bring in six figures in revenue annually. "I'm super excited we're allowing people to quit their jobs and make a living doing these things you never would have expected would hit the mainstream," Conte says.