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CNBC Transcript: Former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo on CNBC’s “Squawk Alley” Today

WHEN: TODAY, TUESDAY, January 26, 2016

WHERE: CNBC'S "Squawk Alley"

Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC interview with Former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo on CNBC's "Squawk Alley" today. Following is a link to video of the interview on CNBC.com: http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000489015 and http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000486236.

All references must be sourced to CNBC.

FORTT: ALL RIGHT ITS BEEN JUST A FEW MONTHS SINCE FORMER TWITTER CEO DICK COSTOLO STEPPED DOWN FROM HIS POST. WHATS HE UP TO NOW? LET'S CHECK IN WITH HIM ON HIS LATEST VENTURE DICK COSTOLO THE FORMER CEO OF TWITTER RECENTLY JOINED INDEX VENTURES AS A VENTURE PARTNER AND ALSO CURRENTLY LAUNCHING A SOFTWARE PLATFORM FOR PERSONAL FITNESS WITH CO-FOUNDER BRYAN OKI AND ITS GREAT TO SEE YOU AGAIN, DICK. I RAN INTO YOU JUST A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO AT THE CONSUMER ELECTRONICS SHOW. I WANT TO GET TO START UPS IN GENERAL MAYBE A LITTLE TWITTER. BUT FIRST THIS START UP, WHY FITNESS IN PARTICULAR? ARE YOU KIND OF JUST POST CEO LOOKING TO GET BACK IN SHAPE AFTER ALL OF THOSE SLEEPLESS NIGHTS OR WHATS GOING ON?

COSTOLO: NO, I THINK, YOU KNOW, THE FITNESS INDUSTRY REALLY MYTHOLOGIZES THE PATH TO FITNESS AS ONE OF SELF-ACTUALIZATION AND YOU SEE THEIR ADS REINFORCING THIS INDIVIDUAL IRON WILL BUT THE REALITY IS THAT MOST OF US ARE REALLY SUCCESSFUL AT GETTING FROM POINT A TO POINT B THROUGH SOCIAL QUEUES, SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY, AND SOCIAL SUPPORT AND THATS WHAT WERE GOING TO DO. WERE GOING TO BRING ALL OF THAT TOGETHER IN A SOFTWARE PLATFORM AND REALLY ADDRESS THAT CHALLENGE IN THE SPACE.

FORTT: SO WHAT IS MISSING WITH WHATS OUT THERE ALREADY? BECAUSE UNDER ARMOUR, WE JUST SAW AT CES IS TRYING TO ATTACK THE SAME THING. THEY HAVE A SCALE THAT DOES YOUR WEIGHT AND YOUR PERCENT BODY FAT. THE BAND THATS SUPPOSED TO TRACK YOUR ACTIVITY LEVELS AND MORE, YOU KNOW, TRYING TO TIE ALL OF THAT TOGETHER. THE CHEST STRAP FOR HEART RATE. WHAT ARE THE CURRENT PRODUCTS MISSING THAT YOU ARE GOING TO BRING?

COSTOLO:YOURE SORT OF GETTING TO ONE OF THE ISSUES. THERES AN ABSOLUTE FRAGMENTATION AND NO INTERGRATION AT ALL ACROSS THESE DIFFERENT KIND OF TRACKERS APPS FOR SPECIFIC KINDS OF WORKOUTS. THERES SPECIFIC APPS FOR RUNNING. THERES SPECIFIC APPS FOR CYCLING. THERES DIFFERENT APPS FOR MOUNTAIN BIKING TO SAY NOTHING OF THE INCREASED SPECIALIZATION IN AREAS LIKE CROSSFIT AND PALATON AND THESE BOOT CAMP CLASSES THAT LOTS OF FOLKS ARE GOING TO NOW SO WERE GOING TO BRING ALL OF THAT TOGETHER. RE-ADD THE COMMUNITY ASPECT THAT WE THINK IS REALLY MISSING FROM THE FITNESS SPACE AND CAUSING THIS BOWLING ALONE PROBLEM WHICH IS NO FUN AT ALL AND WE HAVE SIX OR SEVEN PROOF OF CONCEPT GROUPS GOING RIGHT NOW AND THEYRE ALL WORKING TREMENDOUSLY WELL. WERE EXCITED THO GET THIS OUT TO A MASS AUDIENCE.

FORTT: SO BROADEN THIS OUT WITH ME NOW. YOU HAVE BEEN THE CEO OF A PUBLICLY TRADED COMPANY. YOUVE BEEN AN EXECUTIVE AT GOOGLE BEFORE THAT. LOTS OF OTHER STUFF YOU DID. NOW YOURE IN A UNIQUE POSITION AS A START UP FOUNDER AND A VC. WHAT IS THIS PERIOD THAT WE'RE IN NOW AS FAR AS START UPS IN SILICON VALLEY. TALK A BIT ABOUT VALUATIONS. TALK ABOUT THE TYPE OF INNOVATION THATS NEEDED VERSUS WHAT OTHER ENTREPRENEURS ARE TRYING TO BRING TO MARKET.

COSTOLO: WELL I THINK THAT FIRST OF ALL THERES CAPITAL AND MORE ACCESS TO CAPITAL FOR STARTUPS THAN THERE HAS EVER BEEN. ON THE ONE HAND DOING THIS AGAIN AND HAVING DONE IT BEFORE ITS GOING TO OBVIOUSLY BE A LOT EASIER FOR ME THAN IT WOULD BE FOR A FIRST TIME PERSON BUT THERES JUST A LOT MORE CAPITAL OUT THERE. LOOKING TO BE PUT TO WORK. I WOULD SAY THATS NOT CHANGING AT ALL. EVEN AS SOME OF THE LATE STAGE PRIVATE GROWTH VALUATIONS COME DOWN. THE EARLY STAGE START UP MODE PURE START UP ACCESS TO CAPITAL HAS NEVER BEEN BETTER. ON THE INNOVATION SPACE, PARTICULARLY AROUND AREAS OF PERSONAL WELLNESS AND FITNESS AND SO FORTH AS YOU MENTIONED WE SAW EACH OTHER AT THE CONSUMER ELECTRONICS SHOW. I THINK THERES INCREASING FRAGMENTATION IN THE SPACE AND THAT FRAGMENTATION IS RIPE FOR INNOVATION. IT TIES ALL OF THESE THINGS TOGETHER FOR PEOPLE SO THEYRE NOT HAVING TO GO TO NINE DIFFERENT TRACKERS AND NINE DIFFERENT APPS PARTICULARLY WHEN TRYING TO UNDERSTAND HOW THEYRE DOING IN RELATION TO THEIR FRIENDS.

TAUSCHE: SO DICK THERE MIGHT BE A SURPLUS OF CAPITAL FLOATING AROUND THERE BUT I WONDERING HOW MUCH CAUTION IS COMING WITH THE CAPITAL BEING DEPLOYED INTO THESE COMPANIES AND HOW TIGHTLY MONITORED SOME OF THIS CAPITAL IS BY THE PEOPLE WHO ARE INVESTING IT.

COSTOLO: I WOULD SAY IT IS IMPROVING. AND IT IS IMPROVING BY THE MOMENT. IM SMILING BECAUSE LAST NIGHT I WAS READING A NOTE FROM A FRIEND IN THE INDUSTRY WHERE YOU CAN TELL THAT BOARDS ARE PAYING A LOT MORE ATTENTION TO BURN RATES NOW. MARGINS. UNIT ECONOMICS. EVERYTHING ON DOWN YOU KNOW, THE BALANCE SHEET AND THE P&L STATEMENT AND THAT CAN ONLY BE A GOOD THING. AND I THINK YOULL SEE THAT IN EARLIER STAGES NOW AND YOULL SEE BOARDS WANTING THESE COMPANIES TO GET TO FISCAL HEALTH. WHETHER THAT MEANS GROWTH WITH LOSSES BUT THEY CAN TELL THAT THE MARGIN EXPANSION IS HAPPENING AND SO ON, YOULL JUST SEE MORE OF THAT EARLIER.

FORTT: DICK I KNOW YOU RESPECTFULLY WANT TO BE CAREFUL TALKING ABOUT TWITTER SEEING AS YOU WERE RECENTLY RUNNING THE PLACE BUT EARLIER THIS WEEK, JUST YESTERDAY AND THE DAY BEFORE WE SAW NEWS THAT A NUMBER OF THOSE EXECUTIVES THAT USED TO WORK FOR YOU ARE HEADING FOR THE DOOR. TO WHAT EXTENT WERE YOU SURPRISED BY THAT? WHAT DID THOSE SORTS OF EXECUTIVE MOVEMENTS AT WELL-KNOWN COMPANIES SAY ABOUT THIS TIME FOR TALENT IN THE VALLEY? THAT THERES SO MUCH MOBILITY.

COSTOLO: WELL, I THINK THAT FIRST OF ALL THESE PEOPLE ARE ALL WONDERFUL PEOPLE AS IS LESLIE BERLAND WHO WAS ANNOUNCED EARLIER TODAY AS JOINING THE COMPANY AS CMO. IVE KNOWN LESLIE FOR AWHILE COMING FROM AMERICAN EXPRESS AND I THINK SHE IS FANTASTIC. JACK IS A GREAT LEADER. JACK IS AN INSPIRATIONAL LEADER SO I DEFER TO HIM ON THE FUTURE OF THE COMPANY. THE COMPANY IS IN CAPABLE HANDS WITH HIM. I DO THINK THAT JUST AS REGARDS YOUR QUESTION ABOUT MOBILITY IN THE VALLEY WHEN EVERYBODYS PRIVATE VALUATIONS ARE GROWING QUARTER AFTER QUARTER AFTER QUARTER YOU SEE A LOT MORE OF THAT MOBILITY THAN I THINK YOULL SEE AS COMPANIES START TO HUNKER DOWN AND FOCUS ON FISCAL HEALTH AND THEIR FINANCIAL FUTURES THAT DONT JUST ENJOY A FREE CHECK NEXT YEAR AT A MUCH HIGHER MARK UP. I THINK YOULL SEE A LITTLE BIT OF THAT MOBILITY TIGHTEN UP.

TAUSCHE: ITS PROBABLY NOT SURPRISING TO PEOPLE THAT YOU CHOSE TWITTER AS THE PLATFORM TO ANNOUNCE YOUR NEW VENTURE BUT INTERESTINGLY YOU TWEETED A PICTURE OF A NOTE THAT YOU HAD WRITTEN ON YOUR PHONE THAT WAS A LENGTHY DESCRIPTION OF WHAT YOUR NEW COMPANY ACTUALLY WILL DO. NOW THAT YOURE APPROACHING TWITTER AS SOMEWHAT OF AN OUTSIDEER DO YOU THINK THERE ARE CHANGES THEY CAN MAKE TO THE PRODUCT TO MAKE IT RICHER AND MAKE IT EASIER TO USE?

COSTOLO: SURE WHAT I WAS DOING THERE IS GETTING BEHIND JACKS ANNOUNCEMENT THAT THEYRE GOING TO EXPAND THE LENGTH OF THE TWEET. THAT WAS MY WAY OF MORAL SUPPORT.

FORTT: COULD YOU HAVE DONE THE TWITTER CEO JOB AND BEEN THE CEO OF SOMETHING ELSE AT THE SAME TIME? ARE YOU SCRATCHING YOUR HEAD AT HOW JACK IS GOING TO PULL THAT OFF?

COSTOLO: A LOT OF PEOPLE VIEW THAT PARTICULAR QUESTION FROM A PERSPECTIVE OF WHAT I'LL CALL TACTICAL PRAGMATISM. I VIEW IT FROM A PERSPECTIVE OF LEADERSHIP AND AS I MENTIONED BEFORE AND SAID NUMEROUS TIMES JACK IS AN EXTRAORDINARY LEADER AND THATS THE WAY I THINK ABOUT IT.

FORTT: SO AS NOW AN INVESTOR ITS NOT SOMETHING THAT CONCERNS YOU BECAUSE YOU FEEL LIKE FROM JACKS POSITION HAVING BEEN WITH THE PRODUCT SO LONG HAVING THE SKILLSET HE HAS HELL BE ABLE TO FIGURE IT OUT.

COSTOLO: I THINK JACK IS AN EXTRAORDINARY LEADER AS YOU KNOW. I HAVE BEEN ABOUT AS PUBLIC AS I CAN BE ABOUT IT HE SPEAKS WITH A PURITY OF THOUGHT AND CLARITY OF VISION ABOUT THE PRODUCT THAT I THINK IS UNRIVALLED. SO I AM VERY FINANCIALLY INVESTED IN TWITTERS FUTURE AND I THINK JACK IS THE RIGHT LEADER FOR THE COMPANY.

TAUSCHE: WE KNOW YOU HAVE A GREAT SENSE OF HUMOR. THE ONE JOB WE HAVENT ASKED YOU ABOUT IS YOUR OUTSIDE ADVISING TO THE WRITERS OF SILICON VALLEY ON HBO. AND I AM JUST WONDERING THE JOURNEY OF LAST YEAR WHAT SORT OF COMIC RELIEF DID YOU FIND IN IT AND COULD WE SEE ANY OF THAT CHANNELLED INTO THE NEW SEASON THATS ABOUT TO COME OUT?

COSTOLO: FIRST OF ALL, I WAS CONSULTING IN THE WRITERS ROOM THERE AND ITS ONE OF THE MOST EXTRAORDINARILY TALENTED GROUPS OF PEOPLE I EVER HAD THE PLEASURE TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH. IT WAS FUN AND INTERESTING FOR ME TO GO FROM BEING CEO OF ONE COMPANY TO SITTING AROUND A ROOM OF 12 PEOPLE AND BEING THE VERY LAST PERSON TO GET THEIR CUP OF COFFEE. THAT WAS AN INTERESTING SWITCH. I THINK THERE WILL BE SOME THINGS IN THE UPCOMING SEASON THAT PEOPLE ATTRIBUTE TO ME THAT PROBABLY SHOULDNT BE ATTRIBUTED TO ME. I CAN GUARANTEE YOU RIGHT FROM THE OUTSET THAT WILL HAPPEN IN THE FIRST EPISODE. I PROBABLY HAVE THE LOWEST HIT RATE POSSIBLE OF WRITING SUGGESTIONS IN THAT ROOM THAT MADE IT INTO ACTUAL EPISODES BUT THERE MAYBE ONE OR TWO.

FORTT: YOU HAD TIME AWAY FROM THE CEO SEAT NOW. WHATS YOUR BIGGEST TAKEAWAY? HOW HAS THAT EXPERIENCE IN THE HOT SEAT AS TWITTER CEO CHANGED YOU AS YOU EMBARK ON THESE NEW VENTURES?

COSTOLO: I THINK PARTICULARLY FOR A PUBLIC COMPANY CEO, YOU REALLY MIGRATE FROM THIS WORLD OF BEING INTERNALLY FOCUSED AND TRYING TO RALLY THE TEAM AROUND INTERNAL PRIORITIES AND WHATS MOST IMPORTANT AND THE BIG TAKEAWAY FROM ME REGARDING TWITTER WAS WHEN YOURE A PUBLIC COMPANY CEO, YOU HAVE TO DO BOTH THE INTERNAL AND -- YOU HAVE TO HAVE BOTH THE INTERNAL FOCUS AND THE INTERNAL NARRATIVE ABOUT WHATS GOING ON RIGHT NOW WHILE UNDERSTANDING THAT THERES AN EXTERNAL NARRATIVE THAT, YOU KNOW, HAS A MARK IN TIME AS OF WHAT THE PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT WAS AT THE END OF LAST QUARTER AND YOU HAVE TO BE MANAGING THAT AS WELL. THAT WAS A BIG TAKE AWAY FOR ME AND GREAT LESSON LEARNED.

FORTT: WHAT DO YOU TELL CEOs OF PRIVATE COMPANIES LOOKING TO GO PUBLIC COMING TO YOU FOR ADVICE?

COSTOLO: JUST EXACTLY WHAT I TOLD YOU NOW. WHEN YOURE A PRIVATE COMPANY YOU HAVE A BOARD OF DIRECTORS THAT YOU CAN TALK TO EVERY DAY. AND TELL THEM EXACTLY WHATS GOING ON AND HAVE LOTS OF MATERIAL NON-PUBLIC DISCUSSIONS AND WHEN YOU ARE A PUBLIC COMPANY YOU HAVE TO HAVE MULTIPLE CONVERSATIONS. YOU HAVE YOUR BOARD CONVERSATIONS AND YOU HAVE THE KINDS OF PUBLIC CONVERSATIONS YOU CAN HAVE AND NEED TO HAVE UNDER REG FD SO THOSE ARE VERY DIFFERENT WAYS OF THINKING ABOUT WORKING WITH YOUR SHAREHOLDER BASE AND YOU HAVE TO LEARN THEM AND ACCLIMATE YOURSELF TO THEM.

FORTT: A LOT OF THAT IS JACKS PROBLEM NOW THOUGH IM SURE YOURE ENJOYING STARTING UP A NEW VENTURE FROM A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE. THANKS FOR SHARING YOUR PERSPECTIVE. ALWAYS GOOD TO SEE YOU.

COSTOLO: JON AND KAYLA, THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

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