• Team Business-360°

23andMe: Self Care for the 21st Century


23andMe Business Profile

23andMe is a genetics and DNA testing biotech company headquartered in Sunnyvale, California. One of the leaders in the now established market for genetic testing, 23andMe was founded in 2006 by three partners Anne Wojcicki, Linda Avey, and Paul Cusenza with the primary aim of understanding how our genetic composition can help improve the future lives of the current generation. As one would guess, the company name alludes to the 23 pairs of chromosomes in a human cell that define our genes.


Their testing kit uses the saliva from its consumer to get an accurate read on their genetic make-up. There are two aspects to genealogy that 23andMe covers through the collected sample; one is ancestry and the second is personal health markers based on the customer’s genes. While customers are often drawn to genetic testing out of curiosity about their ancestry, the second aspect provides a new direction, a 21st-century innovative approach, in understanding one’s health risks before they occur. This helps in increasing their personal quality of life for consumers and in turn, humanity at large. Their testing kit model was accurately named “Invention of the Year” in 2008.


Defining Traits of 23andMe

Genetic Testing for the Masses

One of the forerunners in the direct-to-consumer model of genetic testing, 23andMe helps every individual understand their ancestral makeup and take personal responsibility for their health based on their predisposition to a disease.


New Approach to Self Care

In general, the 21st century has given rise to a new way of looking at one’s own health and fitness. People in developed countries with access to medical resources and alternative fitness routines have found answers in 23andMe’s approach to health and fitness. According to data recorded on their site, after testing, “76% reported making healthier choices and 45% reported increasing exercise”.


Genetic Testing Regulations

Every country has rules in place that safeguard the use of human genes and an individual’s right to privacy. 23andMe is no stranger to the roadblocks created by the FDA in the United States and other governing bodies in the United Kingdom and Canada where they offer their service. They have used the opportunity to help create the necessary regulations alongside the country’s health departments. In addition, they have a transparent policy on their website on how they handle law-enforcement requests for customer data which offers potential buyers peace of mind.


Strong Investment Backing

One of the three founders, Anne Wojcicki carried on the baton of 23andMe, after the departure of the other two co-founders. She used her network and positive name in the market to raise funds, taking the company from a small start-up in 2006 to a publicly traded one in 2021.


The Larger Picture

DNA data can be tricky to handle and perhaps one of the greatest obstacles and opportunities for this company has been its data asset management. Not handled delicately, as it should be, would lead to catastrophic consequences for the customers and the company. On the other hand, such large amounts of personal, ethnicity-based, information would provide conclusive targeted research opportunities on health issues that plague humanity. The battle on these concerns continues to this day, and probably will stay front and center in genetic testing practices.


Key Takeaways from 23andMe

  1. Resilience is the cornerstone of any good business model and its founder. When forming a company that offers innovation, the founder is essentially “giving people what they didn’t know they needed” and such companies generally face a more extended runaway at the start. Often, one sees such a company fail since the venture was ahead of its time. But 23andMe has soldiered through to emerge into the future.

  2. Here at Business-360°, we walk the talk when it comes to businesses driven by a purpose. As we see in the case of a company like 23andMe in the past 15 years; when obstacles arise for a startup, the purpose holds up and keeps the founder going.

  3. Genetic testing and ancestry hold the key to many answers when it comes to healthcare research, and 23andMe holds a big piece of the puzzle in their data assets. Used wisely, this aspect will continue to be a gamechanger for the company, and in turn, human health.

With more than 12+ million DNA testing kits sold to date, 23andMe has laid a firm foundation for its direction. The company’s clarity is best encapsulated by this quote from its founder and CEO, Anne Wojcicki, “We’re not just a genetics company. We’re not just a health company; we’re not just ancestry; we’re all of these things. We want to tell you about you”. That says it all.


Read more here:

What is Curated Business Stories?

At Business-360°, we take a holistic approach to understanding ‘what makes a business succeed or fail?’ in order to learn from them. To that end, we curate business stories for you, taking a look at the profile and defining traits of a particular company, followed by some key takeaways from their journey. Read more on each of these businesses and reach out to us for guidance in creating your own entrepreneurial roadmap. https://www.business-360.in/business-catalyst-program

25 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All