After Whitney Wolfe’s high-profile departure from Tinder, the recent inductee to the Forbes 30 under 30 list decided she would undertake a pretty lofty endeavour: she would try to make the internet more accountable.
“For the first time I was able to truly appreciate the degree to which people can hide behind a screen,” Wolfe said.
Ultimately the desire to change the internet translated into a desire to change the way dating took place on the internet.
Wolfe’s firm, Bumble, turns the dating world on its head. On Bumble, girls make the first move. Unlike other dating apps, guys can’t send the first message after a match. Once a match is made, the girl must message the guy within 24 hours otherwise the match disappears forever.
“Our team firmly believes — and there is data to back this up — that when the power goes to the woman, it takes the pressure off of the male to act in a macho aggressive manner,” Wolfe said.
This, according to Wolfe, translates into conversations between matches that are less aggressive, more respectful, and can turn into something more meaningful.
Currently, the app has amassed over 11 million users and is expanding into non-dating services such as Bumble Biz, which aims to help people build business connections.
We asked Wolfe to share her best advice for young aspiring entrepreneurs. She said they should consider the following:
Overcome the self-doubt. I am a firm believer that the only person who can make you feel inferior is yourself. When you start a business or try to challenge the status quo there will be a lot of people who will put you down and try to tell you that you or your idea is wrong. Don’t let that make you feel inferior.
She said when she founded Bumble she had to deal with a lot of self-doubt and criticism from people who said the idea would never work.
“People wrote brutal articles about the app,” Wolfe said.”They said girls shouldn’t make the first move, the name is stupid, Whitney is wrong.”
For women, specifically, Wolfe offers advice that reflects the philosophy of the app she created:
Don’t be scared to ask for more than what you think you’re entitled to. I always tell young women that they have a right to own their opinion, to speak up, and to make the first move. Ask yourself if a man were to do this would it be OK.
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