Bumble CEO Offers Startup Advice on Podcast Appearance

Whitney Wolfe Herd has appeared on the ‘Masters of Scale’ podcast to discuss her journey in the online dating industry and how Bumble turned out to be the product it is today.

Hosted by LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, ‘Masters of Scale’ features interviews with different startup founders and CEOs who give strategic advice on how to grow ideas into global businesses.

The Bumble CEO left Tinder in the middle of a sexual harassment lawsuit against her ex-boyfriend and fellow founder Justin Mateen. Wolfe Herd said that after that experience she didn’t even want to hear the word ‘dating’ again and set about creating her own social platform, ‘Merci’.

It was going to be space where no-one could leave random comments, only likes that were attached to non-physical compliments.

However, Badoo founder Andrey Andreev convinced her to go back to the dating industry and promised her that they could create a service that focused on female empowerment. 

She admitted on the podcast that no other male entrepreneur could have convinced her to make that u-turn, and she only did so because she believed Andreev truly understood her mission.

The pair set about to try and fix what they thought was wrong with online dating. This was done by having women make the first move – putting the power back into their hands.

Wolfe Herd told Hoffman: “Everyone was comfortable and familiar with the experience, yet there was that caveat of once that match was made the woman had to speak first, which was so contradictory to what the expectation had been the past hundreds of years.

“It truly was such a small product change but with such an interesting social impact.”

One of her main pieces of advice was to quickly develop products, especially in the early stages, based on user feedback. For example, Bumble made it mandatory for both men and women to send their first message within 24 hours following complaints from numerous female users.

Listen to the full show here.