After suffering from a painful breakup with his girlfriend, Justin McLeod founded Hinge in February 2011 in order to meet a new partner. Ultimately, he got back together with his girlfriend and Hinge grew into one of the most successful dating apps in the world.
This month, Carly Martinetti, founder of Authority Magazine, spoke to McLeod, as part of her series on leadership lessons from successful business people. In it, he offered some essential advice to aspiring entrepreneurs.
First, McLeod stated that working with the right people in the right market was particularly important.
“What really drove our success was the group of smart, creative, loyal, gritty people I recruited along the way and the fact we were in a market that was hugely undervalued at the time,” he told Martinetti.
He added that training employees to do the job instead of directing them received more positive results, and suggested CEOs teach rather than order their employees.
“I had to learn to stop directing people and start coaching them. That means setting clear objectives, then asking how I can help them get there (and, most importantly, showing that I believe they can do it!).”
McLeod advised new CEOs to focus on how to provide customer needs rather than ways of beating competition from similar businesses.
“In the face of competition from apps with the Swipe feature, I made the mistake of paying too much attention to our competitor’s features and not enough attention to what our customers truly wanted — which was great dates,” he said.
Finally, McLeod stressed the importance of a healthy work-life balance in order to reduce stress and anxiety. He explained that when he suffered from excessive pressure, he could not work productively.
He said: “What I’ve learned is that routines are absolutely critical — both morning and weekly. My morning routine of yoga…meditation…and journaling…allows me to approach my day from a calmer, less-reactive state and to be far less susceptible to the effects of stress.”
When asked what his aim for this coming year he said he wanted to focus on the best ways to connect daters.
“My vision is for Hinge to not just be a dating platform, but a trusted expert that guides our members through the process of connecting with the person best for them. Hinge Labs is launching at the beginning of 2020 to address this.”
Hinge Labs was launched this year to help achieve this. A new section within the company, it will use research teams to analyse data from the app about successfully matched couples. This information will help programmers design better algorithms.
Read more here.