Yesterday, Tinder CEO & co-founder Sean Rad was in London for Advertising Week, taking the stage for an interview with the editor of Cosmopolitan.
Farrah Storr spoke to the entrepreneur about Tinder’s status as a hookup app, his experiences being fired (and later reinstated) from his position as CEO, as well as the company’s plans for the future.
Below, we have collected some of Rad’s most interesting quotes from his headline interview:
On getting fired
“It was a surprise. Tinder was doing incredibly well, we were growing really fast and I think the board felt that they had some fears that at a young age I wouldn’t be able to manage growth. I had fears. I didn’t know if I could manage this growth. So we brought in a new CEO.
“In hindsight, I think getting fired was one of the best things that ever happened to me. Looking back, you see things that you didn’t before – I was able to take a step back and really embrace the things that I was good at, and admit and recognise the things I wasn’t good at, and it helped me because when you are growing like a rocket, you don’t get to pause.”
On Tinder’s status as a hookup app
“I doesn’t make me angry, but it’s incorrect. What Tinder is doing is making an introduction – it’s a platform to me. What our users decide to do after is completely up to them.
“I think we make it very black and white, but fail to recognise that relationships form into marriages and Tinder encompasses the entire in-between. I don’t think 18 to 25 year olds anywhere are looking to get married, unless it kind of finds you.”
On giving lowest 10% a “boost”
“About 89% of our users, just through normal behaviour, find matches and have meaningful connections. But there are a group of users that despite swiping, I think, can’t find a match. We give them a little boost to get extra love and attention and hopefully they end up meeting someone.”
On Tinder’s rivals
“We’re in an amazing spot – we’ve built this tremendous platform, we have users all over the world, we’re a global brand, with tens of millions actively using Tinder. For us it’s not about the competition.
“There’s a lot of smaller, niche apps that are incrementally improving under the principles that Tinder created, and I think that’s great. It’s wonderful. For us, it’s about leveraging this massive audience and changing the game again, not because we have to, but because we want to.”
On which profile pictures work best
“The data shows this: When your photo expresses something about your interests, like a skier skiing, or something about your personality, then you do better. You do better as in you get more matches. I always tell people to be yourself.
“The model-y poses never work. Shots that display what you look like but the environment you live in and your interests, they work.”
Earlier this week, Tinder offered a student that was kicked out of her sorority for posting a “provocative” picture on Tinder a full scholarship for her senior year, after Rad said he was inspired by her story.