INC MAGAZINE - May 25 - Tinder is one of the year's fastest growing apps. CEO Sean Rad has already been a successful entrepreneur once. In 2009, he founded ad.ly, which helps brands land celebrity endorsements on social media. Rad claims that the app has led to 50M matches and 10 marriages since it launched this fall.
Q: What inspired you to start Tinder in the first place?
A: In the real world, you're either a hunter or you're being hunted. If you're a hunter, there's constant rejection. And if you're hunted, you're constantly being bombarded. On Tinder, you anonymously say if you're interested in somebody, and if that person happens to be interested in you, you can have a conversation. If they're not interested, they never know you liked them anyway, so you don't feel embarrassed.
Q: When did things really take off?
A: Around January. We had been picking up on college campuses.
Q: What was the biggest issue?
A: We never anticipated it was going to take off this fast. Our challenge was not only maintaining the current system, but building the new one at the same time.
Q: Where'd the idea for Matchmaker, the new feature, come from?
A: Our vision is to be the platform that you think about when it comes to meeting somebody new under any context, not just dating. With Matchmaker, you can create a match between any two of your Facebook friends.
Q: How are you going to make money?
A: Right now, we're prioritizing our product ambitions first. We want to charge for giving you more value, not for interacting with us in a basic way.
Q: You've had a lot of success at a young age. Any advice to other founders who are just starting out?
A: You should only start a company because you can't sleep at night until you solve a certain problem, and I think those problems need to find you. If you're starting a company for the sake of starting a company, you're going to fail.