Randall Lane opens with the hard hitting topic of the Founder stepping down as CEO "It is a positive transition, I am a lot happier right now.” He goes on to say, "Tinder is growing, it is a fast growing company. Along the way there are things i haven’t experience as a CEO, I was feeling the pressure and then we brought in Chris Payne from Ebay who is fantastic.” For Rad, he gets to focus on the things he loves while the new CEO, "is there to fill in the blanks, and guide the ship into areas i have far less experience in.”
He is now focusing all of his energy into product and marketing, and relieved that he does not have to run the company all on his own. And Tinder has the numbers to show that even though he has stepped down, the company has only grown. When asked about his metrics, “way more than 30 million” was the closest estimate Rad offered. They are growing on a variety of fronts: better algorithms to place you with people that you would have more commonalities with, limiting “right swipes” so that people are more thoughtful when matching with other people, and have increased the average messages shared within a conversation by over 20%. They are now letting the users getting to know each other better, but also their revenue strategy has grown as well.
They have two new revenue initiatives. A subscription business offers “super powers” for a monthly fee, which means a select few can switch their locations and do other magical things in order to up their Tinder game. Currently they are also experimenting with advertising. In the past it has been cross promotional ads, but now they are letting advertisers speaking to their audience.
Tinder is redefining how dating works, but is also redefining matchmaking platforms. Lane offered just a few google hits that came up when he searched “Tinder of” and came up with the Tinder of, “real estate, world peace, shopping, cuddles” and much more. Rad believes that as he looks into the future, it is about finding new ways to connect people. Swiping is working, but they are also exploring other modes of connection and communication.
When asked about the “bro culture” of startups, Tinder being notorious for curating such a culture, Rad responded with praise for a dialogue about the culture. He believes that being in Los Angeles, outside of the Silicon Valley bubble, he is more in tune with his customers. In LA, you are confronted with a different group of people not tech-centric, so you are closer to the people you are building your product for. In LA, there is also not a lot of competition for talent in comparison to California.
Tinder itself has made a lot of changes both within the company and the product, but Sean Rad has assured DLD that even bigger changes are ahead.