A Night For Product Minds with Sean Rad of Tinder

By: Anamitra Banerji, Foundation Capital

Every quarter, Foundation Capital, alongside our partner, Product Hunt, brings together the best product minds in the Bay Area for a night of good food and conversation. The 50+ people who joined our event last month were treated to a special interview with Tinder’s Founder and President, Sean Rad. Sean was interviewed by Product Hunt’s Erik Torenberg. Together they covered everything from Tinder’s initial product decisions to the influencer marketing that helped launch their powerful community.

Introducing Sean from Tinder and Erik of Product Hunt

The first part of the discussion between Sean and Erik focused on Tinder's now iconic "swipe" interaction. Sean had this to say on how it came about: "The core idea was that if I want to meet somebody, I have to walk up to them, but I might feel like I'm about to get rejected. It might be the wrong timing. They might be with their friends. So we figured if we can show a list of people and have you make a very simple decision, it could change the nature of an interaction." As to how they grew their network, Sean spoke of a grassroots approach. "We wanted to grow Tinder through small communities of influencers who understood the value proposition," he said. "We went to college campuses and found the coolest people who also had an organic, quality following on Instagram and other networks — and then had them spread the word. That's how it started." That approach clearly worked, and they have the data to back it up. Sean said, "Over time, we see a direct correlation between the number of matches we get a day and how much we grow. Why? Because friends share their experiences with friends and Tinder is central to that story.”

Graphic inspired by Sean Rad’s tales of the Tinder story.

The conversation between Sean Rad and Erik Torenberg that night was enthralling and enlightening. We hope you enjoyed this inside glance at the night’s happenings. Be sure to sign up for our next Product Minds Dinner here and connect with me and my partner Steve on Twitter—at @anamitraand @vassallo—to get involved.