I Want Your Job: Whitney Wolfe, CEO Of Bumble
You know when you're on Gchat, talking to your girlfriends and lamenting how the world would be a much better place if you all worked together? If that was the case, you'd feel inspired and enthusiastic about both your job and your colleagues.
That's exactly how it is at Bumble, the popular and successful dating app founded in 2014 by 26-year-old entrepreneur Whitney Wolfe.
“I would say the biggest perk is getting to work with people I love and care about. We're a close-knit team, and it's not a hierarchy,” the hip CEO explains. “What I love about it is the passion involved. I know it's cheesy, but I mean it in a genuine way. We're all passionate. I don't feel like I'm working.”
Indeed, Wolfe's inviting personality and honest charm make me feel like we're instant BFFs, not two strangers in a formal interview.
It's these same qualities that helped steer Wolfe into success as the CEO of a major startup.
“I wasn't prepared, to be honest. There are mornings I wake up and say 'What am I doing?'” Wolfe admits. “I think it's okay. It's okay not to know the answers.”
But, Wolfe does have something extremely valuable guiding her.
“My biggest thing is to listen to my intuition. I have a moral compass and I try to go for what's right," Wolfe says.
That's what led her to create Bumble, after all.
In college, Wolfe was the super outgoing, brilliant friend with a fun social life. She traveled the world, established her independence and enjoyed having adventures.
When it came to dating, however, Wolfe couldn't understand why the same principles didn't apply.
"When I was crushing on a guy, no one would let me tell him first. It was a huge conspiracy of 'He's gonna think you like him too much,'" Wolfe explains. "I couldn't wrap my head around why not. I can fly to Cambodia and get straight A's, but I can't text a guy first?”
We feel you, Whitney. We really do.
In 2012, Wolfe cofounded the mega-popular dating app Tinder. She left the job after filing a heavily reported sexual harassment lawsuit against the company, which she's since settled.
After leaving Tinder behind, she set out to create a self-proclaimed "feminist dating app."
On Bumble, women have to make the first move and, therefore, guide the conversation. If a woman doesn't respond to her new connection within 24 hours, it disappears forever.
The positive impact Wolfe's company has on women doesn't stop there, though.
“It's interesting and unique the way we bring people together. We're encouraging women. We're changing the rules of the game. With the app, we are actually challenging gender norms,” the CEO explains.
Wolfe is certainly no stranger to defying what society expects of her. Although her pursuits are much grander than the typical 20-something's, Wolfe can still relate to the pressure and intimidation many of us face.
“I was told by a lot of people, you need to take yourself seriously," she remembers. "The naysayers chirp in your ear, 'You don't have time to do that, you're already 25.' It can bog you down.”
The most incredible aspect of Wolfe's shining character -- and, perhaps, part of why she's so successful -- is that she has an unfailing belief in her ideas.
“I will tell you, and I mean this in a really extreme way,” she begins. “No one did believe in me. The only way you can is to show them. I knew I could make Bumble work. I knew it could be a success. The only way to be taken seriously is if you take yourself seriously."
Wolfe's advice for when your plans are too big for someone else to comprehend?
“Take that as a compliment,” she suggests.
For someone who is up at 4:30 every morning -- Bumble is in the midst of a global launch, which means it's already afternoon overseas -- Wolfe is surprisingly energetic and spirited. It's proof of her dedication to the Bumble family.
“The coolest people I've met are my team. We are a team of seven women and we're raising this child called Bumble and it's non-stop,” she says.
As women in our 20s, we can all see pieces of ourselves in Wolfe. Whether starting a new job or tackling a challenge, Wolfe understands what it means to venture into the unknown.
Luckily for us, Wolfe has insightful advice that really resonates.
“You need to be prepared to get knock down and stand up again. It will happen. Life is 100 percent about expectation,” she says confidently.
Fact: Wolfe is incredible at giving earnest advice.
“Shoot for the moon and expect those road bumps," she adds. "If you set yourself up to achieve your goals with the expectation of knowing there will hardships along the way, you will get there.”
Thank God I got that on tape. I shall listen to it every morning before work.
Wolfe is a forward-thinker who pioneered a new way for women to date. She is, quite frankly, inspiring.
However, she does have one thing she would have gone back and done differently. Admittedly, it's minor.
“I would never have gone into a tanning bed. I don't know how that was our generation in high school.”
And just like that, Wolfe is totally wise yet totally relatable all over again.