Elie Seidman, CEO, Tinder on love, dating and relationships | Exclusive
How do you meet people? In your school, college, workplace usually? Or would you go beyond and make that special effort to get to know someone at a movie theatre or a lounge or restaurant, just because you liked something about them. Well, most veterans in love would say they found love in places they least expected - like a train ride or a bus they used to take to college at the same time and mostly, through common friends. With the revolution that dating apps have brought about around the world, the initial hesitation might be a thing of the past.
Now before we go any further, I must admit that I’ve long believed that there is a Prince Charming who’s probably lost his way and is taking too long to figure out he’s lost. But voila, there’s hope. Now, you can choose whom you would like should find you and vice versa by using your thumb or the index finger, if you prefer to swipe right, left or up, basis your preference. Note: You still need to have a conversation and meet people in the real world to take anything forward, even if it’s a platonic relationship.
We recently spoke with Tinder’s uber-cool CEO, Elie Seidman and asked him some of the questions we’ve had in our mind about Tinder, about love, how is different changing the way people meet and a lot more. Read on to know more about the man running the show globally, and ensuring that people don’t just meet virtually, but also in the real world to make the most of what they have in life. Elie continues by adding a bit of a mantra, “Be yourself, be honest. The you who is you is good enough, it’s a great you. Be direct, we need more trust and authenticity in life.”
1. The three best ice breaker questions that will be the ‘tinder’ for a relationship
The thing about ice breakers is that you’re always trying to figure out how not to talk about the other person specifically but about their interests. So if they’re interested in coffee, you talk about that; you’re interested in tea; you see something in their photos you recognise... the point is, you’re not talking about who they are, you’re talking about what they’re interested in, the things you see about them, their story.
2. Three books you’re reading nowadays or have read recently and your takeaways from them
I’ve been very influenced recently by two books in particular. One is Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan - it’s a story about youth and about surfing. It’s about a person, a very interesting man who goes surfing around the world. It’s a coming-of-age story, a fascinating way to relive your own youth but also see a world you would never see. It’s somebody else’s experience of a world you would never imagine and it takes you into the beautiful life of surfing which is a unique sport and something I could never experience since I don’t know how to surf, but I thought that was very beautiful.
The other one is Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari and it’s a book really about culture, about how we became as people and civilisations who we are. It’s one of those books that will change your life when you understand the history of people over a generation, it is revealing and an amazing story.
3. Is Tinder being pitched as an app to find love and make friends? Please throw some light on the ‘Adulting Can Wait’ campaign and what young adults out there can expect from their Tinder-ventures.
We think that our focus on the destination is both the wrong way to look at the world and also not relevant for today’s young people. Tinder has been incredibly successful with young people. Going back to when we launched on college campuses in the US in 2012 and going globally to New Delhi, to Paris, to London, to New York and to young people across the world, what we’ve seen is that when you focus on the end instead of the path you actually miss the best part, you miss the point, and so when we say Adulting Can Wait, we say, “look, this phase of life is a great phase of life. You don’t need to jump to the end.” For most people, love is the goal and they will get there but you don’t want to miss the path along the way.
4. Weekend getaways once a month or a long holiday once a year?
I far prefer the long holiday. I think, on the weekends you don’t get enough time to unwind. We live in a world with smartphones on all the time, with so many distractions, so many things competing for our attention and so getting out into the real world, since Tinder is about meeting new people, I think that’s the best part of life. And for vacation, you need enough time to get there and experience it.
5. You’ve led the team at OKCupid before Tinder - what is the one foolproof dating advice you would give to us?
The interesting thing about relationships is that it’s common, the thing that we all want and it’s not unique to a specific age group or a location you’re in. What connects is that we get to meet new people, the relationships we form, experiences you have with them is the best part of life. The best part about Tinder is the people, so there’s a lot more in common than there is apart.
6. What is love according to you?
Love is the most personal of things. So for everybody, it’s a little bit different, but at the core you know when you have it, and until you have it, you’re looking for it. It is one of those things we’re searching for.
Top 5 interesting facts to know about Tinder:
Present in 190+ countries across the world, with India being in the Top 5 global markets for Tinder. New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Gurgaon, Pune comprise the top cities being swiped in, but the app’s growth rate is much higher in smaller cities. Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali are the most popular regional languages for the app.
Users in India enjoy the messaging feature on Tinder the most and are the chattiest of users across the world.
Sending a superlike increases your chances of matching by 3x. Explore the premium version of the app - Tinder Gold - for a higher success rate.
Write an interesting bio, and use clear pictures so you come across as genuine to the other users who might be interested in you. Like Elie Siedman also says, be yourself
In 2018 Tinder earned ~$800m in revenue which was up from ~$400m in 2017.