"Anyone can replicate a product. There are lots of brilliant minds out there that know how to code, but there's unique DNA to a brand. You cannot have a brand without people. That is the most important asset you will ever have."
This week's quote is by the newest self-made billionaire of 2021 - Whitney Wolfe Herd
She sued Tinder, founded Bumble and now at 30, is the CEO of a $3 billion dating empire.
After co-founding Tinder, Wolfe left and brought a sexual harassment suit against the company. She faced a lot of backlash online, leaving her unsure of her next steps.
"I had experienced a lot of strangers on the internet, calling me a lot of names. It affected me so deeply and made me so sad. It made my confidence go to zero," Whitney, now Bumble's CEO, told CNNMoney.
"I really felt completely lost and scared, and I felt like I had lost a piece of my identity. I didn't know who I was anymore and I was letting these strangers on the internet define that."
Tinder did not plead guilty, but Wolfe eventually settled her suit and got an undisclosed settlement. The comments that she received gave her an idea about how to help women online. She said, "You have to start a business to solve something that's a personal pain point. That's where the best businesses come from."
She set out to create a women-only app that could be a place where users could exchange compliments with each other, without any negativity. Therefore, with that as a foundation, Whitney created a dating app where women have the power to initiate a connection.
Bumble has about 20 million users worldwide now with more than 50,000 new users joining every day. The app also has a component for people looking for friends and a networking section for professionals.
In building her multimillion-dollar business, Wolfe said that she took inspiration from another successful executive - Jeff Bezos. She saw videos of him speaking and was especially motivated by this one line that he said, "when humans can hide behind a screen, when they’re anonymous essentially, they lose their kindness gene."
Taking inspiration from that, Wolfe set on a journey to build her brand by empowering women and making them the real asset in her brand. It is truly genius to learn from her personal experiences, detect a problem and solve it through a business.
Whitney doesn't have a STEM degree, isn't based in Silicon Valley and she didn't even raise billions in venture capital. But her company, Bumble, is set to have one of the most high-profile technology IPOs of the year so far, in what will be a milestone moment not just for her business but for female founders generally. Bumble, best known for its female centred dating app, began trading on the Nasdaq recently under the stock ticker "BMBL."
At DDSN we resonate with Whitney as DDSN is built on the foundation of empowering small and big businesses and uplifting them in the digital world, to grow their business by leveraging the online trends. We work hard everyday, to help our clients build and grow their businesses, be it amongst a pandemic or not. We are always there with our 24/7 support service and friendly team.
Who is Whitney Wolfe Herd?
Whitney Wolfe Herd is an American entrepreneur. She is the founder and CEO of Bumble, a social and dating app, launched in 2014. She was also an early executive at Tinder.
At the age of 22, she joined Hatch Labs. Through Hatch, she became involved with Cardify, a startup project led by Sean Rad through Hatch Labs IAC incubator. The project later got cancelled, but from there Wolfe got the opportunity to join the development team for Tinder within the IAC startup incubator in 2012.
Wolfe Herd became vice president of marketing for Tinder. She was behind the name of the app & logo. She has also been credited with fueling its popularity on college campuses and growing its user base.
After leaving the company in 2014 due to growing tensions with other company executives, she started Bumble, a female-focused dating app. In 2021, Herd became the world's youngest self-made female billionaire after taking Bumble public. She also became the youngest woman to take a company public, at age 31. Forbes estimated her net worth at approximately $1.5 billion.
At DDSN we share Whitney's vision about people being our most important asset. By empowering people to grow their businesses digitally, we always stay aligned to our vision and mission.
She set out to create a women-only app that could be a place where users could exchange compliments with each other -- no negativity allowed.
At about this time she connected with Andrey Andreev, the CEO of social networking site Badoo.
"He believed in the values and in the direction, but he kind of looked at me like I was a little bit crazy and said, 'Why are you not doing this in dating?'" Whitney said about Andreev, who would eventually become her Bumble co-founder.
Her fiance was also a huge support system for her when launching the app.
"He told me, 'Don't be scared to go back into the dating world. Those strangers on the internet, they're not gonna get you and if they do, who cares? You're bigger than that. You can have impact.'"
Whitney decided to keep the women-centric focus but create a dating app where women would have the power to initiate a connection