As soon as I saw Tinder, I knew it was going to crush the competition. Before Tinder, there was a serious stigma around online dating. Tinder found the Holy Grail — the one thing all online dating services (mine included) had been trying to find to no avail: A way to stimulate word-of-mouth referrals.
”Tinder said, “Keep playing.”Tinder had made a game out of dating, and what do you do when you find a fun game? If you’re a new app trying to compete in a market with giant incumbents, as Tinder was, your product can’t be marginally better.After 30 minutes of them continuing to look at each other’s phones and say, “Left! ” I was curious enough to ask them what the game was. After one of the women explained it to me, I asked her, “Oh, so it’s a dating service?”She responded, “No, it’s a .”We went on to have a strangely animated debate back and forth about whether Tinder was a dating site, a game, or an online retail store with an inventory of available men.If you had never used an online dating service, what would make you try it out?In the past, dating services had tried things like sending prospective users advertisements and messages like this:“See who has a crush on you! Tinder figured that the thing that would motivate you to try out their service wasn’t the knowledge that other people had a crush on you, it was by telling you that your crush was using Tinder.