Masters of Scale – Reid Hoffman: Bumble’s Whitney Wolfe Herd
Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe Herd knows: The smallest feature can make or break your product. The challenge is recognizing the impact of that feature – and making sure it’s actually positive. This is what Wolfe Herd tapped into when she founded a dating app that required a whole new way of communication.
She has become a master of understanding what her users want, and then making the small changes to Bumble that help them achieve their goals. While small changes typically lead to incremental improvements, every so often the impact is exponential
Small but meaningful tweaks
Pay attention to small but meaningful tweaks that can take your product to the next level and create genuine and empathetic connections with the individual, not just the numbers.
Small tweaks to a product can have big consequences. It’s important to consider the potential impact of changes before releasing them to the mass market.
Small changes in social media and online dating can make a big difference for the better, creating safe and positive ecosystems. Bumble’s focus on non-physical compliments leads to a contagious and uplifting digital behavior.
Bumble’s unique approach of empowering women to initiate conversations has successfully reduced instances of bad behavior and harassment in the dating world, making it a safe and empowering platform for women.
Speed over features
Users prefer faster search results over more options, emphasizing the importance of response time. Changing user behavior requires persistent effort and creative tactics, such as surprise and delight, to shift norms successfully.
Small changes can have negative effects, but observing and understanding user feedback can correct mistakes.
Creating accessibility in video games for disabled gamers
Steve Spohn, COO of the non-profit AbleGamers, found video games to be a crucial outlet for socializing and feeling like everyone else despite his disability, spinal muscular atrophy. As his hands weakened and video game controls became more complex, Steve turned to AbleGamers for help and eventually collaborated with them to create a guide for making games more accessible.
One of the biggest obstacles for disabled gamers was the standard controller design, which AbleGamers worked on with Microsoft for three and a half years in secret. The result was an adaptive controller that allows disabled gamers to play just like everyone else.
The unintended consequences of Tinder’s swipe feature
Tinder’s success was largely based on their implementation of the swipe feature, which set them apart from other dating apps. The ability to quickly and easily swipe left or right to indicate interest or disinterest in a potential match became hugely popular and allowed Tinder to process a billion swipes per day within two years of launching.
However, this small tweak also led to unintended consequences, including dangerous dates and a superficial approach to matching based solely on a profile picture and short bio. This highlights the importance of considering the potential impact of small changes to a product before releasing them to the mass market.