Tinder’s Sean Rad is talking again, sort of.
Just before Match, Tinder’s parent company, went public in November, Tinder cofounder and CEO Rad hit the interview circuit. In an awkward article in Britain’s Evening Standard, Rad misused the word sodomy and bragged about rejecting a supermodel. The article also misstated key user numbers for the app.
The interview was unfortunate enough to justify Match filing a rare letter with the SEC distancing itself from much of what Rad said.
The 29-year-old has since gone quiet, but other interviews conducted around the same time were published this week. Here are some highlights from the new articles from California Sunday Magazine and Fast Company.
About that interview
Rad said some of his quotes were taken out of context in the Evening Standard interview, but he also regretted some of what he said.
Rad told Fast Company: “It’s f—ed up, because I’m dealing with all of these stereotypes. Because I’m a successful guy in tech, I must be a douche bag. Because I run a dating app, I must be a womanizer. At the same time, I f—ed up. I should know better as a CEO.”
“What has really sunk in is that I need to leave very little room for misinterpretation of what I’m trying to say,” said Rad.
“Listen, I’m human and I’m real,” he told California Sunday Magazine. “It didn’t make me proud.” He went on to describe the interview as embarrassing.
Tinder is rating your desirability
Fast Company learned that Tinder has an internal scoring system for desirability. Called an “Elo” score, the “complicated” rating is determined by a number of mysterious factors. Though not available to the public, the scores are used internally by Tinder’s team to learn more about users types. Tinder’s vice president of product told Fast Company, “It’s a way of essentially matching people and ranking them more quickly and accurately based on who they are being matched up against.”
Women are still rare in the workplace
Tinder has long had a reputation as a frat-like office environment with few women. How has it changed after settling a well-publicized sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit filed by a female former executive?
Fast Company notes that Tinder still employs few women. None were present during the four meetings reporter Austin Carr attended, though Rad said he calls in his female assistant when he requires a woman’s perspective. It had one female executive in November, and has since added one more.
Estranged Tinder cofounder Chris Gulczynski told California Sunday Magazine tales of Rad’s treatment toward women. He saw Rad say, “No girls” to a women who wanted to attend a meeting, and referred to the same woman as an “office mom” when she was hired.
Rad received your Snapchat sext
“Yes, I sext on Snapchat,” Rad told California Sunday Magazine. He clarified that he only receives sexts on the service and never sends his own.
He’s still confident
“Everyone is nervous to talk to a girl or a guy … I never had a problem with it,” Rad told Fast Company.
He prizes his outspokenness, saying, “I am who I am, and I’m proud of that. If people don’t see it, they can go f— themselves.”
That confidence extends to his product. Talking to California Sunday Magazine, Rad compares Tinder to rock ‘n’ roll (they’re both about freedom, you see), and looks 20 years into Tinder’s future: “It’ll be like, ‘Tinder, of course, that’s how everyone meets.'”