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In 2012, a year after graduating from college, she was visiting a friend in Southern California when she met Justin Mateen and his best friend, Sean Rad, two USC grads hustling several tech ventures, and they enlisted her marketing skills.

Along with Mateen, Rad, and three others, Whitney became part of the team that launched Tinder in September of that year.

Everyone was chill, casual, too scared of missing out on something better tomorrow to commit to something today. “I hear the guys are better there.” I was open to anything. We Hinged, we OKC’ed, we went back to the pay apps, convincing ourselves nothing good came for free. Guy on sailboat, tipping his head back into the sun: Yep. ” the screen announced after I swiped right on Sailboat Dude.

“I’ll text you.” “We’ll text.” Whatever progress women had made in the professional realm seemed to run backward on those sites. “I’m doing another round of Match,” I announced one day, like it was chemo. No matter what dealer I tried, the deck felt stacked against me. Then, in smaller letters, as though a girlfriend were whispering behind her cupped hand, “You both liked each other.” Here I encountered the big twist in the Bumble game. In fact, until I reached out to Sailboat Dude, he would be unable to speak to me.

When Whitney Wolfe Herd launched Bumble, she simply wanted to create a dating app where women felt more at home.

Now, three years later, the company is worth more than $1 billion, and she’s emerged as the unlikely face of a women’s movement.

It had yielded three good dates, one of which turned into a thing that was not exactly a thing.

This vague land of maybe-sorta was the purgatory into which singles of the twenty-first century had landed.“Fish in a barrel,” one guy told him when he joined, and it proved true. In my early days on Tinder, I never hesitated to dash off an initial message, but I found that men often slinked away or showed little interest.My own confidence seemed to be working against me, cruelly presenting as a lack of confidence, or that horrible feminine sin—desperation.To create buzz, she traveled to SMU and papered her alma mater with flyers that read: Find out who likes you on campus.She crashed sorority meetings, the kind she had once attended, and told them to sign up, and then she rushed over to the frat houses and informed them that the hottest girls were on the app.That night, though, I wasn’t thinking about any of those things.

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