The key to success in entrepreneurship is to find something you love and monetize it, says Bumble Founder and Chief Executive Officer Whitney Wolfe Herd.
Herd worked for the dating app Tinder as their Vice President of Marketing, but she left the company in 2014 to pursue entrepreneurship. Her departure came after she and a group of others filed a lawsuit against Tinder claiming she was sexually harassed and discriminated against at work, stripped of her co-founder title, and unfairly pushed out of the company. She thought about starting an app where teenage girls could communicate and meet through compliments. But given her expertise in the dating space, she chose to explore other outlets for female-focused communication apps.
Herd then founded Bumble, a dating app where women can choose and pursue men. Herd describes the app to the Washington Post as a Sadie Hawkins dance, where women can feel more empowered to start a conversation without being afraid of sexual harassment. Bumble was the first app of its kind to flip the traditional courtship paradigm (on Bumble, only women are allowed to initiate text conversations after two people match), and Herd’s ingenuity, inventiveness, and expertise turned her dream into a company valued at $13 billion in 2021. The thirty-one-year-old Herd’s net worth is now valued at $1.5 billion, according to Forbes.
“Figure out what you’re passionate about,” Herd told CNBC, “and if you’re really good at it, there’s some way to turn it into a business.”
Herd instructs potential entrepreneurs to home in on their talents and craft, then make sure they can use it to turn a profit. She offers the example of a chef who might start a cooking blog and then charge for recipes. Her passion, she says, was to create a safe space for women to pursue romantic endeavors without feeling like they’re being preyed upon. But a startup can begin with anything – for instance, a side hustle that allows you to grow your enterprise as you see positive returns. Popular side gigs include food delivery, tutoring, social media management, and resume writing, according to Career Turners.