AUSTIN, Texas — As at most tech startups, the fridge was stocked with green juice and cold brew coffee.
Unlike at most tech startups, there was not a single man present.
“I think everyone in this room has had terrible dating experiences or been in an emotionally unhealthy relationship,” Wolfe said carefully.
Wolfe thinks technology turned the traditional mating dance into more of a rumble.
“I’d read a lot about the psychology around rejection and insecurity, and I had noticed that when people feel insecure or rejected, they behave aggressively, erratically,” she said.
” This is the headquarters of Bumble, the 2-year-old dating app created by Wolfe, in which women must make the first move, nudity is verboten and kindness is part of the company mission.
If you are the millennial version of a Sensitive New Age Guy, to quote Christine Lavin — or a woman who wants to date one — you’re on Bumble.
So I think the revolution of Bumble is taking that uncertainty completely out.” Wolfe did not initially plan to change the dating game.
She was 23, unemployed and living with her mother when she took a trip to Los Angeles to visit a fellow alumna of Southern Methodist University.
Drew Anthony Smith / The New York Times Whitney Wolfe meets with staffers at the offices of Bumble, her dating app startup, in Austin, Texas, Feb. An all-female staff is just one way in which Bumble is a response to an online dating culture many see as toxic.
By Jessica Bennett, New York Times News Service Saturday, March 25, 2017 | 2 a.m.
The company says its abuse report rate is among the lowest of its competitors, at 0.005 percent. After a female user sent screenshots to Bumble of a conversation with a guy named “Connor,” in which he ranted about “gold-digging whores,” the company barred him, detailing its thinking in an open letter that ended “#Later Connor.” Another man was barred for fat-shaming.
Users regularly receive notifications to “bee nice,” sometimes with saucy emojis.
“It strikes me as just another thing that we as women have to do,” Meredith Fineman, a digital strategist in Washington, said with some weariness.