On Daily Routines, we profile successful leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, executives and athletes to explore their routines, schedules, habits and day in the life.
When online dating platform, Bumble, went public in February 2021, founder and CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd became the world’s youngest, female, self-made billionaire. To add another notch onto her already impressive belt, at 31 years old, Herd is also the youngest woman to have taken a company public, just edging out Katrina Lake, who took Stitch Fix public in 2017 at age 34.
The craziest thing about this is that Bumble isn’t the first multi-billion dollar dating app that Herd has been involved in. In her early 20s, Herd joined Tinder, while the app was still in the early development stage.
As the Vice President of Marketing, she was behind a number of growth and branding initiatives, including coming up with the name Tinder (the app was previously known as MatchBox). “We were playing with tons of words,” she said in a 2016 interview with Grazia. “Tinder is brushwood that ignites a flame.”
But Herd’s role wasn’t just limited to marketing. “There were five of us. You do everything,” she explained. “You don’t limit yourself in that type of a role, like, everything is your job, everything was my job. It just didn’t matter what it was. If the computer fell apart in 50 pieces, I needed to find a way to put it back together. That’s hypothetical, but that’s just kind of how it goes with these companies. It’s not a corporate situation.”
In April 2014, shortly after ending her relationship with Tinder co-founder and CMO, Justin Mateen, Herd left the company and filed a lawsuit for sexual harassment. According to reports, she received over $1 million and stock as part of a settlement. She would go on to launch Bumble later the year, with backing from Russian-British entrepreneur, Andrey Andreev, who provided an initial investment of $10 million.
“I always wanted to have a scenario where the guy didn’t have my number but I had his,” she recalled in an interview with Forbes. “What if women make the first move, send the first message? And if they don’t, the match disappears after 24 hours, like in Cinderella, the pumpkin and the carriage? It’d be symbolic of a Sadie Hawkins dance–going after it, girls ask first. What if we could hardwire that into a product?”
With Herd’s own experiences guiding the product roadmap and Andreev’s investment and guidance, Bumble quickly grew. By November 2017, the app had more than 22 million registered users and was valued at over $1 billion, according to Forbes. Fast-forward to Thursday, 11 February 2021, Herd officially took the company public via Nasdaq, ringing the opening bell with her 1-year old son by her side.
It’s pretty surreal. And it really is a moment to celebrate. We’re excited to hopefully have this record be broken soon; we are very excited to cheer on the next woman who beats this record.Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd becomes the youngest woman to take a company public | Fortune
Whitney Wolfe Herd’s daily routine
In a 2018 interview with The Newsette, Herd revealed that she usually woke up at between 6-7am, although she has been known to wake up sporadically through the night to check her emails. She explained on the Tim Ferriss podcast that she would wake up every two hours to check her emails then go back to sleep. “I think it’s anxiety paired with drive and ambition and passion,” she explained to him.
The good news is, she’s been working on getting this under control. “I’ve tried to do it less but it still happens a lot,” she said. “I’m trying to get my sleep under control. I’m doing Headspace and I’m trying to sleep with my phone charging on the other side of the room. I get so nervous [putting it on airplane mode] because there are a lot of things that can go wrong and I’m very close to my loved ones and I like to always have contact.”
After waking up, Herd will go for a walk with her dog, Jett, before heading checking emails and jumping on calls with the Bumble London office. Depending on her schedule, she’ll try to squeeze in 30 minutes of exercise before heading into the office.
“Leading up to my wedding I worked with a trainer and she gave me lots of great strength training exercises so I try to alternate each day between legs, arms, and abs,” she told Newsette. “If I can, I also try to make a smoothie for breakfast using organic romaine, spinach, and blueberries.”
Whitney Wolfe Herd has often described Bumble as a feminist company – “We are 100 percent feminist. We could not be more for encouraging equality,” she once said in a Vanity Fair interview. This has been reflected in the company’s culture which caters strongly to working parents.
“Now, we let our employees bring their children to work, we let them leave early to go do school pick-ups or drop-offs and then they get back online later,” she explained in an interview with Refinery29. “We’re a very mother-friendly workplace – we have a pumping room for new moms. We try to take care of people so they can balance their lives. I’m not good at practicing this in my own life, I’m trying to get better, but you have to have balance.”
To unwind from her day, Herd enjoys cooking with her husband. “If you are chopping veggies, you are forcing yourself to put the phone down or step away from the computer,” she told Entrepreneur. “It’s extremely relaxing. As stressful as cooking might be, it’s a stress that is different from the stress of the day.”
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