Whitney Wolfe Herd — Founder and CEO of Bumble (#316)

“Spirituality comes out in moments of darkness.” – Whitney Wolfe Herd

Whitney Wolfe Herd (@whitwolfeherd) is the founder and CEO of Bumble, one of the fastest-growing social networking apps in the world. She launched Bumble in 2014 as the only dating platform where women make the first move, and in three years, her vision has led to Bumble’s growth to more than 28 million users worldwide in 144 countries.

Bumble launched Bumble BFF in 2016 as a friend-finding feature and Bumble Bizz for professional networking in 2017. Whitney was named to Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list and has recently been on the covers of not just Fast Company, but also Forbes and Wired.

Please enjoy!

Whitney Wolfe Herd — Founder and CEO of Bumble

Want to hear another podcast with an inspiring decision-maker? — Listen in on my conversation with one of 2017’s most-requested guests, Bozoma Saint John, the Chief Brand Officer at Uber with a story that spans continents. Stream below or right-click here to download.

Lessons from Bozoma Saint John -- From Spike Lee to Uber, From Ghana to Silicon Valley

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QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…


  • Connect with Whitney Wolfe Herd:

Twitter | Instagram


  • How did Bumble come to be? [06:01]
  • What did Whitney originally want to call Bumble? [09:58]
  • Whitney explains the Sadie Hawkins Dance to me. [11:37]
  • Why didn’t Whitney care for the name Bumble at first? [13:10]
  • One of my methods of testing is if something I’ve written is “sticky” enough. [14:00]
  • How many people currently use Bumble? [14:40]
  • What are the benefits of Bumble’s “women make the first move” dynamic? [15:18]
  • Whitney talks about how she’s overcome particularly dark periods of time. [16:47]
  • Harnessing anxiety as a fuel rather than surrendering to it as a handicap. [22:36]
  • Good sleep is a game changer. [25:51]
  • On using books for startup team bonding. [26:44]
  • Influential books read and gifted most often. [29:27]
  • Do plants really want to kill us? [34:41]
  • What recent purchase of $100 or less has had a positive impact on Whitney’s life? [36:37]
  • When was the last time Whitney cried tears of joy? [40:58]
  • What spiritual beliefs help Whitney through difficult times? [43:09]
  • Relying on hunches over caffeine and interference from the prefrontal cortex. [45:36]
  • Whitney’s most worthwhile investment of time and dedication. [50:58]
  • How does Whitney positively shape and scale her company’s culture? [52:26]
  • The best piece of advice Whitney has ever received. [54:47]
  • Sometimes we need to remember to let other people help us. [56:41]
  • How to (and not to) ask a busy person for help or advice. [58:43]
  • Unusual habits and absurd things Whitney loves. [1:04:38]
  • A new belief or behavior that has had the most positive impact on Whitney’s life. [1:07:35]
  • What would Whitney’s billboard say? [1:08:34]
  • Parting thoughts. [1:09:29]


The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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28 Replies to “Whitney Wolfe Herd — Founder and CEO of Bumble (#316)”

  1. Thanks Tim!

    If you get this… Jesse Itzler… author Living w a Seal… husband to Sara Blakley of Spanx… super cool dude!



    On Fri, May 25, 2018, 11:14 AM The Blog of Author Tim Ferriss wrote:

    > Tim Ferriss posted: ” “Spirituality comes out in moments of darkness.” – > Whitney Wolfe Herd Whitney Wolfe Herd (@whitwolfeherd) is the founder and > CEO of Bumble, one of the fastest-growing social networking apps in the > world. She launched Bumble in 2014 as the only dating p” >

  2. Tim, was relatively unimpressed with this particular episode. It seemed kind of meandering. [Moderator: additional text and link removed.]

    1. I agree. This was the only episode I wasn’t impressed by. It was more like a teenage slumber party. Before you call me a misogynist, consider if you just read the transcripts and didn’t know the names – you would have found little to no value here and considered the text to be superstitious and whimsical.

  3. Amazing podcast Tim!

    Great connection and I love what you’re doing with your interviewing.

    I feel like you’re really honing your questions and prepping guests so they can handle the pressure questions. Also sharing enough of your own info first to help them be more vulnerable when answering.

    Keep sharpening the saw you legend!

  4. Kudos to Tim for bringing in a more wide-ranging audience, including self-made independent women like Whitney Wolfe and Karlie Kloss. My only suggestion: perhaps you could “brand” these episodes separately to your more traditional interviews, which really get to specifics, practical outcomes, product recommendations, etc. (i.e. what made Tools of Titans). I feel like Tim has been moving more toward’s “inspirational” interviews, sort of Lewis Howes esque, and away from the core – which again, totally fine… but just for die-hards like me, it would be nice to know this before you get 30 minutes into the podcast.

  5. Hi Tim,

    I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your blog and listening to your podcasts. You have given me inspiration to revamp my morning routine and so many interesting strategies for how to approach life positively. I know you love book recommendations and right now I’m reading ‘The Choice’ by Edith Eger and think that you will really enjoy it. She is a Auschwitz survivor and colleague of Victor Frankel and her book is filled with amazing insights.

    If you are able also I would love to hear more podcasts with non-Americans and particularly would be interested in athletes who have competed at a high level from different backgrounds, immigrants who have settled into different cultures and people who have been raised in strong religious backgrounds and found their own path as adults.

    Thanks again for all the positive you put out into the world.


  6. Great show however a lot of misinformation regarding the Plant Paradox diet. Both in what the book is about and the validity of what Dr.Gundry is claiming.

  7. Hey Tim,

    About consumption of coconut oil – while it has numerous health benefits externally (ie. teeth whitening, skin care), I am concerned that eating it leads to cardiovascular issues.. this is been shown due to its effectiveness in the onset of heart disease in lab rats given coconut oil to eat.

    As an aside I am graduating from college with a BS in Environmental Science in 1 year. I am pressured by my parents to follow my Dad and older brother’s footsteps into medicine. I know that I deserve to succeed in that avenue however it is an ABSURD time commitment. I am interested in learning and the application of creativity in business, crypto, and sustainability.

    Kudos for your time. I implore you for any information or direction for me to get my foot in the door with learning and applying my interests now.

  8. This was an excellent podcast. You are doing an excellent job of highlighting women who are successful as well in your recent podcasts.

    Regarding relationships I would recommend interviewing Drs. John and Julie Gottman. They co-authored (with another husband-wife team) The Man’s Guide to Women. Their 2-day marriage workshop was truly life-changing. Those of us who are married with kids enjoy listening to those guests in the same boat as us. Continue doing what you do, it is making the world a better place.

  9. Hi Tim! i’m Alexander from far Russia! just wanted to say thank you for recommendation Seneca letters to Lucilius, let me repay my debt to you. here’s the book “health by purification” peter jentschura josef lohkämper, it helps me a lot as well as you did. it’ll help you a lot i’m ashure you, if you like it just let me know. ok? be strong and happy stoic 😉

  10. Tim, why don’t you get John Romano on your podcast. All these entrepreneurs are getting boring… You need to broaden the scope of your guests.

  11. Hi Tim,

    Really enjoyed this. I wanted to follow up on that “gut feeling” discussion between you and Whitney. How might one differentiate between a gut feeling, and focusing on something for long enough that it becomes more of a self-fulfilling prophecy?

  12. A quick note for you and Whitney, Tim. 555 is how Thai people write LOL, because the number 5 is pronounced “ha” in Thai. One more reason to love those digits!

  13. I loved her wisdom at such a young age and that she turned such a negative experience into a positive one. Very inspiring!

  14. Hi Tim,

    First off I want to say Thank You for all the learning that you unfold for us in all that you do. I really enjoyed this podcast, especially because it is less frequent to hear from successful young women. Since you have so much exposure to the world, a wide variety of people, and because you are so self-reflective, I thought I might see if what your thoughts on teens and choosing a degree, or choosing a career. I know you are really busy, but if you have the time or interest, your opinion would be greatly appreciated.

    My INFP daughter is 17 years old, bright, artistic, solid student, and is a “Lawful Good” alignment. That said, I applaud her basic desires for a life of work ahead of her, which are: to be of service to the human population, be a positive addition to the world, and not work under fluorescent lighting. She’s willing and open to let me influence her decision for her undergraduate and career path. What are some career areas, experience, or undergraduate areas that you can see opportunity for a young woman to pursue? Or, even, where would you send me to help her find these answers (book, person, blog, etc.)?

    Thank you in advance for reading and considering your answer to my question.


  15. Women are taking a greater part in leadership and community development today, and the concept of Bumble seems to represent progress we should be prepared to support- where women share in developing social equity through taking a greater role in the initiation of communication and a more civilized mating approach. Women can make the first move now, and they certainly should go after what they want as men have been doing for so long.

    Great episode, and for me aligns with philosophies developing in the current. Especially appreciate the share on Whitney’s part around the scrutiny she faced and near breakdown she went through by defying the laws of tradition, then creating and facing the views of others not quite ready for her vision. Brave soul, Whitney is.

    P.S. Team Tim F., not a fan of the lack in text formatting for potential emphasis in the comments section input box, but understand there may be limitations to WP elements. Just saying…

  16. Hello Tim, team and community, I more and more often hear from your guests and approved by you Tim, that vegetables try to kill whomever is eating them. What made me think is, that plants for consumption are so highly modified theses days, wouldn’t it be logic that they also got rid of most toxins? And aren’t the fungi and pesticides sprayed on them even more harmful for living beings?

    I know you are extremely busy and thank you for reading so far, totally understand if you don’t have the time to answer, maybe someone from the community has.

    Anyway have a great day you all!

  17. I enjoyed this episode thoroughly. I just would like to point out one flaw in the approach that Bumble has for protecting women against bad actors. The feminist ideology seems only to deal with those aspects that suck of being female and think that being a male is all upside. And sometimes the issues they describe are things that that happened to me, or sometimes some of my male friends. I am aware that there are ways to smear a woman that are specific to them, but there is also a lot of misandry around (thanks to radical feminism) and there are ways to smear males that are also stereotypical.

    I don’t want in any way to diminish all the bad stuff that happened to Whitney or to say that her experience was not terrible. Also, she didn’t imply explicitly that the male experience cannot suck, but I feel that some feminists have an implicit assumption that being a male is all advantage. I have had experiences that are very similar to those complaints that some feminists claim that happens to them because they were women. It takes away some empathy when I can see that a experience wasn’t sexist discrimination but having to deal with a difficult person. I also have had female bosses or co-workers, that required some patience and art to deal with. I prefer the Viktor Frankl approach that every human has to be judged individually and there are bad and good people in every group (ethnicity, race, country, age, gender, etc are just accidents). He carried this principle out to the extreme of concentration camps where he saw good guards and bad prisoners, and he got this from a prisoner perspective.

    I left my opening sentence unfinished. Bumble is interesting, but it still sucks that many women are very reluctant to make a move even when they have swiped right on you. I don’t see what encouragement they see from the app, but it would be nice if the app encouraged them to have some empathy and write something if they decided to swipe you right. It would be better if you just swipe left. It is weird that now because you are a male you are supposed to suck it up when women decide not to be courteous.



  18. A pattern interrupt for me when I have anxiety is sleep, same as Whitney. I haven’t been anxious in a year however. I remember vividly, just around this time last year, how anxiety was defining my everyday. I had no physical ailments, as I have had before. This time around it was pure mental scenarios of my future, and all the ways it could go wrong. I was so frightened of outer responses towards myself. It would mean rejection. Rejection to what I desired to do in life. So my mind came up with all these elucubrations to avoid rejection instead of facing it straight. I was driven to the point that I would wake up everyday to write and edit, and rewrite and edit again my application letters. All that was, in the end, was just an exercise, because that did not get me in where I wanted. It was the act of me, the character of me, the identity that I chose to identify with that got me in. A year after, I don’t remember what anxiety feels like, but my body does. It shows it. The stage where I am now, looks very different, and it’s just the other side. I changed things, like sleeping at the same bedtime every night with a book, instead of passing out. This is my pattern interrupt not only for anxiety, but for any misplaced feelings.

  19. I’m still thinking what to say really about the app, because of the diverse range of situations that it has brought up for me. Just last week, I decided to streamline one in particular. I use streamline but truth is, it was a tough, strict and direct cleanse. Of someone. I had to. I’m not this kind of person, I don’t hate. But I know that you would encourage this as it is not really the type of people that one wants to be around. Tim, this is to say that I want to thank Whitney for being bold and driven to create this app, as I am now in a small something that is developing. But it’s not the app, it’s us. It’s likeness and common grounds that aids the whatever-is-happening. Perhaps he wouldn’t find me interesting at all, but he did. But is it because he was looking? I was bored and swiped on him. One line and he messaged back, in the same language and I thought that was bold. Hours after, we were having coffee and he was wearing a turtleneck. It’s not a surprise that this happened, I like to take action. I simply can’t exchange messages forever to see if he is fit. He said something regarding that –and it’s not the first time I’ve heard it, so in fact I’ve doubted if I am the only one of this kind– He said: Actually, you are the first I meet in person. As much as I wanted to respond: Oh, I’ve gotten this before. That would have been an absolute stupid response. I feel I’ve been forever in the ‘dating industry’.

  20. Hi Tim,

    my name is James Langton, I am the founder of [Moderator: business name and link removed.]

    I was the official Tinder Top 30 most ‘Right-Swiped’ Male on the platform (featured in all major UK press) and I now have a startup up improving dating app profiles for singles.

    I would jump at the chance to speak with you about offering my thoughts on how best to improve (any!) dating app profiles.