Grindr’s New Owners Want to Create a ‘Positive Place for Everyone’
In a recent interview with The Advocate, Jeff Bonforte and Rick Marini—our new CEO and COO, respectively—shared what brought them to Grindr and outlined their plans for the app in the wake of the acquisition. In the piece, Jeff identified three buckets the company will focus on as it works to better serve the LGBTQ+ community and make Grindr a more positive place for everyone:
User safety and security is one part of a three-"bucket" plan. It falls in the "tech stack" bucket, in which Grindr will undergo "a full top to bottom review" of its programming and data architecture, meaning how this information is stored.
The second bucket is product development: enhancing Grindr and adding new features "to try to continue to activate the community," said Bonforte. The possibilities for this activation are many. Grindr, he learned, is about far more than hookups. He reported hearing from users who missed Grindr's sense of community after they found a relationship and left it. There are also users who only open the app for travel purposes, another area he hopes to expand upon.
However, don't expect any sweeping redesign. "You have to be careful not to dabble with the core product," Bonforte said, adding, "We don't want to hurt Grindr. It's so good."
The last bucket is "internal culture," which Bonforte defined as "developing the team, making sure that the employee base does a great job of representing the community, and getting that voice at all levels in business."
On the topic of straight men running a queer app, Rick emphasized that Grindr’s new owners will be partnering with LGBTQ+ employees—and the community at large—for leadership and guidance on how to best serve Grindr users:
To this end, Grindr will "absolutely" be recruiting more LGBTQ+ people as line employees, leaders, and board members, committed Marini. Having LGBTQ+ people in the room is essential for "understanding the needs of the users," he stressed. Bonforte added that LGBTQ+ recruitment is just "good business" because it will lead to a better product.”
Head over to The Advocate for the full story. Welcome, Jeff and Rick!