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#WorkItWednesday featuring Sean Patrick Henry, Product Management Director

Introducing #WorkItWednesday, Grindr's feature on employees and programs at the heart of the work we do to connect the global queer community. In our inaugural interview we sit down with Sean Patrick Henry, Product Management Director.
Claire McMullan
&
Recruiter at Grindr
October 27, 2021
May 26, 2024
6
min. read
#WorkItWednesday featuring Sean Patrick Henry, Product Management Director
Table of Contents

Welcome to #WorkItWednesday, Grindr's feature on employees and programs at the heart of the work we do to connect the global queer community.

Meet Sean Patrick Henry (he/him), one of our Product Management Directors!

Sean has been with Grindr for over a year and has been working in product management since 2012. His team at Grindr is in charge of our core product which is the foundation of the Grindr app. We had the chance to sit down with him to learn more about his role overseeing our core product and his team’s impact at Grindr.

Read more about Sean and his team below. Take a look at our career’s page to explore our open product job opportunities.

How did you get your start in product management?

Growing up I was always creating and building. Crafts, computers, musicals, videos, business plans, websites, web apps, startups, and more. So before I knew about the role of a product manager, I was always learning skills to be able to solve problems and create stuff. This led to an early freelance career building web apps in the entertainment industry and launching a few startups in the LGBTQIA+ travel space. I love Broadway, travel, and back then PHP+, Javascript, so I tried to combine those passions to make fun things.

What drew you to product management in the dating space?

It wasn’t until focusing on engineering that I found opportunities to work on bigger, more collaborative, and complex products. I’m a romantic, so when OkCupid invited me to join their front-end team, it felt like a match. The product team was composed of a handful of designers and front-end engineers with no established product management process or hierarchy. Each teammate had a lot of responsibility to know the community, develop data-driven decisions, and make an impact on the product.

For a while, I was the only gay-identifying engineer and became an inadvertent advocate for the broader LGBTQIA+ community around problems faced when navigating self-expression, sex, and romance in the binary tech world. Motivating designers and engineers to help solve these problems ignited a passion for a more product management-oriented approach to development.

Tell us why you joined Grindr. What do you love most about our mission and our culture?

I’m obsessed with the crossroads of sociology and data. Where else but Grindr can you have such a direct impact for the LGBTQIA+ community while also geeking out with code and passionate users? It’s humbling and rewarding to focus specifically on the queer experience while working with brilliant, fabulous, and supportive coworkers.

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What interesting problems is Grindr’s product team solving for now?

The worldwide LGBTQIA+ community is evolving and we’ll have more opportunities and challenges to connect people while allowing more ways to express themselves, find each other, and interact. We are also balancing an established, older codebase with building out exciting new features.

Grindr helps people connect to their community around them. As we have the largest community of any LGBTQIA+ app, it’s sometimes difficult to find exactly who you’re looking for. Soon we’ll be launching My Tags, which helps people create new connections around specific interests. This is a feature to help people express themselves and be found in a more inclusive and fun way.

We also always strive to provide a private, discreet experience. We’re currently working on a privacy-centric album feature to give users control over the content they’d like to share (or unshare) with other people. We see the future of Grindr as even more inclusive, private, kinder, and connected. It’ll take humility, empathy, and grit to drive the product changes our community needs and deserves.

What challenges or opportunities will Grindr’s product teams be addressing in the future?

We’re looking forward to utilizing new technologies to allow people to express who they are through media and data. Video and chat apps are evolving fast, so we have lots of areas to innovate for delightful and cutting edge chat experiences.

Grindr is a hyper-local app that changes flavor based on where our users are, so we’ll also adapt to support more localized personalities and cultures while creating more ways to connect across distance.

What are your goals for growing your team?

Our product team is focused on pursuing ideas derived and validated through user research. We aim to grow a team that’s adept at listening to and understanding people outside of our own life experiences with a variety of backgrounds in design, data, business, and technology. First and foremost, we value driven, supportive humans who champion our community.


Want to work with leaders like Sean? Explore our careers page to join our team!

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