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Pioneer of the Week: Meet (The App)

New and Networking

Pioneer of the Week: Meet (The App)

Our Pioneer of the Week is Jordan Goodwin, founder of Meet (the app), an app to help connect people with like-minded people, no matter what their interest. In our hyper-connected world we can ironically miss out on real-world contact - but Meet helps bring the virtual world into real life, putting you in touch with people who share your passions. Let's find out more!

Tell us 3 important things we should know about you.


1. I’ve been obsessed with Apple since childhood. In middle school my parents got me a Newton—Apple’s original PDA—which I used to mess around with TVs in public places and to play lots of chess. That pretty much sums up my youth.

2. After college, I got this awful production-art job swapping resort names on shirt designs. I spent days learning AppleScript so I could automate it, and then sleep at my desk. My AppleScript skills ultimately got me recruited to a gig in Los Angeles... Turns out I didn’t like that place at all, but by some miracle, discovered that one of my favorite startups at the time, Grindr, was hiring nearby. I spent the next few years there diving into the organization and loving every minute of it. I think my title changed five times, and I really felt like I was a part of something special.

3. So far this year, I’ve celebrated my 30th birthday in Barcelona and got engaged at London’s National Gallery. Add Meet (the app)’s April launch to that list, and 2015 is already proving to be the most exciting year of my life.

 jordan



Tell us about your business. How did it start? Did you set it up alone or with a team?


During my time at Grindr, I came to realize that our users weren’t always looking for dates or hook-ups. Often it was really just about making new friends or seeing who was around.

I saw what seemed like an obvious hole in the digital ecology: Facebook is great at keeping you connected to the people you love, Twitter plugs you in to a global conversation. Meanwhile, location-based networks have revolutionized dating, but there wasn’t an app for users who just wanted to find someone nearby to grab a drink and discuss ‘Game of Thrones’ with.

Meet (the app) came to life once I believed I had a good idea; then my fiancé gave me confidence to go for it, and my friends and family made commitments to support the project financially.

What do you love most about running your own business?


I love being responsible for big decisions! I’m building this company from scratch and I get to worry more about its success than my own—if that makes any sense.

Tell us about a challenging experience you’ve faced in the process of starting up your business and how you overcame it.


We’re just getting started, so the idea is still untested; that’s definitely the hardest part. There’s this line I’ve been drilling in my head for months: “Either this will work, or it won’t.” In order to succeed, you have to be open to the possibility of failure.

What advice could you give to other startups about starting up in your industry?


Look at the world around you and solve its problems.

I see this loneliness problem: the paradoxical isolation of our hyper-connected world, and Meet (the app) is my solution. I get excited about neighbors discovering each other and finding companionship through their passions. It feels like important work in its own small way. If I didn’t feel like I was doing something important, there’s just no way I’d be having this much fun.

Can you share an experience that really helped you take your business forward?


When I first decided to make Meet (the app) a reality, I immediately hit a wall; there was so much to do, it felt insurmountable. For weeks, every potential move felt like a possible mistake, and I was frozen.

Then one day a friend told me “The worst thing you could do for your company right now is not start it. Just keep going and you’ll figure it out.”

He was right.

Many people start their businesses at home, where do you work? What do you love about it?


Some people do their best work upright at a desk or coffee shop, with headphones, maybe a big monitor. Not me. I’m happiest and most productive sharing the sofa with my dogs, listening to good music, and typing away on my MacBook. I could pretty much stay like that forever… with enough snacks, that is.

 workplace



What are three things you know now that you wish someone had told you when you first started?


1. Nobody will take you seriously until you take the lead. At first, people would talk about my app like it was hypothetical. Then one day I realized I was perpetuating that idea by letting on like I might not follow through. Be serious about your intention.

2. Worry less about why nobody has tried your idea yet and more about why they should. The thinking behind Meet (the app) seemed obvious to me and for a long time I was caught up worried that if no one had pursued it, it must be bad. In reality, dozens of people probably will have an idea before one of them is brave (and/or stupid) enough to try it.

3. There isn’t always a ‘right’ answer. A lot of entrepreneurial decisions are based on hunches, personal philosophies, or best guesses—without a clear subjective winner. Trust yourself to know what’s best.

Is there anything specific you’d like to ask or share with the Virgin Media Pioneers community?


Meet (the app) has the potential to become a useful tool in people’s lives. I need help reaching people that can easily benefit, and in turn help us grow.

If your company, cause, or event doesn’t already exist as a category within the app, let me know so we can add it. I’m all ears!

Finish the sentence: "To be an entrepreneur…


"…is a lot of responsibility! Own it."

Connect with Meet (the app) on Twitter, Facebook, or download it now!
Comments
New and Networking
Great stuff! Really interesting profile.