Justin McLeodFounder and CEO, Hinge
Justin McLeod is founder and CEO at Hinge, the dating app designed to be deleted. McCleod founded Hinge in February 2011 with a mission to create real-life connections. Upset by the negative hookup culture dating apps had created, in October 2016, he relaunched Hinge to create a culture of thoughtful dating. The company’s user base has grown 400% in the last year.
What kinds of companies will be the most important?
More responses to What kinds of companies will be the most important?
In social media, companies that serve our deeper human needs will emerge as the most successful and most important. Today, many of these tech companies generate growth by preying on our vulnerabilities in a way that keeps us addicted to their products. I believe we’ll come to this realization as a culture, and gravitate toward those companies that actually help us feel connection, not validation.
What will cause the biggest conflicts?
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I believe it will be the same thing that causes the biggest conflicts today. As Pascal put it more than 400 years ago, “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” With constant distraction in our pockets, we seem to be connected to everything and everyone—except ourselves. While screens will likely lose their prominence, distraction never will. I believe this, more than anything else, is what leads to our inability to connect and unwillingness to empathize with others. And this, at the root, is what causes nearly all conflicts.
How will we communicate with each other?
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My hope is that we can engineer ways for people to communicate and connect on a deeper level than many of us are used to via social media updates and small talk. We, as humans, find much deeper meaning and joy when we bond over our dreams, our struggles, and our vulnerabilities—not over our latest vacation or the cool dish we just ordered out at dinner. I believe social media can help us connect over these things when it’s designed around our deeper needs, and not what keeps us glued to our screens.
How will we entertain one another?
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We’ll be doing it in-person, not through the medium of digital screens. No matter how good screens get, I don’t believe they’ll ever be able to replicate the 3D, multi-sensational experience of actually being together in real life. I believe screens will fade out of existence, though augmented reality will certainly be part of our daily lives.
How will we find love?
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I believe choosing a partner will become an informed, data-driven decision. That probably sounds unromantic! But the person we decide to spend our lives with is the single most important choice of our life—and virtually all of us make that decision based on a fleeting gut feeling, rather than what *actually* indicates long-term compatibility. That, I believe, is the true potential of dating apps.
What kinds of stories will we tell?
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We will look back on today with shock at how tethered we were to our phones—the same way we now look back on the prevalence of smoking (only it’s so much worse, because we’re all doing it, almost all the time). I hope we’re all telling stories to our grandchildren about how most of our time was spent staring at screens instead of with one another—and they’re looking at us in disbelief.
What will our most valuable resource be?
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Love. As our technological capability grows, I believe material goods will all become commodities. The scarcest resource will be giving one another our time, care, and attention.
What technology will bring about the biggest change in society?
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Like our current revolution, it will be a combination of technologies that creates such substantial change. Nanotech, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and connected devices will lead to the end of screens as our primary way of interacting with information and with one another.
What’s your best prediction for the world in 50 years?
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Though there has been a trend of increasing screen time since the 1950s, I believe this trend will reverse as we become burned out on the low-fi experience of staring at pixels, and society grows more aware of the health risks of digital addiction. Screens will become a thing of the past as we become disenchanted with our phones and tablets, and we learn to make real life more exciting through connected devices, augmented reality, and biological innovations.