ABOUT THIS EPISODE

At age 22, Whitney Wolfe helped launch Tinder, one of the world's most popular dating apps. But a few years later, she left Tinder and filed a lawsuit against the company alleging sexual harassment. The ensuing attention from the media – and cyberbullying from strangers – prompted her to launch Bumble, a dating app where women make the first move. Today, the Bumble app has been downloaded close to 30 million times. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," we check back with Michael Dixon, whose business Mobile Vinyl Recorders uses portable record lathes to cut vinyl at parties, weddings, and music festivals. (Original broadcast date: October 16, 2017)
English
United States

TRANSCRIPT

00:00:00score for NPR in the following message come from service now making the world of work work better for people there cloud-based platform and solutions deliver digital workflows that create great experiences and unlock productivity for your whole company more at servicenow.com tell you about a live event we are about to do in Portland Oregon on Thursday May 16th I'll be talking with Seth Tibbott he's the founder and CEO of tofurky the show is supported by American Express and our other Live Events have sold out fast so to get tickets go to NPR presents. Org and I hope to see you in Portland
00:00:46show is there are no shortages of dating apps out there ranging from free apps to members only two ones that are based on quiz shows and pet preferences but they show is the story of two dating apps Tinder and Bumble and the woman who helped start them both we first ran this episode with Whitney Wolfe in October of 2017 enjoy I quite frankly I thought I was at the very bottom of my Barrel I mean there were days where I didn't want to live I mean the internet to find me the article calling me the most ugly names in the world the people on Twitter saying the ugliest things but through all of this pain and struggle I still had an itch to create and so I kind of sat down and said I can start something right now and I can change what I hate that I see in the world
00:01:48from NPR it's how I built this a show of that innovators entrepreneurs idealists and the stories behind the movements they built
00:02:00I'm going to do they show at Whitney wolves painful exit from Tinder inspired her to build Bumble Kinder gentler dating app where women make the first move
00:02:16there was a time believe it or not when internet dating meant you were desperate or awkward or both and it wasn't something you talked about openly but today it's the complete opposite Because the Internet and dating apps and made it so much easier and more efficient to meet lots and lots of people and it's more less frictionless is no awkward phone calls or courtship rituals are face to face rejection there's something almost transactional about the whole thing and it's no exaggeration to say that even though they've only been around for like 5 years or so dating apps have pretty much transform dating and if you love them you can think Whitney Wolfe or you can blame her if you hate them because Whitney was part of the dating app Revolution she was one of the founders who helped create Tinder which is now one of the biggest dating apps in the world when he left $10 under
00:03:16medical circumstances circumstance that she can't legally discuss but as you will hear it was time in her life where she came under intense online abuse and that experience would Inspire her to build Bumble which is a different kind of dating app and today just three years since it's launch Bumble is one of the top dating apps in the US but the story of how he got into that world at all well like many of our stories it starts with a little bit of luck right after she graduated from college at Southern Methodist University in Dallas I was just kind of going day by day exploring and and being okay with that right so I think to my family I almost was I don't think they were super proud like oh my daughter went on to do acts right I was in this weird place so I could have moved in with my mom in California and I went to LA one afternoon
00:04:16to visit A girlfriend of mine and ended up at a dinner where I met a couple people one of which went on to be the CEO of Tinder this was Sean rad and he had told me how he was going to be the general manager of this incubator that would be launching all sorts of apps all sorts of different apps and they were looking at the time they were focused on one app which was a consumer loyalty app called Cardiff I kind of like a digital punch card for your favorite coffee shop for your favorite whatever it is and he just told you about this at this dinner party yeah we were having dinner or just a few of us and I said well that sounds really interesting and when he asked what I was doing this at you know I'm really looking for a job I think I could probably help you Market your app and he said well why don't you call me tomorrow and come in for an interview so I called him at 8 a.m. the next day I think he was alarmed and surprised that I actually called him and I end up going in for an interview at
00:05:16doubt started working from home right away and then I moved to LA for this for this incubator yes for Cardiff I was the app there been really no talk tender yet and my job is very much focused on Cardiff I so I started working full-time and while we were getting car to fight off the ground you know I spent a lot of time going door to door to door in LA to different restaurants and boutiques and so on and so forth and trying to sign them up and I struggled with it because there's too many moving parts right and so I mean you have to get the store on board and then once the stores onboard you have to hope that the customer has the app right we're just interested when you came in but they like to be honest and very few people were interested I think it was really how you positioned it and I learned I learned a lot through through that experience because you know one pitch would go one way and you
00:06:16say something a little different the next time you go in a completely different way and so I really realized that it's not so much about the what it's the it's the how or the why you should do this right like this is why you need this instead of what you what you need right and so it was really interesting crash course and in marketing and sales but you were not necessarily just really interested in Tech right I wasn't even interested in Tech I was just interested in the the the way it had reached the way that Tech could expand beyond the walls right with your college with no Instagram and so Instagram really became huge right as I graduated and then you saw itself or billion dollars and I think everyone kind of went well and this was kind of that guy and I opening moment for my my peers
00:07:10and so did it I mean it wasn't like a sense of excitement that you guys were onto something big or did you know pretty soon after you joined that this thing was not going to work was really excited and very hopeful and it was a beautiful app think if we really wanted it to happen and I remember we're all sitting around like we're going to be in the Eno next big thing and and then shortly thereafter I think we started getting excited about this acai project Matchbox which is what became dinner but at the time it was Matchbox with which was supposed to be a dating app yeah it was like a flirting app it was like getting people to flirt right and after we were really unable to get kardify to gain significant traction I think we all know the first few of us were kind of like maybe you need to shift gears you know and I was 22 years old I just come out of college I was thinking very much like a college student still and I was like this will work and I think I was so excited about the fact
00:08:09but there was something that I and my friends would use vs. card if I which was something I personally would have never used and again it was not a new idea you have to think about what existed already dozens of dating apps flirting apps connecting apps I mean there was already the behemoths which was match.com right and we sat on the same floor as Match.com and I'll I was building Tender by Parvin idea to build like more of these dating type products are or apps so tender was not my idea I've never said it was my idea ever I became a co-founder of Tanner via my marketing contributions in my early involvement in getting it launched and getting it out there so I've heard about 30 conflicting stories of what the original idea was and who really cares at this point I mean it is what it is and it was to connect people around you you know if you see someone that you want to talk to you across the room how do you how do you talk to them
00:09:09without you no feeling awkward I think where we went in a very unique Direction was marketing it to Millennials and I just don't think that had ever been done in a successful way of what was the actual product what was the app where did it look like at that point it was very similar to what it looks like now it's just a very early version of it so you just swipe left or right on people that actually when I first saw that there was no swiping it was like a tapping like a card game originally and was it called Tender by that point know it was not we play with so many different names I mean is maybe going to be flirt and then it was maybe going to be I mean there's so many different things that it was going to be and tender ended up sticking so you're so you're thinking I like this thing has legs and so what did you do how did you test it yeah I remember thinking to myself that it would work at SMU and I remember I took the guys into a meeting and I gave them my little sorority Fraternity Row
00:10:09WoW patch and said I'm going to show up on Monday me to go to the chapter meetings I'm going to run to the sororities and fraternities I'm going to get everybody on it and then it's just going to take off at SMU SMU and so I got the green light to go do this and we had very very very very minimal marketing materials I think I had three or four t-shirts that we took that had tender on it and then I had to get really crafty so when I landed in SMU it's funny I was talking to my girlfriend about this the other day my good girlfriend who now does the weather in La she was a year younger than me so she hadn't graduated yet and I took a picture of her and then I took a picture of one of my guy friends on campus and I dropped them into the match screen like the the Tinder screens and I wrote a big thing on top of that tank find out who likes you on campus and I save the file and I took it to the FedEx across the street from SMU and we printed I think a thousand copies and I offered a bunch of people around campus 20
00:11:09barbells to help me put them everywhere I mean on people's windshields under dorms everywhere everywhere everywhere and then Monday night I rallied all of my friends that were still in school cuz again I just graduated and a lot of friends that were younger and we've made our rounds we we went to the sorority houses and gave a pitch got up on chairs and told all the girls and you know you have to download this app because college is all about meeting people and right now you only have access to the people that you hang out with every weekend and it's a really close minded it for you no experience and you guys need to meet all these great people on campus and there's all these really cute guys waiting for you on the app so we rushed and got all of these women to download the app and then we ran as fast as we could to the Fraternity Row and went into the Frat houses and said a different pitch and said hey guys I bet you have no other way to access you know hundreds of sorority girls right now download the app because they're all
00:12:09waiting for you they've all just downloaded this app and they're waiting for you to like them and so yeah I know it's so ridiculous nursing at this point but we're going to do you were hustling this thing yes I think that would be an accurate representation and so the next day I remember you know we looked at the download numbers and hundreds of people had download it overnight and hundreds was bigger than the downloads we've gotten on chordify over months and so you know I'm looking at hundreds of downloads and I'm like we made it like Facebook right just being super you know a little disconnected from reality probably will but not that distant as we would eventually discover so you go back to LA like what's the next step I can't remember if I went straight back to LA if I went straight to Utah because I went and did the same thing at University of Utah which seems weird that that would tend a new people there you know and it's funny I call
00:13:09that's a long time ago I said to everyone on the team I said guys watch BYU will be one of our biggest markets one day because in the BYU at the LDS College Inn in Provo Utah Mormon and they're all expected to get married by by the end of college like that is the expectation and so I said I promise I think BYU will be one of our biggest markets and I think half of Utah will end up getting married because of Tinder Tinder became massive Utah to BYU campus oh yeah massive well. 2013 was there feeling like this is just so amazing so exciting I mean I lived breathe dreamed I was in golfed I mean my friends and want to talk to me anymore. Oh gosh she's going to call and talk about tender again no it was such an exciting time and again it's worth noting Tinder was a group effort right it was not
00:14:09trust me it was not just one of the guys it was not just one of the other guys this was really teamwork
00:14:17so I'm going to do something that we don't often do in the show which is I am going to skip over for a few years when Tinder was growing and then commits mass of dating app and millions and millions of users because they're legal reasons why you can't talk about certain things and I'm just going to say I am going to explain just briefly Whitney which is that you left Tinder in 2014 under pretty difficult circumstances you had been in a relationship with one of the other co-founders that broke down and so you laughed and of the sexual harassment lawsuit and that was settled and you can't talk about that but all the sudden you won't you were all over the tech press because people people caught wind of this lawsuit and they were text messages that were sent to you that were abusive and they were published on blogs and and all of a sudden you were in the public eye in and you were I guess like twenty-four what twenty-four 25 of the time it was 24 I turned twenty-five just a few days later
00:15:17and you were the main target of of a lot of the attention surrounding that story so real quick I'm going to jump in and just say I have absolutely no comment on anything from the loss and I've no comment on you know any of the allegations or anything but the way the people online spoke about me the way both reporters and complete strangers you know internet Twitter and the comment section it was jolted me in such a way it it completely robbed me of every last ounce of confidence that I may have ever had listen I was I was not a famous person in my life Salt Lake City on famous parents I'm quite frankly just a normal professional right like that's just who I was and to have
00:16:15the New York Times calling extended relatives and to have the Daily Mail knocking on the back window at your apartment when you're not even there and to have your personal emotions being turned into caricatures on Tech blogs and mainstream media TMZ I mean it was really truly dramatic how did you just get through the day
00:16:46I I quite frankly thought I was at the very bottom of my Barrel I mean there were days where I didn't want to live I didn't want to get out of bed I felt like it was stamped across my forehead and when I say it was stamped across my forehead that was 50 different things that was the article calling me the most ugly names in the world that was the people on Twitter saying the ugliest things I mean the internet to find me for a moment in time and
00:17:23I I wanted to die yet I had to make this bigger than myself right like this was bigger than me meaning I have people in my life that I have to be there for I have parents I have friends I need to continue my career I'm 24th about to be 25 I am not going to just call it a day at 25 I mean am I you know like there was a lot of that and after I was able to pick myself off the bath mat crying I I was able to through the fog see the real problem and the problem was not me or the media or the story or what happened the problem was the lack of online accountability that human beings are exposed to every single day and what it made me realize was
00:18:22yeah whatever I felt was going on online this is what goes on a 13 year olds phone all day everyday and it scared me was it impossible to ignore that stuff in could you have just shut that out now it was a possible it just became this Obsession and it really messed with my psyche I mean it and it made me really not right for a while I mean I didn't really socialize I I kind of became a Hermit for 2 years and what I did during those two years was I worked my tail off I mean I worked so hard and what I had realized was you can't kill ambition you can kill confidence but you can't kill drive through all of this pain and struggle I still had an itch inside of me to create and I missed the feeling of creating all day and building and sing something grow and
00:19:22engineering it to grow right you know marketing it and so I kind of sat down and said I can start something right now and I can have an impact and I can change what I hate that I see in the world
00:19:38when we come back at Whitney took that idea and turn it into Bumble & Gyros me listening to how I built this from NPR
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00:21:26and before I get back to the show this coming October to be coming back to the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco for our second how I built this Summit supported by American Express over the course of 2 days I'll have conversations with some of our most remarkable Founders from the show including David neeleman of JetBlue Marcia Kilgore of bliss Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger of Instagram Stewart Butterfield to slack Jen Rubio away and many many more the Summit is an incredible opportunity to connect with other entrepreneurs and Builders just like you from around the world last year Summit sold out early so to find out how to get tickets visit Summit. Npr.org and I hope to see you in San Francisco
00:22:18Play Welcome Back to how I built this from NPR I'm guy Roz by the time she was 24 years old when he will fit already helped launch where the world's biggest dating apps Tinder but after she left the company in everything that went with it the online bullying in the severe depression what do you want to get away from all that you wanted to get away from dating apps and build something new something a little more kind so I started working on this concept called mercy and what it was going to be was a female only social network where women could only use compliments they would no longer be able to you know comment on appearance or hurt or hurt each other's feelings or use social media to bully right toe is the antidote to what I felt I experienced online and I started working on this and had you know my marketing
00:23:18and mapped out and I was thinking about doing that and I was approached by my now business partner Andrey andreev and he is an incredible talented entrepreneur based out of London he is built so a lot of very successful companies and his current very successful company is called Badu and it is the world's largest dating platform it is massive overseas I mean we're talking I think I have something like 320 million registrations or something like they're part of that club of only LinkedIn and Facebook and Instagram like those big big big crazy numbers and he said sorry to connect you know the summer I know that probably not the best time for you but I'd really love to hear what you're up to neck and so his initial intent was to hire me as their CMO their Chief marketing officer at Badu and I said you know I'm flattered that's great however
00:24:18you know essentially Not For Hire I'm going to start my own business and I want it to be mission-driven and I don't want to work in dating like that's just not going to be my future and he said okay so tell me about this vision of yours what are you going to do and how you going to build this into a huge social platform and I told him I vision and yes and my passion for this platform and he said you know what you need to build this but you need to do it in dating and adviser. I'm not doing there yet and I said I don't think you understood me I'm not going back into dating like that's not happening and he said no no no this this has to happen what you're trying to do needs to be done in dating and I thought to myself you want maybe maybe he's got a point maybe dating is broken right like maybe maybe connecting is broken Beyond just being a young woman talking to a young woman and Junior High maybe this is something that affects us at all
00:25:18beaches and so we kind of did a handshake deal instead of here we can build a company and we formed an incredible partnership where I was founder and CEO I could build my own team in my own Vision my own brand but we will have access to his resources Beyond just money and that was something that was never going to happen twice and you didn't know at this point you didn't know what that was going to be no it's a really wasn't until a couple of weeks later when we brought on you know I called crystals and scan ceramic who had worked with that Tinder they're really really talented designers and you know in order to build a great brand and product you have to have a great team of designers and so I brought them on board and they had their own app to time so they wanted to come on as consultants and so once we were all kind of together I think there was like 10 of us in the room or something or sitting outside in
00:26:12Andre said okay so what is this product going to be and I said I think I have it and I said I always wanted to text the guy first I always wanted to go after what I wanted in terms of if I saw a cute guy in class I always wanted to talk to a guy but I was never allowed to because society and my friend said no
00:26:36so I said we're going to reverse-engineer this and this is how the products going to work you're going to mutually match with each other but women have to send the first message they've 24 hours to do it because it would give them a you know kind of incentive and if they don't the match disappears forever and this will change the Dynamics of how we connect this will put the ball in her court for any same-sex matches you follow the same rules - women making the first move right so if two women match either woman can reach out if two men match either man can reach out however they do still have to follow that you go first in 24 hours and then you follow with 24 hours should look completely different from from everything else was out there that I'm completely different types of dating apps I think I imagined are most mostly guys are signing up for for dating apps rise
00:27:34well my theory at that time was they hadn't been built for women yet let's just look at this from from the basics men or raised from very early age to be the go-getter in a in a heterosexual relationship go get her go go make the move right and women on the flip side are trained to play hard-to-get so here you're telling men to be overly aggressive and here you're telling women to be the inverse of that and so now you're at your training to human beings to act in opposite directions of each other and so what you do when you do that is you set both up for failure you set the men up to be constantly rejected and you set the women up to be at risk of of aggression and abuse right and so here we have this world that behaves this way now add another element which is a profile write a digital
00:28:32Shield where you can hide behind a username or profile photo and you don't have to be accountable and so when you when you put women in control you completely reverse the role so she now has the confidence to go after what she's interested in and the man on the other end doesn't feel rejected he feels flattered and then all of a sudden you've balanced the behavior
00:28:59so what's up somewhere to go to the name bubble come from the name bubbles actually really funny so old woman who was a really actually a great mentor to me for the first couple of years of bumble her name is Michelle Kennedy she named it on a whim one day because it was such a struggle I wanted Bumble to be Moxie m o x i d like you've got Moxie like you've got courage right because you'd have Moxie made the first Moxie and unfortunately there is a really powerful company that exists somewhere in America that has trademarked every format of the word so we couldn't get that and then we were sitting there for weeks on my gosh it was a disaster we had probably a thousand words in the running and then one morning she said you know
00:29:43I think she could funny enough I think she called her husband a bumbling idiot she's got this really horrible British accent she said what about Bumble and I said no way like that's Expendable that's like Bumble and Bumble the hair product I hate it and then Andre was a fumble Bumble I left Bumble and he checked the domain and we could get their domain it was a miracle like in what world can we get bumble bee couldn't get Moxxi we couldn't get all these other words and so after that I was talking to who she ended up becoming one of my shoes my third hire her her and her family are really close friends of mine was talking to her mom in the kitchen with a K wait come out and Bumble for a nap and she was like oh like be the queen bee of bumble find your honey on Bumble and she started throwing out all these really cute slogan as I get done perfect branding opportunity hives and bees and building your your hive and queen bee the women make the first move it was perfect actually
00:30:43Andre contacts you in July 2014 if I'm if I timing is right you launched Bumble by the end of that year cracked we worked really really hard when you when you first launched it warm most people signing up man and initially I just lots of competition in this place has tons and tons of dating at how did you how are you able to tell people that and get to know what to do well I kind of had a little bit of a Playbook I have maybe done it once before so I went right back to SMU this time decked out in yellow and I went back into all those sororities and I I spoke from the heart listen I have lived through the pain points of male-dominated relationships I have felt it I know what it feels like and guess what every other woman in that sorority
00:31:43chances are she's felt it too so you know I'm speaking from the heart and I'm speaking to them about how they can be empowered and they make the first move and they go after what they want and me and my early team members I mean they're the girls are at my office right now they're still with us we went in there and we took pizza boxes with stickers on it and offered a piece of pizza to the fraternity boys that would get on it we wrapped cookies and Bumble stickers we took all sorts of goodies and we kind of growth hacked our way to success because I asked you about this idea that that dating apps even even Bumble with you know Mission or purpose to empower women even an app like Bumble you know does it contributed to cultural hookups so if the hook up is taking place in the woman is empowered and feels comfortable and confident in that then I say more power to
00:32:43you know I don't care what you do on Bumble if you want to you know spend the rest of your life with someone you meet on Bumble phenomenal if you want to hang out with him for only at night but you're going to wake up the next thing you're not going to feel terrible about yourself that's what this is all about it's about reverse engineering the Dynamics of how men and women feel and Bumble is not just a hook-up app I mean I can't tell you how many emails I get a day about Bumble weddings Bumble Bebe's Bumble engagements now we're launching Bumble bizz we have hundreds and hundreds of thousands if not in the millions at this point of active BFF users which are you know young women matching with other young women kind of in that merci capacity I spoke about earlier they're finding roommates they're going on trips together they're building Social Circles in new cities it's really not a dating app anymore
00:33:37I read that that that you guys have zero zero tolerance for sexism on Bumble but if two people are communicating on Bumble how do you police that how do you enforce that so that's a great question and it's actually a very tricky one so we have zero tolerance for bad behavior but it requires a little bit of work for our users because we also want to respect your privacy right however if somebody is in a conversation and someone says something inappropriate we have very easy reporting tools and once something is reported we do go review it and if there was bad behavior that user is banned for life there are no Second Chances we really take it seriously if you need us like we're one click way do you have went any backlash from from you know people who say
00:34:30you know who are offended in some ways that this empowers women that if it does it does it make some people angry yeah Bumble gets a lot of that you know just last week we became under attack from this website called The Daily Stormer it's a Neo-Nazi site and we had up words of a hundred men sending us threats we actually had to have police at our office all we know how they are emailing my employees calling my employees calling me leaving the most vulgar messages cuz you're so you know we get this to that the bullying now I don't let that doesn't hurt my feelings anymore cuz I know these people are just atrocious but it fuels me the anger fuels me to try harder at work and try and and and you know change this misogynistic mindset that exists and so now we're putting such an emphasis to get all these people off of our app if there are any we're hoping they
00:35:30not we now have a whole new set of moderator is looking for hate symbols and hate speech on our platform we're really just trying our best to build a clean Safe Community it's been 2 and 1/2 years since you launched this company I think cracked and you have how many active users now 20 million registrations near Lake so that's that's pretty amazing 20 million downloads of the app since you launched and when will you know that you have really created this hugely powerful thing when you got a hundred million a billion
00:36:09I'll never feel like we made it we got to just keep going I am mean it's funny I used to stay to myself when we have 1 million we have 5 million when we have 10 million imagine if we had 20 million and now we're here and I'm like you know what we always need to evolve and be better and try harder and have bigger reach-in better region once we have that reach can you start over and do it in a different vertical how much of of your you know of a few story book through Tinder and and Bumble now is like and how much of it was because of you are scaling and Talon artwork
00:36:43you don't look as a funny word I don't I don't know if I call any of this lucky cuz I don't feel you know I think luck is probably a certain element but if people think I just was at the right place at the right time and just snapped my fingers and twirled a couple times and here's Bumble I mean they're really wrong this is been we're talkin all day everyday UPS Downs highs lows and and laser focus so you guys are still really young company do you do you like stay up at night worrying about a competitor or somebody else coming in and just you know it totally replacing you we really truly aren't super worried about competition for one reason
00:37:34I really believe anybody can copy a product anyone I'm at the UT campus speaking to you right now I could go to the engineering school probably find five really talented young engineers and they could build Bumble with the right support somebody could rebuild any piece of technology it's it's engineering however you cannot just copy someones brand and become them there has to be authenticity when you build a brand and there has to be true purpose and so yes you're right anybody could go and build a competitor version of bumble where I don't think they can just come in and and sweep us off our feet as I don't know if there's another group of people with the exact same story or the exact same Mission and motives and that goes back to what I lived through that summer of 2014 and what landed on my phone every morning and it was
00:38:32I almost built my remedy to the the hardships that I personally was going through and Bumble saved me
00:38:44text Whitney Wolfe founder of the dating app Bumble and by the way Whitney now goes for the name Whitney Wolfe herd because she got married last year and that's how she met her husband through bumble bumble has not yet gone public with a few months ago after reports of a possible IPO Bloomberg intelligence value the company has 1.1 billion dollars
00:39:23and please do stick around because in just a moment we're going to hear from you about the things your building but first a quick message from one of our sponsors SmartWater inspired by fresh thinkers who stories you're listening to it smart water has more ways to hydrate Smart Water alkaline with 9 + pH and SmartWater antioxidant with added selenium Smart Water that's pretty smart
00:39:52hey thanks so much for sticking around because it's time now for how you built that and today we're updating a story from about a year ago and you may want to turn up the volume for a second because I've got this and I'm not going to play for you it's kind of subtle but I think you'll know what it is
00:40:13okay a Neil scratching on vinyl which is kind of a cool sound right full of romance and anticipation especially if you grew up with it and even if you didn't I started being really interested in records when I was a kid I would go through my parents are here Collections and play Herb Alpert or Creedence Clearwater Revival was growing up in Wichita Falls Texas was always fascinated with the fact that you had to really interact with the music in a physical way to pull the record out of the sleeve put it on the turntable and play is Michael older he started hanging out in clubs and recording some of his friends band and a lot of them wanted to put their songs on vinyl because we've already established finals kind of cool but to cut a vinyl record at alleged a pressing plant is expensive your general investment was about $2,000 and if you couldn't sell
00:41:12500 copies you are definitely not going to break even a really limited run of Records likes a 20 or 30 you can learn to do it yourself with something called a record lathe the record way it's basically looks like a large turntable and the needle is vibrating is the disc turns underneath it and the sound wave is etched into a disc and would have seen these old record Lanes in recording studios or radio stations in the 1940s and 50s and you can still find them usually in a Dusty Attic or a horse on eBay I got really obsessed with the machines I bought everyone that I could find and eventually I had so many machines I was having bands from out of town come over to my kitchen and cut record straight to the Lay's in the other room
00:42:07the Bremer would be right next to the sink the guitar player and bass player would be next to the refrigerator and I would be cutting the records while they play the song happening in Olympia Washington in 2010/2011 and I should mention that in real life like was teaching high school but he's also got the spinal record label going and eventually he moves out of the kitchen and into a studio and then into the world so small events and pop-up festivals where he uses his portable record legs to Cut vinyl on the spot and then in 2012 Mike and his partner got a phone call we got a call from Converse about cutting records for Bank on the XX at the Coachella VIP party right side Coachella huge also pretty huge and simile Mike and a ton of Chris are at the big party with to record lathe making
00:43:07vinyl dubs of Jamie XX for like 200 people the attendees would go and listen to some samples and they say I want the song of the a siding with the son of the B-side and then we would cut it for them right there and then they walk away with a disk so they can take home and play and show their friends and after that we had a party I need this said my activation ritmo Festival after lunch in his company might quit his teaching job move to Tucson Arizona vinyl records and traveling around the world to places like Paris Canada and New York and basically have the coolest job ever it's something that I fell into and yeah I can't imagine having a cooler job either
00:43:54addiction is the co-founder of mobile vinyl recorders if you want to find out more about Mike or hear previous episodes head to our podcast page how I built this. NPR. Org and of course you want to tell us your story go to build. NPR. Org and thanks so much for listening to the show this week you can subscribe wherever you get your podcast and while you're there please do give us a review has a right to us at HRBT at NPR. Org and if you want to send a tweet it's at and how I built this our show was produced this week but Rachel Falkner with music composed by run teen Arab Louis thanks also to Julia Kearney JC Howard nor could see and Eva Graf Alyssa Grace Anna's Mexican pork and Jeff Rogers AR intern is Candice elem I'm guy Roz and you've been listening to how I built this
00:45:04this is NPR

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